Blues Up and Down by Tom Piazza
Jazz in Our Time

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Synopsis

In these pages Tom Piazza, the award-winning author of The Guide to Classic Recorded Jazz, chronicles two decades of upheaval in the jazz world--and presents a persuasive vision of the music's continuing role in our culture. A tour-de-force mixture of reportage, criticism, and essay, Blues Up and Down confronts the central questions facing the music today: Is there a conflict between innovation and tradition? Is there such a thing as "progress" in the arts? And what the stakes in the debate--for musicians, for critics, and for listeners? His answers are provocative and original, and his survey of the music, coming at a crucial time in its history, is fresh and exhilarating on every page.
 

About Tom Piazza

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Tom Piazza's writing on American music has appeared in the Sunday New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, and The Village Voice. He is the author of The Guide to Classic Recorded Jazz (University of Iowa Press), which won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor award for music writing, and Blues and Trouble (St. Martin's Press), which won a James Michener award for fiction. He lives in New Orleans and is working on a novel.
 
Published November 1, 1997 by St Martins Pr. 194 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Many of Piazza's lonesome travellers take to the road when love goes sour, but his native wandering is strictly post-Beat, antiromantic stuff: The narrator of ``Brownsville,'' lamenting his loveless state in a New Orleans cafe, hopes to erase the slate in Texas;

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In the course of the two decades covered by the pieces in this volume (most of them previously published in the New York Times, the New Republic, Atlantic Monthly, and the Village Voice), Piazza has recounted the arrival of a new generation of young jazz musicians, headed by the controversial Wyn...

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Publishers Weekly

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The essence of the book, however, is in Piazza's articles castigating critics who perpetuate the notion that jazz is about emotion, not art, and who revile jazz musicians engaged in exploring the jazz tradition with the intelligence and seriousness that characterizes artists in other spheres.

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