Now I want to know more,
This review is from: The Bluffer's Guide to Jazz (Bluffer's Guides) (Bluffer's Guides (Oval)) (Paperback)
[I must disclose that I was offered this book by the publishers in exchange for a review.]
As the daughter of a jazz enthusiast, I grew up having to suffer endless car journeys with jazz as the only soundtrack. As a child and in my teens, I couldn't bear it. But in recent years I have started to appreciate this genre, something that pleases my dad immensely and as a result, he burns jazz CDs for me at any given opportunity. That's why I jumped at the opportunity to learn a bit more about this type of music, which started in dive bars but that somehow is now considered a rather elitist interest.
I found the first couple of chapters of this Bluffer's Guide, which detail the origins of jazz, the most interesting. The book then introduces the most important musicians, grouped by type of instruments - horns, piano, etc. After a while, I must confess that I began to lose interest, because, not knowing really who's who apart from a few names such Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, David Brubeck - all from my father's extensive collection - I found it hard to relate to what I was reading. Towards the end of the book I started to skim through, until I reached the very entertaining (and probably very useful for bluffing purposes) glossary at the end.
The `angle' of the Bluffer's Guides is always a humorous, light-hearted one. Those people who complain that this book doesn't go into enough depth are missing the point. However, I would have liked a few introductory lines on how to understand some of the best-known tunes, to learn to `decode' some of the music terminology associated with this apparently impenetrable genre. But maybe that's a job best saved for something like Jazz For Dummies (2Nd Edition) - which might be my next read. And that's why I never regret reading a `Bluffer's Guide' - I always come out feeling that I've learned something, and I am always left wanting to know just a little bit more.