1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2011
An intelligent read, Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life has to be guilty of one of the most hyperbolic titles I have ever come across. Neverthless, the narrative provides the reader with some insight into what it is that makes Jazz such an important part of a musician's life and into the thoughts and feelings that a player has when approaching the music. It provides a window onto the world of America's most important export and onto the processes that make it work. There is a lot of use of Jazz as a metaphor and the author's thoughts on the ways in which the thinking behind it can be carried over into other aspects of our lives. But 'change your life'?
If you want to know what Jazz is all about, then this work will help a lot. If you want to change your life, there may be other works that are more readily applicable!
on 25 April 2012
I didn't really know what to expect from this book. I don't know anything about jazz, but I'm curious about it, so I passed over many books about the history of jazz (because I thought they would be too difficult for me) but stopped on this one because it sounded light and easy. Easy for someone like me, that is.
And I'm happy I chose it. I can't say I now have an idea of what the history of jazz is, but I do think I have an idea of what jazz is and means.
The first part of the book is a bit technical, actually. I was a bit disappointed, because the author speaks of many things strictly connected with music. Technical things I didn't really understand. But then it goes into the feeling. What blues means, why it is at the core of jazz, where does it come from. It put the birth of jazz in context, it speaks about life in the segregated South of the U.S. in the early XX century and the movement for the Civil Rights. It speaks of what jazz gave to people and what people gave to jazz. At the end, there is a quick overview of some of the most famous jazz musicians and what they gave to this music.
I really enjoyed it.
The author's style is very easy and very colloquial, a pleasure to read. He tells many stories, most from his own past, and this sometimes turns the book into some sort of diary. But there are also stories from famous musicians and from other people.
Because jazz is people, and jazz is life, and you'll know by the end of this book.