Friday, October 17, 2008

Five best: books on jazz

John Edward Hasse, curator of American Music at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, founder of national Jazz Appreciation Month, and author of Beyond Category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington, named a five best list of books on jazz for the Wall Street Journal.

One title from his list:
Reading Jazz
Edited by Robert Gottlieb
Pantheon, 1996

Don't be put off by the massive size of this anthology. You can dip into its 1,068 pages one piece at a time. Robert Gottlieb, former editor of The New Yorker, has judiciously selected and excerpted 106 examples of the most memorable English-language writing on jazz, culled from books and magazines between 1919 and the 1990s. In the autobiographical entries, we learn about the thoughts and experiences of musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Anita O'Day and Miles Davis. In "Reading Jazz" we also encounter the work of gifted writers, including Ralph Ellison, Martin Williams, Nat Hentoff, Gary Giddins and Dan Morgenstern. Their essays and criticism further strengthen this cornerstone collection.
Read about Number One on Hasse's list.

--Marshal Zeringue