Release Date: 2020
Publisher: Tibidabo Publishing
Softcover, 224 pages
Jazz hides in plain sight in global culture, a musical revolution that led to soul, rock, funk, and hip-hop in a fascinating story of art, race, rebellion, and freedom in five key American cities: New Orleans, Chicago, Kansas City, New York, and Los Angeles. This book focuses on jazz’s development in the African-American communities of these cities and how its ideas of groove, improvisation, and musical interplay became integral to all of American music. Jazz is a story of art, culture, race, freedom, politics, struggle, and self-expression.
“It’s hard to throw your arms around a universe, but Joel Dinerstein does so with grace and great insight in this essential guide to America’s art form. Designed with maximum musical interaction in mind, it guides the reader by offering multiple views on jazz history —its relationship to cities, to Black migration, and to politics; its sonic evolution in streets, clubs and concert halls; its many personalities, from legends like Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis to central but less famous figures like Ben Webster and Hamid Drake. “Jazz is everywhere,” Dinerstein declares. This kaleidoscopic little book proves that. A great addition to the shelf for a newcomer to the music or anyone who wants to enrich a lifetime of listening”. Ann Powers, author of Good booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music
“Joel Dinerstein’s treatise makes the improvisational art form known as jazz, with its New Orleans and Black American origins, make sense in just 226 succinct pages. The author effortlessly discusses this fascinating musical culture, from the 1800s through today, in a conversational and clutter-free way, even with an eye to new ideas and stories which tend to be overlooked in other jazz histories. And Dinerstein utilizes his subject expertise to position the music within the theme of American popular culture and all of the genres and styles that result (which is all of them). At just 226 pages – you could finish this book in one day, not due to its modest length, but because it’s a page-turner, filled with stories about interesting people, places, concepts, conflict, art, struggle, survival, joy, and thriving. It may be a quick read, but it is written with the specificity and care of a multi-volume series. Is there such a thing as a perfect book for academics, scholars, generalists, experts, music enthusiasts, historians, info seekers, and story lovers of all skill and interest levels? Finally, there is, and this is the one”. Melissa A. Weber, curator, Hogan Jazz Archive, Tulane University Special Collections.