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Best Jazz History Books You Must Read

There are countless Jazz History courses, tutorials, articles available online, but for some, having a book is still a necessity to learn. This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.

1. The History of Jazz (2011)

 Best Jazz History Books You Must ReadTed Gioia’s History of Jazz has been universally hailed as a classic–acclaimed by jazz critics and fans around the world. Now Gioia brings his magnificent work completely up-to-date, drawing on the latest research and revisiting virtually every aspect of the music, past and present. Gioia tells the story of jazz as it had never been told before, in a book that brilliantly portrays the legendary jazz players, the breakthrough styles, and the world in which it evolved. Here are the giants of jazz and the great moments of jazz history–Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington at…
Author(s): Ted Gioia

2. DownBeat – The Great Jazz Interviews: A 75th Anniversary Anthology (2009)

 Best Jazz History Books You Must Read(Book). Culled from the DownBeat archives includes in-depth interviews with literally every great jazz artist and personality that ever lived! Features classic photos and magazine covers from DownBeat ‘s vast archives. In honor of its 75th anniversary, DownBeat ‘s editors have brought together in this one volume the best interviews, insights, and photographs from the illustrious history of the world’s top jazz magazine, DownBeat . This anthology includes the greatest of DownBeat ‘s Jazz Hall of Famers: from early legends like Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Duke…
Author(s): Frank Alkyer

3. A New History of Jazz: Revised and Updated Edition (2008)

 Best Jazz History Books You Must ReadAlyn Shipton is on the editorial board of the new Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz, to be released in late 2006, and this new edition of “A New History of Jazz” will be referenced throughout to tracks in this new multi-CD collection of essential jazz recordings. Brand New Edition Featuring Over 20% Entirely New MaterialPraise for the first edition of A New History of Jazz:”The most outstanding single-volume history of jazz around.”-Don Rose, Jazz Institute of Chicago”No jazz writer, scholar, teacher, musician, or fan should be without it on his or her desk. Yes, it really is that good.”-W. Royal Stokes, Jazz Notes”Shipton has taken on…
Author(s): Alyn Shipton

4. Jazz: A History of America’s Music (2002)

 Best Jazz History Books You Must ReadThe companion volume to the ten-part PBS TV series by the team responsible forThe Civil War and Baseball.Continuing in the tradition of their critically acclaimed works, Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns vividly bring to life the story of the quintessential American music—jazz. Born in the black community of turn-of-the-century New Orleans but played from the beginning by musicians of every color, jazz celebrates all Americans at their best.Here are the stories of the extraordinary men and women who made the music: Louis Armstrong, the fatherless waif whose unrivaled genius helped turn jazz into a soloist’s art and…
Author(s): Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns

5. Jazz (Second Edition) (2015)

 Best Jazz History Books You Must ReadAll That Jazz―Total Access to the music and the players. This streamlined second edition exposes students to the expressive power of jazz and brings its greatest players to life. With an emphasis on engagement with the music, this new text gives students all the guidance and inspiration they need to fully understand jazz. Now with Total Access, Jazz offers students a package without match―streaming music of 77 classic masterpieces and little-known gems, robust Listening Guides, a media-rich ebook, outstanding video, and a gripping narrative―all at an unbeatable…
Author(s): Scott DeVeaux, Gary Giddins

6. Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History (2014)

 Best Jazz History Books You Must ReadFeaturing more than seventy thought-provoking selections drawn from contemporary journalism, reviews, program notes, memoirs, interviews, and other sources, Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History, Second Edition, brings to life the controversies and critical issues that have accompanied more than 100 years of jazz history. This unique volume gives voice to a wide range of perspectives which stress different reactions to and uses of jazz, both within and across communities, enabling readers to see that jazz is not just about names, dates, and chords, but rather about issues and ideas, cultural activities, and…
Author(s): Robert Walser

7. Jazz Styles (11th Edition) (2011)

 Best Jazz History Books You Must Read  For undergraduate courses in Jazz History, Jazz Survey, Evolution of Jazz, Introduction to Jazz, and Jazz Appreciation.   America's most widely used introduction to jazz text captures the minds of students by teaching the history of the style and how to actively listen to jazz. While its chronological format serves as a great resource for beginners, Jazz Styles is applicable to more advanced students because of its in-depth analysis of musical elements and its technical appendices that discuss music theory concepts. *Music for your course is available through Spotify.  …
Author(s): Mark C. Gridley

8. How to Listen to Jazz (2017)

 Best Jazz History Books You Must ReadIn How to Listen to Jazz, award-winning music scholar Ted Gioia presents a lively introduction to one of America’s premier art forms. He tells us what to listen for in a performance and includes a guide to today’s leading jazz musicians. From Louis Armstrong’s innovative sounds to the jazz-rock fusion of Miles Davis, Gioia covers the music’s history and reveals the building blocks of improvisation. A true love letter to jazz by a foremost expert, How to Listen to Jazz is a must-read for anyone who’s ever wanted to understand and better appreciate America’s greatest contribution to music….
Author(s): Ted Gioia

9. Introduction to Jazz History (6th Edition) (2003)

 Best Jazz History Books You Must ReadThis classic chronological survey of jazz history brings the various historical styles to life by exploring them through the lives of the musicians and a study of their recordings. An eight-part organization covers THE BLUES;PIANO STYLES—1890-1940; NEW ORLEANS JAZZ AND DIXIELAND—1910-1940; SWING—1934-1945; BEBOP—1943-1960; THIRD STREAM, COOL, AND BEYOND—1949- ; FREE JAZZ—1960- ; and JAZZ/ROCK FUSION—1968- . For jazz lovers….
Author(s): Donald D. Megill, Richard S. Demory

10. Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches (2015)

 Best Jazz History Books You Must Read“A must-read for all dancers as the invaluable historical references and in-depth coverage of the different jazz forms cannot be found in such detail in any other book on the market today.”—Debra McWaters, author of Musical Theatre Training “Artfully weaves history and professional perspectives to reveal the boundaries of the jazz dance world. It invites the reader to develop a more complicated definition of jazz dance for the twenty-first century.”—Susan A. Lee, Northwestern University The history of jazz dance is best understood…
Author(s): Lindsay Guarino, Wendy Oliver

11. Essential Jazz: The First 100 Years (2008)

 Best Jazz History Books You Must ReadA complete jazz chronology, ESSENTIAL JAZZ: THE FIRST 100 YEARS, 2e, delivers a thorough and engaging introduction to jazz and American culture. Designed for nonmajors, this brief text explores the development of jazz from its nineteenth-century roots in ragtime and blues through swing and bebop to fusion and contemporary jazz styles. Unique in its up-to-date coverage, one-third of ESSENTIAL JAZZ is devoted to performers of the 1960s through present-day performers. The text’s flexible organization and clear, interesting presentation are designed to appeal to learners with little or no music background….
Author(s): Henry Martin, Keith Waters

12. St. Louis Jazz: A History (2019)

 Best Jazz History Books You Must ReadIn the early twentieth century, St. Louis was a hotbed for ragtime and blues, both roots of jazz music. In 1914, Jelly Roll Morton brought his music to the area. In 1919, Louis Armstrong came to town to play on the “floating conservatories” that plied the Mississippi. Miles Davis, the most famous of the city’s jazz natives, changed the course of the genre four different times throughout a world-renowned career. The Black Artists Group of the 1970s was one of the first to bring world music practices into jazz. Author Dennis C. Owsley chronicles the ways…
Author(s): Dennis C. Owsley

13. A History of US: War, Peace, and All That Jazz: 1918-1945 A History of US Book Nine (2007)

 Best Jazz History Books You Must ReadRecommended by the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy as an exemplary informational text.From woman’s suffrage to Babe Ruth’s home runs, from Louis Armstrong’s jazz to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s four presidential terms, from the finale of one world war to the dramatic close of the second, War, Peace, and All That Jazz presents the story of some of the most exciting years in U.S. history. With the end of World War I, many Americans decided to live it up, going to movies, driving cars, and cheering baseball games a plenty. But alongside this post WWI spree was high unemployment, hard…
Author(s): Joy Hakim

14. The History of Jazz (1998)

 Best Jazz History Books You Must ReadJazz is the most colorful and varied art form in the world and it was born in one of the most colorful and varied cities, New Orleans. From the seed first planted by slave dances held in Congo Square and nurtured by early ensembles led by Buddy Belden and Joe “King” Oliver, jazz began its long winding odyssey across America and around the world, giving flower to a thousand different forms–swing, bebop, cool jazz, jazz-rock fusion–and a thousand great musicians. Now, in The History of Jazz, Ted Gioia tells the story of this music as it has never been told before, in a book that brilliantly portrays the…
Author(s): Ted Gioia

15. Jazz: An American Journey (2004)

 Best Jazz History Books You Must Read0131679643 / 9780131679641 Jazz: An American Journey with CD & 2 CD Set Package Package consists of: 013098261X / 9780130982612 Jazz: An American Journey 0131831240 / 9780131831247 3 Compact Disc Set…
Author(s): Brian Harker

Best Jazz History Books You Must Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some jazz history books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

The Jazz Republic: Music, Race, and American Culture in Weimar Germany

Author(s): Jonathan O. Wipplinger
Publisher: University of Michigan Press, Year: 2017, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2487940

The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History, and the Challenge of Bebop

Author(s): Guthrie P. Ramsey
Publisher: University of California Press; Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College, Year: 2013, Size: 6 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2314322

A Natural History of the Piano: The Instrument, the Music, the Musicians--from Mozart to Modern Jazz and Everything in Between

Author(s): Stuart Isacoff
Publisher: Vintage, Year: 2012, Size: 14 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1030449

Jazz Griots: Music as History in the 1960s African American Poem

Author(s): Jean-Philippe Marcoux
Publisher: Lexington Books, Year: 2012, Size: 2 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1690659

The Great Depression: The Jazz Age, Prohibition, and the Great Depression, 1921-1937 (A Cultural History of Women in America)

Author(s): Tbd Bailey Assoc, Jane Bingham
Publisher: Facts on File, Year: 2011, Size: 9 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 808694

A Natural History of the Piano: The Instrument, the Music, the Musicians - from Mozart to Modern Jazz and Everything in Between

Author(s): Stuart Isacoff
Publisher: Knopf, Year: 2011, Size: 15 Mb, Download: mobi
ID: 1057182

The history of jazz

Author(s): Ted Gioia
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA, Year: 2011, Size: 2 Mb, Download: mobi
ID: 1102464

The History of Jazz

Author(s): Ted Gioia
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA, Year: 2011, Size: 4 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1114791

Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are really record-breakers according to Los Angeles Times, others are drafted by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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