Collected works: a journal of jazz, 1954-2000

Book Cover
Average Rating
St. Martin's Press,
Pub. Date:
1st ed.
As jazz critic for The New Yorker magazine since 1957, and the author of fifteen books, Whitney Balliett has spent a lifetime listening to and writing about jazz. "All first-rate criticism," he once wrote in a review of someone else's work, "first defines what we are confronting." He could as easily have been describing his own work. For nearly half a century, Balliett has been telling us, in pitch-perfect prose, what we confront when we listen to America's greatest, and perhaps only truly original, musical form. Collected Works: A Journal of Jazz 1954-2000 is a monumental achievement, capturing the full range and register of the jazz scene, from the first Newport Jazz Festival in 1954 to recent performances by a rising generation of musicians. Here are definitive portraits of such major figures as: Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Django Reinhardt, Martha Raye, Buddy Rich, Charles Mingus, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday, Art Tatum, Bessie Smith, and Earl Hines-a list that barely scratches the surface. Generations of readers have learned to listen to the music with Balliett's graceful guidance. For five decades he has captured the moments when jazz history was being made. Balliett's knowledge is encyclopedic treasure and yet he has always written as if he were listening for the first time. Since its beginnings in New Orleans at the turn of the century, jazz has been restlessly and relentlessly evolving, improvising, experimenting, shapeshifting, a constant work in progress of sounds and tonal shades, from swing and dixieland, through boogie-woogie, bebop, and hard bop, to the new thing, free jazz, abstract jazz, and atonal jazz. Yet in all its forms, the music is sustained by what Balliett calls a "secret emotional center," an "aural elixir" that "reveals itself when an improvised phrase or an entire solo or even a complete number catches you by surprise." Whitney Balliett performs the miracle of capturing the essence of jazz-the "sound of surprise."
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID b1c82047-9223-9dac-6b3d-cc6e6c19d2c8
Grouping Title collected works a journal of jazz 1954 2000
Grouping Author balliett whitney
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-05-30 01:07:01AM
Last Indexed 2019-06-25 03:56:18AM

Solr Details

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primary_isbn 9780312202880
publishDate 2000
record_details ils:.b1193511x|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|St. Martin's Press,|[2000]|viii, 872 pages ; 25 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
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subject_facet Jazz -- History and criticism
title_display Collected works : a journal of jazz, 1954-2000
title_full Collected works : a journal of jazz, 1954-2000 / Whitney Balliett
title_short Collected works :
title_sub a journal of jazz, 1954-2000
topic_facet History and criticism, Jazz