Visions of Jazz by Gary Giddins
The First Century

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Poised to become a classic of jazz literature, Visions of Jazz: The First Century offers seventy-nine chapters illuminating the lives of virtually all the major figures in jazz history. From Louis Armstrong's renegade-style trumpet playing to Sarah Vaughan's operatic crooning, and from the swinging elegance of Duke Ellington to the pioneering experiments of Ornette Coleman, jazz critic Gary Giddins continually astonishes the reader with his unparalleled insight. Writing with the grace and wit that have endeared his prose to Village Voice readers for decades, Giddins also widens the scope of jazz to include such crucial American musicians as Irving Berlin, Rosemary Clooney, and Frank Sinatra, all primarily pop performers who are often dismissed by fans and critics as mere derivatives of the true jazz idiom. And he devotes an entire quarter of this landmark volume to young, still-active jazz artists, boldly expanding the horizons of jazz--and charting and exploring the music's influences as no other book has done.

About Gary Giddins

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Gary Giddins is the jazz critic for the Village Voice. He lives in New York City.
Published October 22, 1998 by Oxford University Press, USA. 703 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Giddins, a longtime Village Voice contributor and one of our most skillful jazz critics (Faces in the Crowd, 1992, etc.), offers a monumental work of ambition, an attempt to encapsulate a hundred years of jazz history in 79 essays on the music’s great creators.

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Along that epic path, Giddins pauses to recount the popular and creative breakthroughs of jazz giants both famous (Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, et al) and a little more obscure (Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill).

Mar 29 2002 | Read Full Review of Visions of Jazz:The First Cen...

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