Since 1900, when jazz---a uniquely American music form---began to evolve, much of its allure and artistic growth has depended on the creative freedom and expressive force that improvisation allows its performers. Jerry Coker (a teacher, composer/arranger, and noted saxophonist) has written How to Listen to Jazz to fill the need for a layman's guide to understanding improvisation and its importance in the development of this artistically rich yet complex music form. Without relying on overly technical language or terms, Jerry Coker shows how you can become a knowledgeable jazz listener---whether you are an aspiring musician, student, jazz aficionado, or new listener.
In addition to looking at the structure of jazz and explaining what qualities to look for in a piece, the author provides a complete chronology of the growth of jazz, from its beginnings in the rags of Scott Joplin; the New Orleans style of the 1920s made famous by Bessie Smith, Bix Beiderbecke, and Louis Armstrong; the Swing Era with Benny Goodman, and Art Tatum; Be-Bop, post Be-Bop; to the greats of Modern Jazz, including Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, and Wes Montgomery.
Also includes a list of suggested recordings, a section on the improvised solo, and a complete glossary of jazz terms, How to Listen to Jazz offers you a complete introduction to the entire jazz experience . . . the music and those who make it.