Concise Guide to Jazz

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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For non-major courses in Evolution of Jazz, Jazz History, Jazz Survey, Introduction to Jazz, Jazz Appreciation, African-American Music. This abridged version of Jazz Styles was developed in response to student and professor requests for an introductory text offering the clarity and accuracy of Jazz Styles with 1/2 the size, 1/40 the number of names and tune titles, and 1/3 the number of musician profiles, in just 11 chapters. Written by an active jazz musician and jazz historian, this brief introduction to jazz examines how jazz originated, how it is made, what to listen for, the major style eras, and the individual styles of 43 historically significant jazz musicians. When purchased packaged with Concise Guide to Jazz the Jazz Classics CD and Demonstration CD are available at a discounted price. Want to include even more historical recordings for your study of jazz? Order a text package that includes the FREE Prentice Hall Jazz Collection CD. Click on PACKAGE OPTIONS to the left for more details.

Author Biography

Mark C. Gridley is an active jazz musician who has lectured widely on jazz history and jazz appreciation for over twenty-five years. He has conducted field research in Africa, the Caribbean, and all the jazz centers of the United States. His books have been translated into five foreign languages. His articles appear in the Grove Dictionaries of Music, Encyclopaedia Britannica, The Musical Quarterly, The Black Perspective in Music, The Instrumentalist, and Jazz Educators Journal. The Educational Press Association of American gave him its Distinguished Achievement Award.

Table of Contents

1. What Is Jazz?
2. How to Listen to Jazz.
3. The Origins of Jazz.
4. Early Jazz.
5. Swing.
6. Bebop.
7. Cool Jazz.
8. Hard Bop.
9. Avant-Garde of the 1960s and 70s.
10. Fusion.
Elements of Music.
Album Buying Strategies.
A Small Basic Collection of Jazz Videos.
For Musicians.


This book is intended as a brief introduction to jazz. It outlines the ways jazz is made and the major jazz styles that have evolved during the twentieth century. It tells why the big names are important and how their styles differ. TheDemonstration CDprovides examples of the instrument sounds and explains the methods and terminology of jazz. The Elements of Music Appendix explains the basic terms that are used to describe music. Listening guides are provided to accompany selections on theConcise Guide Jazz Classics CD,and they give the reader more information about techniques of making jazz by applying the terms learned in theDemo CDand the Elements of Music Appendix. This helps listeners to detect more in each repeated hearing. Chapters end with lists of recordings and books to supplement the information that is introduced in the chapter. Most of the selections on theConcise Guide Jazz Classics CDcomplement those on theJazz Classics CDfor theJazz Styles: History and Analysistextbook by Mark C. Gridley and theSmithsonian Collection of Classic Jazzrather than duplicating them. They were chosen so that each of the three sources would begin filling the historic and stylistic gaps within each other. This book originated because both professors and students asked for an introduction to jazz that was as clear and accurate asJazz Stylesbut without as much detail. (Jazz Stylesprofiles 161 musicians and mentions about 1200 others.) Many professors also said they wanted a book that was easy to complete in one semester. Some said the ideal introductory text would focus on only about ten major figures. Reducing jazz history to a maximum of ten musicians was not feasible, however, because few authorities agree on which ten to discuss. But by increasing the minimum number of musicians to 45, we were able to accommodate the combined preferences from most authorities' "top ten" lists and still not overload students. Though this approach neglects some of the richness of jazz history, it also makes conveniently comprehensible a diversity of styles in a way that provides a basis for further explorations. If students or professors want to begin fleshing out the basic skeleton of styles treated in the present book, they can start with two resources that are already available in most colleges:Jazz Styles: History and Analysiswith itsJazz Classics CDand the recordings in theSmithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz.If your school does not haveJazz Stylesor its CD compilation, contact Prentice Hall (College Marketing, Prentice Hall, 1 Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458; 800-526-0485). TheSmithsonianis out of print and not likely to return. A reasonable substitute is theKen Burns Jazz: The Story of America's Music(Columbia/ Legacy C5K61432; 1919-1999). TheJazz Classics CD for Concise Guide to Jazzand the newPrentice Hall Jazz Collection CDhave negligible overlap with the Ken Burns compilation. For more resources, see the chapter-end listening lists, and the Album Buying Strategies and A Small Basic Collection of Jazz Videos sections in this book's Appendix. Your first purchase might beListening to Jazz,a one-hour video version of theDemonstration CDof instruments and methods for making jazz, prepared by Steve Gryb. It can be ordered by phoning 800-947-7700 and asking for ISBN 0-13-532862-4. The first three editions of this book have been used successfully at more than four hundred different high schools and colleges in courses about jazz history and appreciation for nonmusicians. No technical knowledge of music is required to understand its content. The optional listening guides are most useful, however, if students first familiarize themselves with instrument sounds on theDemo CDand the terms explained in the Elements of Music Appendix. Students appreciate live demonstrations and instructor as

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