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Jazz: The American Theme Song [Hardcover]

James Lincoln Collier
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

31 Jan 1995
Praised by the Washington Post as a `tough, unblinkered critic,' James Lincoln Collier is probably the most controversial writer on jazz today. His iconoclatic articles, and his acclaimed biographies of the jazz greats continue to spark debate in jazz circles. With the publication of Jazz: The American Theme Song, Collier does nothing to soften his reputation for hard-hitting, incisive commentary. Questioning everything we think we know about jazz - its origins, its innovative geniuses, the importance of improvisation and spontaneous inspiration in a performance - and the jazz world, these ten provocative essays on the music and its place in American culture overturn tired assumptions and will alternately enrage, enlighten, and entertain.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc (31 Jan 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195079434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195079432
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.7 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,821,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Praised by the Washington Post as a `tough, unblinkered critic,' James Lincoln Collier is probably the most controversial writer on jazz today. His acclaimed biographies of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman continue to spark debate in jazz circles, and his iconoclastic articles on jazz over the past 30 years have attracted even more attention.

Questioning everything we think we know about jazz - its origins, its innovative geniuses, the importance of improvisation and spontaneous inspiration in a performance- - and the jazz world, these ten provocative essays on the music and its place in American culture overturn tired assumptions and will alternately enrage, enlighten, and entertain. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

About the Author: James Lincoln Collier is the author of over fifty books. He has won a Newbery Honors Medal, a Christopher Medal, and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award. His books on music include biographies of jazz greats Armstrong, Ellington, and Goodman, and his articles on music appear regularly in many leading publications. Collier has worked as a jazz musician around New York for many years, and has played with groups in a dozen nations around the world.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone interested in Jazz 16 Sep 1996
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
In what he calls a number of assays but what reads as a complete book Collier debunks a number of popular myths and shines a new light into some dark corners.

Among the myths are the fact that timing in Jazz is rigid (it ain't), blacks are the originators (a case is made that the black creoles were much more important) of Jazz and critics know what they are talking about (it seems they frequently don't).

The final chapter is typical of the whole book. In it Collier describes the importance of the local amateur and semi-pro players to Jazz and argues that Jazz wouldn't be abe to exsist without these dedicated people, a fact which is frequently overlooked by almost everybody.

This book definately isn't the be all and end all of Jazz studies, it is on the whole to superficial and fails to deal with any of the music except in passing, but it definately makes one think about some long held beliefs and popular 'myths' in Jazz.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone interested in Jazz 16 Sep 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In what he calls a number of assays but what reads as a complete book Collier debunks a number of popular myths and shines a new light into some dark corners.

Among the myths are the fact that timing in Jazz is rigid (it ain't), blacks are the originators (a case is made that the black creoles were much more important) of Jazz and critics know what they are talking about (it seems they frequently don't).

The final chapter is typical of the whole book. In it Collier describes the importance of the local amateur and semi-pro players to Jazz and argues that Jazz wouldn't be abe to exsist without these dedicated people, a fact which is frequently overlooked by almost everybody.

This book definately isn't the be all and end all of Jazz studies, it is on the whole to superficial and fails to deal with any of the music except in passing, but it definately makes one think about some long held beliefs and popular 'myths' in Jazz.
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