03 September 2007

A New History of Jazz

Do we really need yet another weighty 'history of jazz' in what is already a crowded field? When the author (also a bass player) has already produced excellent biographies of (among others) Dizzy Gillespie and Fats Waller, and regularly presents 'Jazz Profiles' on Radio 3, the answer must be in the affirmative. In this expanded version of his award-winning study, Alyn Shipton offers an encyclopaedic account of 'a music created mainly by black Americans in the early twentieth-century through an amalgamation of elements drawn from European-American and tribal African musics.' Throughout, he contends that up-the-river-from-New Orleans 'histories' of jazz distort and oversimplify what was a complex series of accidents, interactions, borrowings and ... Read more >>

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