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All That Jazz books KEYWORDS: RELATED: MusicPop CultureGeneralDance

If you're feeling jazzy, read up on one of the most influential eras in music history.  Our wide variety of Jazz books will keep your toes tapping and your bass slapping. 

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North Point Press

Lush Life

A Biography of Billy Strayhorn

Nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award Billy Strayhorn (1915-67) was one of the greatest composers in the history of American music, the creator...

"...Nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award Billy Strayhorn (1915-67) was one..."

David Hajdu David Hajdu

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Coltrane

The Story of a Sound

A major work about the great saxophonist—and about the state of jazz. What was the essence of John Coltrane’s achievement that makes him so prized forty years...

"...compositions, his place within his era of jazz that left so many musicians and listeners so powerfully drawn..."

Ben Ratliff Ben Ratliff

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Picador

The Devil's Horn

The Story of the Saxophone, from Noisy Novelty to King of Cool

The 160-year history of the saxophone comes to brilliant life in Michael Segell's wonderfully researched, beautifully told The Devil's Horn. Beginning with "a...

"...please forward Segell the memo that states that books about jazz are supposed to be academic..."

Michael Segell Michael Segell

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Times Books

The New York Times Essential Library: Jazz

A Critic's Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings

A connoisseur's tour through the great American art form A Love Supreme. Miles Ahead. Brubeck Time. Yardbird Suite. The Sidewinder. For newcomers just...

"...their understanding, New York Times jazz critic Ben Ratliff offers an assertive, deeply knowledgeable collector's guide, full of opinions and insights on the one hundred greatest recorded works of jazz. From..."

Ben Ratliff Ben Ratliff

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North Point Press

But Beautiful

A Book about Jazz

In eight poetically charged vignettes, Geoff Dyer skillfully evokes the music and the men who shaped modern jazz. Drawing on photos, anecdotes, and, most...

"...shaped modern jazz. Drawing on photos, anecdotes, and, most.... In eight poetically charged vignettes, Geoff Dyer skillfully evokes the music and the men who shaped modern jazz. Drawing on photos..."

Geoff Dyer Geoff Dyer

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St. Martin's Griffin

The Making of Kind of Blue

Miles Davis and His Masterpiece

From the moment it was recorded, more than forty years ago, Miles Davis's Kind of Blue was hailed as a jazz classic. To this day, it remains the bestselling...

"...as a jazz classic. To this day, it remains the bestselling.... From the moment it was recorded, more than forty years ago, Miles Davis's Kind of Blue was hailed as a jazz classic. To this day, it remains the bestselling jazz album of all time, embraced by fans of all music genres. The album represented a true watershed moment in jazz history, and helped to usher in the first great jazz revolution..."

Eric Nisenson

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Picador

Fever

The Life and Music of Miss Peggy Lee

"I learned courage from Buddha, Jesus, Lincoln, and Mr. Cary Grant." So said Miss Peggy Lee. Albert Einstein adored her; Duke Ellington dubbed her "the Queen."...

"...montage of American pop at its peak."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)   "Here is a fan who has..."

Peter Richmond

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Times Books

The Jazz Ear

Conversations over Music

An intimate exploration into the musical genius of fifteen living jazz legends, from the longtime New York Times jazz critic Jazz is conducted almost...

"...An intimate exploration into the musical genius of fifteen living jazz legends, from the longtime New York Times jazz critic Jazz is conducted almost.... An intimate exploration into the musical genius of fifteen living jazz legends, from the longtime New York Times jazz critic Jazz is conducted..."

Ben Ratliff Ben Ratliff

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Henry Holt and Co.

Before John Was a Jazz Giant

A Song of John Coltrane

Young John Coltrane was all ears. And there was a lot to hear growing up in the South in the 1930s: preachers praying, music on the radio, the bustling of the...

"...Boston Weatherford and Sean Qualls have composed an amazingly  rich hymn to the childhood of jazz..."

By Carole Boston Weatherford and Sean Qualls

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