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 influenced every singer, every instrumentalist who came after him; Duke Ellington, the pampered son of middle-class parents who turned a whole orchestra into his personal instrument, wrote nearly two thousand pieces for it, and captured more of American life than any other composer. Bix Beiderbecke, the doomed cornet prodigy who showed white musicians that they too could make an important contribution to the music; Benny Goodman, the immigrants´ son who learned the clarinet to help feed his family, but who grew up to teach a whole country how to dance; Charlie Parker, who helped lead a musical revolution, only to destroy himself at thirty-four; and Miles Davis, whose search for fresh sounds made him the most influential jazz musician of his generation, and then led him to abandon jazz altogether. But Jazz is more than a mere biography. The history of the music echoes the history of twentieth-century America. Jazz provided the background for the giddy era that F. Scott Fitzgerald called the Jazz Age. The irresistible pulse of big-band swing lifted the spirits and boosted American morale during the Great Depression and World War II. The virtuosic, demanding style called bebop mirrored the stepped-up pace and dislocation that came with peace. During the Cold War era, jazz served as a propaganda weapon - and forged links with the burgeoning counterculture. The story of jazz encompasses the story of American courtship and show business; the epic growth of cities, and the struggle for civil rights and simple justice that continues into the new millennium. 1. Language: English. Narrator: LeVar Burton. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rand/000086/bk_rand_000086_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
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 aplenty. But alongside this post-WWI spree was high unemployment, hard times for farmers, ever-present racism, and, finally, the Depression, the worst economic disaster in U.S. history, flip-flopping the nation from prosperity to scarcity. Along came one of our country¿s greatest leaders, F.D.R., who promised a New Deal, gave Americans hope, and then saw them through the horrors and victories of World War II. These three decades ¿ full of optimism and despair, progress and Depress, and, of course, War, Peace, and All That Jazz - forever changed the United States. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Christina Moore. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/reco/000522/bk_reco_000522_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In 1975, the Broadway musical Chicago brought together a host of memes and myths - the gleefully subversive character of American musical comedy, the reckless glamour of the big-city newspaper, the mad decade of the 1920s, the work of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, and the Wild West gangsterville that was the city of Chicago itself. The tale of a young woman who murders her departing lover and then tricks the jury into letting her off, Chicago seemed too blunt and cynical at first. Everyone agreed it was show biz at its brilliant best, yet the public still preferred A Chorus Line, with its cast of innocents and sentimental feeling. Nevertheless, the 1996 Chicago revival is now the longest-running American musical in history. As author Ethan Mordden looks back at Chicago´s various moving parts - including the original 1926 play that started it all, a sexy silent film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, a talkie remake with Ginger Rogers, the musical itself, and at last the movie of the musical - we learn how the American theater serves as a kind of alternative news medium, a town crier warning the public about the racy, devious interior contradictions of American society. Opinionated, witty, and rich in backstage anecdotes, All That Jazz brings the American musical to life in all its artistry and excitement. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Joel Froomkin. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/012466/bk_tant_012466_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Here is the fascinating story of the Edison Phonograph Company and its ´´Hill and Dale´´ vertical recording process, illustrated by musical examples from vintage recordings of legendary jazz band, The California Ramblers (which included famed trumpeter Red Nichols and other jazz greats)!This is the behind-the-scenes story of the invention, development and commercial promotion of the phonograph by Thomas Alva Edison, the ´´Genius of Menlo Park.´´ When tinfoil recording cylinders were replaced by flat disks, Edison pioneered a unique ´´vertical´´ recording process that produced a fidelity unmatched in its day. Unfortunately, manufacturing costs rendered it impractical and by the 1920´s nearly all other companies were successfully using a different process. Edison´s stubborn insistence on sticking with ´´verticals´´ nearly to the end eventually put the company out of business. Nevertheless, historians and critics agree that the Edison phonograph and disks provided the listener with the finest acoustic sound recordings of their time.Listen to the story of this forgotten moment in recording and Jazz history as told by audiophile Bill Mills and demonstrated by five carefully selected examples, from the Audio Archive, of Edison´s unique process. These ultra-rare recordings open a window on the birth of Jazz as captured during its formative years and feature great arrangements with exciting improvised solos performed by a band of the hottest musicians of the era, The California Ramblers. Compare their performances of ´´Keep Smiling At Trouble,´´ ´´Clementine,´´ ´´The Stockholm Stomp,´´ ´´Along Came Sweetness,´´ and their sweetly suggestive version of ´´Tiptoe Through The Tulips´´ to the quality of other early Jazz recordings and you will understand why Edison championed his process to the bitter end!If you love history or Jazz or just a good audiobook, here is a must have chronicle of a genius inventor, a past generation and a lost technology, researched and written by series cre... 1. Language: English. Narrator: Bill Mills. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rebb/000011/bk_rebb_000011_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
While F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, Manhattan was transformed by jazz, night clubs, radio, skyscrapers, movies, and the ferocious energy of the 1920s, as this illuminating cultural history brilliantly demonstrates. In four words - ´´the capital of everything´´ - Duke Ellington captured Manhattan during one of the most exciting and celebrated eras in our history: The Jazz Age. Radio, tabloid newspapers, and movies with sound appeared. The silver screen took over Times Square as Broadway became America´s movie mecca. Tremendous new skyscrapers were built in Midtown in one of the greatest building booms in history. Supreme City is the story of Manhattan´s growth and transformation in the 1920s and the brilliant people behind it. Nearly all of the makers of modern Manhattan came from elsewhere: Walter Chrysler from the Kansas prairie; entertainment entrepreneur Florenz Ziegfeld from Chicago. William Paley, founder of the CBS radio network, was from Philadelphia, while his rival David Sarnoff, founder of NBC, was a Russian immigrant. Cosmetics queen Elizabeth Arden was Canadian and her rival, Helena Rubenstein, Polish. All of them had in common vaulting ambition and a desire to fulfill their dreams in New York. As mass communication emerged, the city moved from downtown to midtown through a series of engineering triumphs - Grand Central Terminal and the new and newly chic Park Avenue it created, the Holland Tunnel, and the modern skyscraper. In less than ten years Manhattan became the social, cultural, and commercial hub of the country. The 1920s was the Age of Jazz and the Age of Ambition. Original in concept, deeply researched, and utterly fascinating, Supreme City transports listeners to that time and to the city which outsiders embraced, in E.B. White´ s words, ´´with the intense excitement of first love.´´ 1. Language: English. Narrator: Frangione Jim. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/reco/007765/bk_reco_007765_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Smarter in sixty minutes. Get smarter in just 60 minutes with in60Learning. Concise and elegantly written non-fiction books and audiobooks help you learn the core subject matter in 20% of the time that it takes to read a typical book. Life is short, so explore a multitude of fascinating historical, biographical, scientific, political, and financial topics in only an hour each. Wealth, indulgence, and a Gatsby-like aesthetic: This is what comes to mind when one thinks of the Roaring Twenties. This revolutionary decade marked the end of the American Gilded Age, a period of sustained economic growth which led to a booming marketplace. After World War I, Americans had more money to spend, and mass production rose to meet the emerging wealth. This was the era of Broadway and bootleggers, new cars and Al Capone, mass culture and money, money, money. However, it was also the prelude to the Great Depression. Dive into this fascinating history of America’s Jazz Age to unveil the vulnerable underbelly of this time of great indulgence. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Russell Newton. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/117853/bk_acx0_117853_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In 1966, journalist Charles Suhor wrote that New Orleans jazz was ´´ready for its new Golden Age´´. Thomas W. Jacobsen´s The New Orleans Jazz Scene, 1970-2000 chronicles the resurgence of jazz music in the Crescent City in the years following Suhor´s prophetic claim. Jacobsen, a New Orleans resident and longtime jazz aficionado, offers a wide-ranging history of the New Orleans jazz renaissance in the last three decades of the twentieth century, weaving local musical developments into the larger context of the national jazz scene. Jacobsen vividly evokes the changing face of the New Orleans jazz world at the close of the twentieth century. Drawing from an array of personal experiences and his own exhaustive research, he discusses leading musicians and bands, both traditionalists and modernists, as well as major performance venues and festivals. The city´s musical infrastructure does not go overlooked, as Jacobsen delves into New Orleans´s music business, its jazz media, and the evolution of jazz education at public schools and universities. The New Orleans Jazz Scene, 1970-2000 offers a vibrant and fascinating portrait of the musical genre that defines New Orleans. 1. Language: English. Narrator: David Randall Hunter. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/069715/bk_acx0_069715_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
At the height of the ideological antagonism of the Cold War, the US State Department unleashed an unexpected tool in its battle against Communism: jazz. From 1956 through the late 1970s, America dispatched its finest jazz musicians to the far corners of the earth, from Iraq to India, from the Congo to the Soviet Union, in order to win the hearts and minds of the Third World and to counter perceptions of American racism. Penny Von Eschen escorts us across the globe, backstage and onstage, as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and other jazz luminaries spread their music and their ideas further than the State Department anticipated. Both in concert and after hours, through political statements and romantic liaisons, these musicians broke through the government´s official narrative and gave their audiences an unprecedented vision of the black American experience. In the process, new collaborations developed between Americans and the formerly colonized peoples of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East - collaborations that fostered greater racial pride and solidarity. Though intended as a color-blind promotion of democracy, this unique Cold War strategy unintentionally demonstrated the essential role of African Americans in US national culture. Through the tales of these tours, Von Eschen captures the fascinating interplay between the efforts of the State Department and the progressive agendas of the artists themselves, as all struggled to redefine a more inclusive and integrated American nation on the world stage. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Christina Delaine. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/011881/bk_tant_011881_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Samuel Charters has been studying and writing about New Orleans music for more than 50 years. A Trumpet around the Corner: The Story of New Orleans Jazz is the first book to tell the entire story of a century of jazz in New Orleans. Although there is still controversy over the racial origins and cultural sources of New Orleans jazz, Charters provides a balanced assessment of the role played by all three of the city´s musical lineages - African American, white, and Creole - in jazz´s formative years. Charters also maps the inroads blazed by the city´s Italian immigrant musicians, who left their own imprint on the emerging styles. The study is based on the author´s own interviews, begun in the 1950s, on the extensive material gathered by the Oral History Project in New Orleans, on the recent scholarship of a new generation of writers, and on an exhaustive examination of related newspaper files from the jazz era. The book extends the study area of his earlier book Jazz: New Orleans, 1885-1957, and breaks new ground with its in-depth discussion of the earliest New Orleans recordings. A Trumpet around the Corner for the first time brings the story up to the present, describing the worldwide interest in the New Orleans jazz revival of the 1950s and 1960s, and the exciting resurgence of the brass bands of the last decades. The book discusses the renewed concern over New Orleans´s musical heritage, which is at great risk after the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina´s floodwaters. Published by University Press of Mississippi. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Marcus D. Durham. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/107257/bk_acx0_107257_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
This Is Our Music, declared saxophonist Ornette Coleman´s 1960 album title. But whose music was it? At various times during the 1950s and 1960s, musicians, critics, fans, politicians, and entrepreneurs claimed jazz as a national art form, an Afrocentric race music, an extension of modernist innovation in other genres, a music of mass consciousness, and the preserve of a cultural elite. This original and provocative book explores who makes decisions about the value of a cultural form and on what basis, taking as its example the impact of 1960s free improvisation on the changing status of jazz. By examining the production, presentation, and reception of experimental music by Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, John Coltrane, and others, Iain Anderson traces the strange, unexpected, and at times deeply ironic intersections between free jazz, avant-garde artistic movements, Sixties politics, and patronage networks. Anderson emphasizes free improvisation´s enormous impact on jazz music´s institutional standing, despite ongoing resistance from some of its biggest beneficiaries. He concludes that attempts by African American artists and intellectuals to define a place for themselves in American life, structural changes in the music industry, and the rise of nonprofit sponsorship portended a significant transformation of established cultural standards. At the same time, free improvisation´s growing prestige depended in part upon traditional highbrow criteria: increasingly esoteric styles, changing venues and audience behavior, European sanction, withdrawal from the marketplace, and the professionalization of criticism. Thus jazz music´s performers and supporters - and potentially those in other arts - have both challenged and accommodated themselves to an ongoing process of cultural stratification. The book is published by University of Pennsylvania Press. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Paul Steven Forrest. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/002752/bk_acx0_002752_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.