The Uncrowned King Of Swing: Fletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz Paperback – 2 Apr 2008
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This book first came out in hardback in 2005, but the intervening years have done nothing to diminish its status as the volume to turn to for anyone with an interest in bandleader/pianist Fletcher Henderson... (Nic Jones, All About Jazz)
About the Author
Jeffrey Magee is an Associate Professor and Chair of Musicology in the School of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His writings on jazz, ragtime, and American popular song have appeared in American Music, Lenox Avenue, International Dictionary of Black Composers, Musical Quarterly, the Cambridge History of American Music, and the Journal of the American Musicological Society.
Top Customer Reviews
From a technical point of view, an ability to read music is an advantage to understanding this book although I am not too good at this myself and found that familiarity with the records was a big help in understanding the extracts from the scores. You can get by without any musical knowledge but I think it is a help to be able to read music in order to understand what the authoer is saying. I actually sat at the piano and tried to read the music in many instances and this was of great value. This book chronicles Henderson's departure from an academic career to being at the forefront of the Black, American recording industry with Black Swan Records. Henderson is re-cast very much as coming from a highly educated and informed background and the eventual creation of his orchestra is dealt with far more sympathetically than by Schuller. Magee books these early records in context of the recordings of Henderson's contemporaries and reaches some favourable conclusions.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What the reader will find is a thorough examination of Henderson as a musician, band leader, and arranger. For the latter, the book is full of musical examinations with not only written explanations, but also musical examples that show specific part writing.
This book may not interest the average music fan. Because it is so specific explaining musical examples with music vocabulary, I think reading this book does require some knowledge and understanding of music terminology. It was a slow read for me and I have a degree in music! Those with more formal training in music should appreciate the manner in which the author did not hesitate to write to a specific and potentially narrow audience.
Great expose about a pivotal, though not as well known, musician.
and a knowledge of what has to be done and upheld to make it.