Exhilarating and exciting, subtle and profound—jazz requires knowledge and understanding to be truly appreciated. Barry Kernfeld here provides a thorough, learned, and accessible introduction to jazz, discussing its musical concepts, procedures, and styles and providing the background necessary to fully enjoy this musical art. The book is organized around twenty-one historical jazz recordings—from the New Orleans Rhythm Kings' Tin Roof Blues (1923) to Ornette Coleman's Honeymooners (1987)—that are analyzed in the text and included in a compact disc that accompanies the book.
Barry Kernfeld draws from these musical works to illustrate jazz rhythm, forms, arrangement, composition, improvisation, style, and sound (recording fidelity, tuning systems, instrumentation, and timbre). Included in the book are eighty-five notated music examples keyed to the compact disc and a biographical dictionary of musicians who figure prominently on the disc.
By laying out musical ideas that unify the genre, rather than by splintering it along stylistic lines, this authoritative book offers a new method for enhancing enjoyment and understanding of jazz. It will be a valued resource for students and general listeners who wish to know more about this unique musical form.
Yale University Press
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