Jazz: The Basics gives a brief introduction to a century of jazz, ideal for students and interested listeners who want to learn more about this important musical style. The heart of the book traces jazz's growth from its folk origins through early recordings and New Orleans stars; the big-band and swing era; bebop; cool jazz and third stream; avant-garde; jazz-rock; and the neo-conservative movement of the 1980s and 1990s.
Key figures from each era including: Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Wynton Marsalis are highlighted along with classic works. The book concludes with a list of the 100 essential recordings to own, along with a timeline and glossary. Jazz: The Basics serves as an excellent introduction to the players, the music, and the styles that make jazz 'America's classical music.'
Christopher Meeder is a graduate of the Master's program in Jazz History and Research at Rutgers University, Newark. He is also an active freelance musician in jazz, classical, and rock contexts.
Introduction and Acknowledgments 1. Fundamentals 2. Pre-Jazz 3. Early Jazz Recordings 4. Louis Armstrong 5. The 1920s 6. The Swing Era, Part I: Big Bands 7. The Swing Era, Part II: Small Groups and Soloists 8. Bebop and the Moldy Figs 9. Charles Parker 10. Thelonious Monk 11. The 1950s: The Beginning of Jazz Postmodernism 12. Miles Davis 13. Avant-Garde Jazz of the 1950s and Early 1960s 14. John Coltrane 15. The 1960s, Part I: Inside 16. The 1960s, Part II: Free Jazz 17. The 1960s, Part III: Chicago and the AACM 18. Postbop Pianists 19. Fusion 20. The 1980s and New Conservatism 21. The Genre Busters 22. Lately Appendix: Recommended Recordings