Scott Yanow Pens Essential Listener's Guide to the Jazz Age


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San Francisco-Classic Jazz: The Musicians & Recordings that Shaped Jazz, 1895-1933 from Backbeat Books explores the birth and early development of a truly American art form. Written by veteran jazz journalist Scott Yanow, this is the only guide music lovers need to understand how jazz began, and to enjoy great recordings made by the innovative artists who defined the exciting, nascent era known as the Jazz Age.

Through Yanow's acclaimed expertise, Classic Jazz provides in-depth historical essays, anecdotal artist biographies, evocative photos, and insightful album reviews and ratings. Yanow describes the very beginnings of jazz, exploring its seeds in ragtime, early blues, and blues-infused New Orleans jazz from 1895-1916, as well as the social and cultural forces that helped shape it.

The heart of the classic jazz era, however-and of this guide-belongs to the years 1917-1933. This dizzying period in the evolution of jazz is examined in great detail, from the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, who were the first jazz group to record, to the perfomers poised to usher in swing, such as Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman.

Noting that the book focuses on the years when the first jazz records were made, Yanow comments that the classic jazz era is “recognized today not only as the soundtrack of the 1920s and an important chapter of jazz, but also as one of the most fun and rewarding periods of music ever."

Classic Jazz highlights the lives, careers, and recordings of the day's groundbreaking artists- the freewheeling combos, jazz-inspired dance bands, early classic blues singers, stride pianists, and big bands of the pre-swing era. Featured musicians and vocalists include Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington, Coleman Hawkins, Earl Hines, James P. Johnson, Freddie Keppard, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Paul Whiteman, and dozens more.

Classic Jazz also profiles the evolution of jazz instruments, recommends books and films on the genre, and offers a snapshot of the jazz scene in 1933-when classic jazz relinquished the floor to swing.

Scott Yanow, editor of the All Music Guide to Jazz, has written for Downbeat, JazzTimes, Jazziz, Jazz Forum, and Coda. Currently a regular contributor to Cadence, L.A. Jazz Scene, and others, Yanow is author of Duke Ellington, Trumpet Kings, and Third Ear guides Swing, Bebop, and Afro-Cuban Jazz.

Backbeat Books (formerly Miller Freeman Books) publishes books for people who are passionate about music, whether as performers or avid fans. Based in San Francisco, Backbeat Books is an imprint of Music Player Network, which includes www.musicplayer.com and Guitar Player, Bass Player, Keyboard, Gig, EQ, MC2, and other magazines.

Classic Jazz: The Musicians & Recordings that Shaped Jazz, 1895-1933
Third Ear-The Essential Listening Companion
Scott Yanow
Price: $22.95
Format: Trade paper, 304pp, 30 B&W photos, 7-3/8" x 9-1/4"
ISBN: 0-87930-659-9

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.

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