How to Listen to Jazz
In school my ability and enthusiasm was so lacking that the Band leader asked me to quit band and take up basket weaving. I liked listening o music but never knew much about it and as I age I am finding my taste in music moving farther and farther away from what is playing on the radio and closer an closer to Jazz but at first blush for the uninitiated it is a lot like Chinese algebra. Pianist, educator, critic, scholar, and author Ted Gioia has written over a dozen books on Jazz. In How to Listen to Jazz Gioia introduces us to the music he loves and opens the door to the uninitiated. Gioia gives us an idea of what to listen for and how to understand and learn what the musicians are doing. He shows us the structure and different dimensions in the music and how to identify different patterns. After giving us something to grab onto, Gioia walks us through the origins of jazz and the evolution of different jazz styles and then he introduces us to some of Jazz's important innovators. He finishes with advice on how to listen to jazz today. Throughout the book he gives suggests of what to listen to and artists to look our for. My first read of the book, I went through it cover to cover. Now I am going through the book with the songs Gioia has recommended and seeing how much I can learn. Bottom line - I love the book because I am learning about the music and enjoying it more and I am discovering what I really like and learning how to find it. This is a marvelous book and I recommend it highly to those interested in Jazz and also to those who know a lot about jazz and want to enrich their experience.