Jazz Books/Products Directory

      DVD's                  Books               Music Products

Backbeat Books

Marty Khan

Ben Sidran/Talking Jazz

Don Breithaupt

Wynton Marsalis

Trish Richardson

Continuum Books

Music Pad

Mary Lou Williams

Jazz Educators Handbook

Legends Of Jazz

Yale University Press

Jazz Pedagogy

Penguin Books

Scott Yanow





The Soul Of Jazz

Jazz Educators Handbook

Two of the biggest names in jazz education, Jeff Jarvis and Doug Beach, have combined their experience in the most comprehensive "how-to" manual for jazz educators ever published. Contains easy-to-understand text, loads of notated examples, photos, diagrams, drawings, and two CDs with over 150 recorded examples.

Topics include:

Starting a Jazz Program, Recruiting and Retaining Students, Jazz Combos and Chamber Groups, Choosing Charts, Rehearsal Techniques, Phrasing, Articulations, Dynamics, Coaching Wind and Rhythm Sections, Improvisation, Jazz Listening Skills, Festival Performances, Guest Artists and Clinicians, Fundraising, Making a Recording, and Organizing Jazz Festival and Tours.

Chapters include:

* Starting and Instrumental Program
* The 3 Rs of Recruitment, Retention, Replacement
* Instrumentation and Set-up (band configurations)
* Jazz Combos and Chamber Ensembles
* Choosing Charts
* Rehearsal Techniques
* Phrasing, Articulation and Dynamics
* Coaching the Winds
* Coaching the Rhythm Section
* Jazz Listening Skills
* Improvisation
* Controlling Performance Anxiety
* Festival Performances
* Guest Artists and Clinicians
* Fund Raising
* Making a Recording
* Organizing an Educational Jazz Festival
* Organizing a Tour
* Teaching Materials





CDs feature audio examples of section performances, rhythmic figures and scale / chord explanations, which are clearly indicated on the relevant pages.

Comb bound book/2CDs, 271 pages

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Great Big Band Charts by Jeff Jarvis and Doug Beach can be found at:


Jazz Pedagogy


Book/Dvd Set


A comprehensive guide that opens the doors to the world of jazz education. Find practical solutions to challenges such as the jazz concept, understanding the rhythm section, jazz improvisation and jazz styles, including a great section on Latin jazz. This innovative, one-of-a-kind handbook incorporates the Web as an ongoing resource tool that provides the ultimate in reference information. The included DVD presents over three hours of audio/video demonstrations of rehearsal techniques, how to really teach jazz improvisation, and how to understand and improve the rhythm section. An essential addition to every library and/or jazz pedagogy class.



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Mary Lou Williams

"Soul on Soul offers valuable insights about how gender shaped the opportunities and reputations of the first generation of jazz women... a balanced reading of this legendary jazz pianist... Kernodle's study... establishes a rightful place for Williams as a jazz pioneer." --Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Williams's artistic brilliance and lasting legacy are affirmed in this definitive volume, which masterfully interweaves biographical details with incisive commentary on her music, performances, and recordings. Setting Williams's intriguing story against the racial, social, cultural, and musical currents of her times, Tammy L. Kernodle draws on extensive interviews and meticulous research to chronicle the tragedies and triumphs of Williams's stormy life.

This striking portrait untangles the paradoxes of an exceptionally gifted pianist who defied the odds and endured hardships to create innovative music that inspired musicians and fans alike. It celebrates her persistent yet loving spirit, extraordinary talent, and enduring body of work.

Soul On Soul

The Life And Music Of Mary Lou Williams

By Dr. Tammy L. Kernodle

Pianist, composer, and arranger, Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981), was one of the most significant and influential artists in the history of jazz. A versatile musical genius who experimented with and mastered most of the emerging styles in jazz's evolution, Williams wrote and arranged for such greats as Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, and she was friend, mentor, and teacher to the likes of Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie. Yet throughout her prolific career of nearly six decades, she battled as an African American woman to achieve recognition, equality, and acceptance in the male-dominated world of jazz.

 Included are her struggles with racism, sexism, and age discrimination, and such personal misfortunes as recurrent bouts of poverty, turbulent marriages and love affairs, extreme loneliness, and a string of bad business decisions.

Born to an impoverished, unmarried mother in Georgia, and raised in Pittsburgh, the self-taught Williams started performing publicly when she was six-years-old. By the age of twelve, the "little piano girl" was touring on the black vaudeville circuit. Kernodle follows Williams's harsh life on the road, her rise to fame in the 1930s as an arranger and performer for Andy Kirk's Kansas City swing band Twelve Clouds of Joy, her role as matriarch of the bebop movement, her solo career, her blossoming spirituality, and conversion to Roman Catholicism. In her later years, Williams wrote sacred jazz pieces that brought emotional healing to listeners, and worked tirelessly to help and rehabilitate addicted, down-and-out musicians. She was also strongly committed to advancing jazz composition and to educating others about the cultural roots of jazz.


Hardcover  $22.95

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Scott Yanow

Scott Yanow has been writing about jazz since 1975. Jazz editor of Record Review during its entire publishing history (1976-84), he has written for Downbeat, JazzTimes, Jazz Forum, Jazz News, and Strictly Jazz magazines. Yanow currently is a regular contributor to Cadence, Jazziz, Coda, L.A. Jazz Scene, Mississippi Rag, Jazz Improv, Jazz Now, Jazz Report, and Planet Jazz.
(All books below can be purchased directly from Scott Yanow's Web Site

Scott also compiles the jazz listings for the Los Angeles Times, and has written over 200 album liner notes. Editor of the All Music Guide to Jazz and author of Duke Ellington, Yanow also wrote Swing and Afro-Cuban Jazz for the Third Ear--The Essential Listening Companion series. More information on Scott can be found at:


Afro-Cuban Jazz

By Scott Yanow

$19.95  Buy Now

This is the largest and most comprehensive book on Afro-Cuban jazz that I've ever seen!" —Poncho Sanchez, conguero and bandleader"

"The music that we call Afro-Cuban jazz is among the world's most joyous and heartfelt music. Scott Yanow has written an extensive overview of the history of Latin Jazz and the incredible musicians that have developed this exciting music. You're in for a rare treat and a great read!" —Susie Hansen, violinist

Through anecdotal biographies and evocative photos, this book portrays every key Afro-Cuban jazz innovator past and present, plus other jazz artists influenced by this infectious music. You'll also find reviews and ratings of recordings that make (or don't make) the cut, and essays packed with historical insight not found in other guides.



By Scott Yanow

Bebop : Third Ear - The Essential Listening Companion

$19.95  Buy Now

"Bebop is a spiritual journey, demanding obstacle course, and a way of life. Yanow leads us eloquently through this journey." -
Karrin Allyson, jazz singer



By Scott Yanow

Swing : Third Ear - The Essential Listening Companion

$19.95  Buy Now

This book explores the full swing spectrum from its origins in the 1920s through its current retro resurgence. Features intriguing capsule biographies of 400 of the best musicians, from classic artists like Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman to retro swingers such as the Brian Setzer Orchestra and Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers, with each artist's most notable CDs reviewed and rated, plus info on film appearances, books, and hard-to-find recordings.

Scott Yanow has put together a crash course on Afro-Cuban Jazz. For those who are just learning about the genre, AFRO-CUBAN JAZZ will give you an overview, introduce you to most of the significant artists in the genre...

Book Description

Yanow, author of the successful Swing and Bebop entries of the "Third Ear" series, here tackles Afro-Cuban jazz, a genre born, he claims, from Dizzy Gillespie's collaboration with Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo. After a lively brief overview, he offers a section of concise biographies that includes the usual suspects like Arturo Sandoval and Tito Puente. Within the biographical entries are listings of recommended recordings on CD. In cases where an artist's music is not yet available on CD, Yanow furnishes out-of-print LPs worth searching for. There is also a "Various Artists" list, a useful way to get a feel for a variety of performers. Readers will especially enjoy the author's illuminating and enjoyable conversations with four Afro-Cuban musicians. Though Yanow's enthusiasm is one of this work's strengths, his penchant for using exclamation points is ultimately distracting. Also, his indexing is questionable. For example, he refers to Louie Bellson's wonderful Ecu /Ritmos Cubanos, which features several outstanding Latin musicians, in percussionist Luis Conte's section. Yet Bellson's record isn't listed under his own name in Yanow's section of prominent jazz musicians who have recorded Afro-Cuban jazz, and neither Bellson nor the album is indexed. His very small annotated list of recommended books demonstrates the lack of written material available to English readers, so even with its flaws, this is valuable. Especially for those unfamiliar with this music, Afro-Cuban Jazz should prove to be an indispensable resource. Recommended for public, academic, and music libraries.


Book Description

On the heels of swing, bebop lifted jazz from the dance floor into an art form powered by virtuoso players. This engaging collection of essays, biographies and reviews by veteran jazz journalist Scott Yanow probes the lives and revolutionary works of more than 500 great beboppers, including the giants: Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gillespie, Bud Powell, Max Roach and Thelonious Monk. The guide also explores key artists such as Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Christian and the young Miles Davis, plus such later figures as Joe Pass and Barry Harris.

A collection of engaging essays, revealing bios, and insightful reviews explores the innovators, tunes, and attitudes that paved the way for all of modern jazz. 40 photos.

"I’m always impressed by Scott Yanow’s intelligent thoughts on jazz. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in bebop."-  Bill Watrous, jazz trombonist and bandleader


Book Description

"Yanow's is a unique approach, making the book the ultimate travel guide for anyone obsessed with the style."
The debut title in Miller Freeman's new "Third Ear" series ("designed to offer fresh perspectives on the breadth and depth of rich music genres"), this work encompasses the golden era of Swing (1935-46) in addition to the 1990s "Retro Swing" movement. Yanow, author of Duke Ellington and an editor of All Music Guide to Jazz, opted to class the more than 500 entries by musical specialty (Trumpeters, Guitarists, Female Vocalists, etc.) instead of using a straightforward A-Z organization. This approach effectively shows the threads of commonality and influence among the various performers in most of Swing's permutations. While he notes in his introduction the difficulty in choosing what and what not to include (Western Swing and 1950s Cool Jazz being the two genres that take the biggest hits), Yanow nevertheless offers excellent coverage, presenting reviews and ratings for 1500 recordings. A refreshingly non-verbose writing style and useful indexing make this a valuable reference. Besides showing Swing's importance in shaping American popular music, Yanow's book is also just plain fun to read. Recommended for all popular music collections. -Phoenix New Times, November 23-29, 2000

Includes insightful essays that explore this music's cultural impact, fun photos and swing memorabilia.



Yale University Press

In this engaging and astute anthology of jazz criticism, Larry Kart casts a wide net. Discussing nearly seventy major jazz figures and many of the music’s key stylistic developments, Kart sees jazz as a unique perpetual narrative--one in which musicians, their audiences, and the evolving music itself are intimately intertwined.

Because jazz arose from the collision of specific peoples under particular conditions, says Kart, its development has been unsually immediate, visible, and intense. Kart has reacted to and judged the music in a similarly active, attentive, and personal manner. His involvement and attention to detail are visible in these pieces: essays that analyze the supposed return to tradition that the music of Wynton Marsalis has come to exemplify; searching accounts of the careers of Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Bill Evans, and Lennie Tristano; and writing that explores jazz’s relationship to American popular song and examines the jazz musician’s role as actual and would-be social rebel.

Larry Kart has been music critic, editor, and book editor for the Chicago Tribune and Down Beat magazine.


"A generous grab bag of essays and reviews by a shrewd listener with curious ears and an open mind."--Terry Teachout

"For over 35 years, Lawrence Kart has been one of the best and most insightful critics writing about jazz and popular music. A collection of his work is a long-overdue treat from an important voice in contemporary-music criticism."--Bill Kirchner, Composer-arranger, saxophonist, bandleader, jazz historian, producer, educator, and editor of The Oxford Companion to Jazz

"With great feeling, one of jazz’s most far-reaching and influential critics illuminates what jazz is, what it means (to its creators and to us listeners) and, crucially, what is valuable about it--what a joy to have this collection of essays at last."--John Litweiler, author of The Freedom Principle: Jazz After 1958

"Unlike many who’ve cogitated publicly about the great music called jazz, Larry Kart can hear, think and write. It’s an unbeatable combination, and this long overdue book is cause for rejoicing."--Dan Morgenstern, Director, Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University and author of Living with Jazz: A Dan Morgenstern Reader

To purchase this book visit  here!

Other books on Jazz offered by Yale University Press!

(Click on icons for detailed information on each book!)

What To Listen For In Jazz

Bill Evans

  Bessie Smith

Friends Along The Way

Louis Armstrong & Paul Whiteman

         Northern Sun, Southern Moon           (Europe’s Reinvention of Jazz)

 Yale University Press        


backbeatbooks.com Homepage


   The Extraordinary and  Tragic  Life of Jaco Pastorius

 An updated and expanded tribute to the world's greatest bass player!

     $19.95   Buy Now!

Chockful of new insights about Jaco's early years, along with new revelations about his tragic final days, this very special Anniversary Edition takes a greatly expanded look at the man who revolutionized his instrument and became one of the most potent and compelling forces in jazz during the 1970s.

Like his heroes Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix, Jaco lived fast, made a huge impact, and died young — he was 35 when he was fatally beaten in 1987. During his meteoric rise from South Florida phenom to international jazz star, Jaco altered the course of modern music and opened a door that generations of bass players have since walked through. "It ain't braggin' if you can back it up," Jaco often said. As this book shows, he always did.

Includes a CD sampler featuring 40 minutes of newly revealed music from Jaco's pre-Weather Report years, along with spoken testimonials from Jaco's friends and colleagues. Also includes many new, never-before-seen photos acquired from the Pastorius estate.

Praise for the first edition:

"Milkowski has put together a consistently fascinating, impressively detailed, and very readable narrative."


"Reading this book will make you want to go back and listen to Jaco's music again."

Bass Player





backbeatbooks.com Homepage


Miles Davis

$19.95  Buy Now!

Running the Voodoo Down digs deep into Miles Davis's electric music, reminding us that this period encompassed the entire second half of the trumpeter's career, from 1967 until his death in 1991. Running the Voodoo Down examines this quarter-century of music in detail and discusses its importance to Davis's career and to the whole of American music and culture. Freeman places Davis's controversial 1960s and 1970s albums in a broader context than earlier critics have done, encouraging us to hear Miles's music alongside the work of Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix, and the trumpeter's own sidemen. Running the Voodoo Down reactivates the long-running debate surrounding this important and frequently misunderstood music, and offers longtime jazz fans and new listeners alike unexpected insights into Davis's unique genius.

"Much to the chagrin of anybody's jazz police, Miles, as Freeman righteously points out, spent half his career playing electronically jacked music. In Running the Voodoo Down the author provides this still maligned, mystifying, magisterial aspect of Miles's art with the kind of close reading, thick description, and metaphoric wit it so richly deserves. In the process Freeman strikes the right balance between curiosity, interrogation, comic relief, and, like Mary J., real love. Electric Miles has been awaiting a fresh arbiter with this much range, enthusiasm, ardor, and epiphanal wit."

—Greg Tate, author of Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience and the forthcoming Flyboy in the Buttermilk 2: The Greg Tate Reader
"Too many accounts of Miles Davis delve into mystique, not music. Miles, a trickster, encouraged that. Running the Voodoo Down digs deeper into Miles's electric works and his times, always with saucy outlook and sharp attention to new sounds and key players. Miles Davis, finally made more artist than attitude in his most controversial period, gets his poly-fusion sorcery set straight here."

—Milo Miles, music reviewer, Fresh Air with Terry Gross; contributing writer, Rolling Stone


Stan Getz - Nobody Else But Me

$22.95   Buy Now!

The creator of the unforgettable “Girl from Ipanema” tenor sax tone, this son of Ukranian immigrants took his unique sound through five decades of swing, cool, bossa and beyond. From Getz's teenage gigs with Dorsey, Goodman and Stan Kenton, fame with Woody Herman, years as a masterful bandleader, and struggles with drugs and the law, this biography tells the bittersweet story of one of our most beloved jazz musicians. This is the first book to focus on Getz's musical legacy, exploring the lightness of touch, lyricism and warm glow that marked his sound. It also gives insight into his skills as a consummate improviser, capable of playing with a musical, tonal and emotional range matched by few other musicians.

“We'd all sound like that if we could.”

– John Coltrane on Stan Getz



Penguin Group (USA)



The Life and Work of Wayne Shorter


Michelle Mercer - Author




Saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter has not only left his footprints on our musical terrain, he has created a body of work that is a monument to artistic imagination. Throughout Shorter's extraordinary fifty-year career, his compositions have helped define the sounds of each distinct era in the history of jazz.

Filled with musical analysis by Mercer, enlivened by Shorter's vivid recollections, and enriched by more than seventy-five original interviews with his friends and associates, this book is at once an invaluable history of music from bebop to pop, an intimate and moving biography, and a story of a man's struggle toward the full realization of his gifts and of himself.

Paperback $12.71

Hardcover $21.21

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The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings


Eighth Edition
R. M. Cook - Author
Brian Morton - Author

      The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Eighth Edition (Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings)

The leading guide to recorded jazz, now extensively revised

Music fans have been turning to this established reference through seven editions as a source of intelligent and insightful criticism. Fully updated to incorporate thousands of additional recordings, the eighth edition features artist biographies, detailed recording information with labels and catalog numbers, reliable and authoritative ratings, the authors’ personal selection of the essential recordings for every collection, an index of artists, and more. 


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Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia


Richard Cook - Author


Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia


Essential reading for all jazz fans

Far more than an A–Z guide to the artists and bands who have shaped jazz, this invaluable resource also tracks the history of jazz and its changing styles and terminology. Whether readers want to know why Louis Armstrong was called Satchmo, what bebop is, or the difference between Gil Evans and Bill Evans—this wonderfully accessible book has all the answers.

  • Contains sixty pages of photos

  • Includes more than 2,000 entries on jazz artists and bands

  • Provides clear definitions of key terms such as swing and fusion


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Who Was Louis Armstrong?

Author Yona Zeblis McDonough
John O'Brien - Illustrator
Nancy Harrison - Illustrator


Who Was Louis Armstrong? (Who Was...?)

If not for a stint in reform school, young Louis Armstrong might never have become a musician. It was a teacher at the Colored Waifs’ Home who gave him a cornet, promoted him to band leader, and saw talent in the tough kid from the even tougher New Orleans neighborhood called Storyville. But it was Louis Armstrong’s own passion and genius that pushed jazz into new and exciting realms with his amazing, improvisational trumpet playing. His seventy-year life spanned a critical time in American music as well as black history.

Paperback $4.24

Hardback $11.81

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Marty Khan

Straight Ahead

          Straight Ahead             

A Comprehensive Guide to the Business of Jazz
Without Sacrificing Dignity or Artistic Integrity
by Marty Khan

Drawing on 35 years of experience in virtually every aspect of the jazz and fine arts business, Marty Khan has created a comprehensive guide for jazz musicians and professionals. 450 pages long and printed on high-quality 8 1/2 x 11 stock, this book offers highly detailed information and advice about everything they need to know to successfully navigate the difficult, mysterious, and often treacherous waters of the jazz business. It also focuses strongly on the Fine Arts business, and the role that jazz plays in relation to it

.Click here for samples from the book

Click here for Don Heckman's review of the the book

Click here for quotes about the book

Click here for the press release about the book

Click here for the interview with Marty Khan about the book



Straight Ahead

             A Comprehensive Guide to the Business of Jazz

Straight Ahead    




  • explains and de-mystifies everything involved in the business of recording and performing;

  • defines and clarifies the various roles and responsibilities of everyone with whom the artist will be dealing;

  • offers specific advice on making the most out of every relationship and opportunity;

  • offers comprehensive and explicitly detailed information regarding the 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, including set-up, operation, development and fundraising;

  • describes specific methods and concepts that are productive, cost-effective and proven to be viable;

  • provides samples of contracts, agreements, corporate business structures, releases, stage plots and other useful materials.


    Visit here to purchase
    "Straight Ahead"

    Visit here to order the
    "Teacher's Guide to Straight Ahead"




Hal Galper

The Touring Musician: A Small-Business Approach to Booking Your Band on the Road

A clear road map guide to musicians traveling as solo performers or band members, this comprehensive book covers every aspect of preparing for and going on tour. Urging musicians to take control of their career, the author shoes how to apply sound business practices to band travel by evaluating assets, creating an action plan, researching negotiating, and booking venues, arranging transportation and hotels, managing personal and tour finances, and garnering publicity.

“The definitive tour manual….This book will help transform road worriers into road warriors. Hal has left no stone unturned when it comes to the business and mechanics of taking a band on tour. Great for musicians, road managers, and agents alike. Keep it on your desk and pack it in your suitcase….It’s a complete reference guide to the road.”—Michael Brecker

“Exhaustive in its detail [and] inspiring in that it empowers the reader to make headway through the complexities of the music business. Besides that, Hal’s humor, anecdotes, and friendly tone make the reading itself pleasurable. This has to be a milestone in how-to books!!”—David Liebman

“Brilliantly and meticulously compiled for surviving as a traveling musician….All of us can learn from the straightforward, sometimes hilarious, clarity of Hal Galper’s hindsight experiences. All who travel need to include this book in their personal libraries—even if they have management.”—Rufus Reid

With more than 80 recordings to his credit, 30 as a leader in his own right, pianist, composer, publisher, educator, author, and touring artist Hal Galper is best known for his work with such legends of jazz as Chet Baker, Cannonball Adderley, Roy Eldridge, Phil Woods, and Art Blakey. Graduating from the Berklee College of Music in 1959, at the height of the bebop era, Hal Galper steadily built his reputation in the changing environment of jazz. He anchored such bands as the Slide Hampton Quartet, the Lee Konitz Duo, the Stan Getz Quartet, and many others.

Now Only $5.95!

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Don Breithaupt

By Don Breithaupt

About the Author

Don Breithaupt is a studio musician and songwriter based in Toronto. He is the co-author of Precious and Few: Pop Music in the Early '70s and Night Moves: Pop Music in the Late '70s. A Berklee College of Music alumnus and three-time Juno Award nominee, he has written extensively on music and film for the National Post. Don's web site is located here: www.breithauptbrothers.com/main.html

33 1/3 is a series of short books about a wide variety of albums, by artists ranging from James Brown to the Beastie Boys. Launched in September 2003, the series now contains over 50 titles and is acclaimed and loved by fans, musicians and scholars alike.


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Published by:  Continuum Books


Aja was the album that made Steely Dan a commercial force on the order of contemporaries like Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles and Chicago. A double-platinum, Grammy-winning bestseller, it lingered on the Billboard charts for more than a year and spawned three hit singles. Odd, then, that its creators saw it as an "ambitious, extended" work, the apotheosis of their anti-rock, anti-band, anti-glamour aesthetic. Populated by thirty-five mostly jazz session players, Aja served up prewar song forms, mixed meters and extended solos to a generation whose idea of pop daring was Paul letting Linda sing lead once in a while. And, impossibly, it sold. Including an in-depth interview with Donald Fagen, this book paints a detailed picture of the making of a masterpiece.


"It was only a matter of time before a clever publisher realized that there is an audience for whom Exile on Main Street or Electric Ladyland are as significant and worthy of study as The Catcher in the Rye or Middlemarch. The series... is freewheeling and eclectic, ranging from minute rock-geek analysis to idiosyncratic personal celebration." The New York Times Book Review


"Ideal for the rock geek who thinks liner notes just aren't enough." Rolling Stone


"One of the coolest publishing imprints on the planet." Bookslut



"These are for the insane collectors out there who appreciate fantastic design, well-executed thinking, and things that make your house look cool. Each volume in this series takes a seminal album and breaks it down in startling minutiae. We love these. We are huge nerds." Vice


"A brilliant series... each one a word of real love." NME


"Passionate, obsessive, and smart." Nylon


"Religious tracts for the rock 'n' roll faithful." Uncut


"We... aren't naive enough to think that we're your only source for reading about music (but if we had our way... watch out). For those of you who really like to know everything there is to know about an album, you'd do well to check out Continuum's 33 1/3 series of books." Pitchfork



Continuum Books

"No jazz writer, scholar, teacher, musician, or fan should be without it!"

Table Of Contents

Preface Introduction: Rethinking Jazz History Part 1: Origins Chapter 1. Precursors Chapter 2. Classic Jazz Chapter 3. Piano Jazz: Stride and Boogie-Woogie Chapter 4. The Rise of the Big Bands Chapter 5. International Jazz to World War II Part 2: From Swing to Bop Chapter 6. Small Groups in Transition Chapter 7. The Birth of Bebop Chapter 8. Big-Band Bebop Chapter 9. Dissemination Chapter 10. Jazz Singing to 1950 Chapter 11. The New Orleans Revival and Mainstream Jazz Part 3: Consolidation of Bebop Chapter 12. Early Miles Davis Chapter 13. Hard Bop and Soul-Jazz Chapter 14. Cool Jazz and the West Coast Movement Chapter 15. Big Bands in Transition Part 4: New Jazz Chapter 16. Coltrane and Mingus Chapter 17. Free Jazz: Ornette Coleman and the “New Thing” Chapter 18. Politicization: The AACM and Other Organizations Chapter 19. Jazz Fusions Chapter 20. Keyboard Jazz Since World War II Chapter 21. Jazz Singing Since World War II Chapter 22. International Jazz: Jazz as World Music Chapter 23. Postmodern Jazz  

About The Author Alyn Shipton
Alyn Shipton presents jazz radio programs for the BBC and is a critic for The Times in London. He is the author of several books on music, as well as a music publisher and editor. He divides his time between Oxford and the French countryside.

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In this major update of the acclaimed and award-winning jazz history, Alyn Shipton challenges many of the assumptions that surround the birth and growth of jazz music.


In this major update of the acclaimed and award-winning jazz history, Alyn Shipton challenges many of the assumptions that surround the birth and growth of jazz music. How was it that it took off all over the United States early in the 20th century, despite the accepted wisdom that everything began in New Orleans? Shipton also re-evaluates the transition from swing to be-bop, asking just how political this supposed modern jazz revolution actually was. He makes the case for jazz as a truly international music from its earliest days, charting significant developments outside the USA from the 1920s onwards.

All the great names in jazz history are here, from Louis Armstrong to Miles Davis and from Sidney Bechet to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. But unlike those historians who call a halt with the death of Coltrane in 1967, Shipton continues the story with the major trends in jazz over the last 40 years: free jazz, jazz rock, world music influences, and the re-emergence of the popular jazz singer. This new edition brings the book completely up-to-date, including such names as John Medeski, Diana Krall, Django Bates, and Matthias Ruegg. There are also important new sections on Latin Jazz, and the repertory movement.

Praise for the book!

‘The most outstanding single-volume history of Jazz around’ – Don Rose, Jazz Institute of Chicago

"When it comes to jazz, comparatively few attempts have been made to write a general history that fulfills these requirements...The most ambitious of them, Alyn Shipton's A New History of Jazz...reissued in an expanded and extensively revised edition. At over 800 closely packed pages, this is the most detailed historical survey of jazz yet to be published.
(Alyn Shipton) has done more than any previous commentator to cut through the thick underbrush of unsubstantiated opinion and provide a clearly written, factually trustworthy account of jazz's complex and controversial history."
Commentary Magazine Online, April 2007


Author: Andrew Clark

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Riffs and Choruses is a comprehensive new anthology of writing about jazz with edited selections on jazz origins, history, culture, style, myth, race, and related areas of language, literature, and film. The collection provides a more extensive range and topic focus than any other anthology in the area and is the ideal complement to jazz histories for students of music, jazz, and American and popular culture. A carefully prepared anthology and a suitable source book for students, this volume's quality and range of selections will also appeal to jazz buffs and the general reader.

Table Of Contents

Contents include:
Jean-Paul Sartre, I Discovered Jazz in America
Charles Mingus, I Don't See Nothin' Over There but Critics
Art Pepper and Louise Pepper, Heroin
Amiri Baraka, Where's the Music Going and Why
Leonard Feather, The Jazzman as Critic: The Blindfold Test
Langston Hughes, Bop
Billie Holliday, Traveling Light
Dizzy Gillespie, Beboppers … the Cult
Gunther Schuller, Origins and Beginnings of Jazz
Martin Williams, The Jazz Tradition
Gary Giddins, Jazz Neoclassicism
Lawrence Levine, Jazz and American Culture
Geoff Dyer, Lester Young
Zora Neale Hurston, Story in Harlem Slang
Robert Gold, Jazz Talk
Whitney Balliett, The Sound of Jazz
Krin Gabbard, The Jazz Biopic
Jack Kerouac, Jazz of Beat Generation
Michael Harper, 'Bird Lives'
Nat Hentoff, Archie Shepp


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About the Author
David Borgo is a saxophonist/composer/improviser, ethnomusicologist, and an Assistant Professor of Music in the Critical Studies and Experimental Practices Program at UCSD. He won first prize at the 1994 International John Coltrane Festival, has toured through Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the United States, and has released four CDs as a leader and many more as a collaborator. His scholarly work appears in Black Music Research Journal, Journal of Consciousness Studies, and the edited volume Playing Changes: New Jazz Studies.

Product Description

Improvising music involves a leap into the uncharted, but its success relies on abilities honed through experience and on an unwavering commitment to the moment and context of performance. Improvisers synchronize their intentions and actions, all the while maintaining a keen sensitivity to and connection with the evolving group dynamic. At times, performance can evoke a swarmlike quality in which the individual parts are moving in very different ways, yet the musical whole evolves with a collective purpose.

Sync or Swarm provides a fascinating study of musical improvisation, using theories from cultural and cognitive studies and the emerging science of chaos and complexity. David Borgo explores his topic with a systems approach, as individual chapters expand outward in scope: from the perspective of a solo improviser (English saxophonist Evan Parker); to that of a group interacting in performance and over time (the Sam Rivers trio); to the network dynamics that bind together performers, listeners, educators, and promoters into a musical community. Each chapter is paired with a different aspect of the emerging sciences, including perspectives from the study of embodied cognition, nonlinear dynamics, self-organizing systems, social networks, and situated and distributed learning.

Sync or Swarm looks through the lens of contemporary science to illuminate the process and practice of improvising music and explores the ability of improvisation to offer a visceral engagement with these emerging scientific notions, ultimately offering us new ways of engaging with and shaping the discourse that surrounds music in general.

The book comes with a 74-minute CD featuring performances by Evan Parker, the Sam Rivers Trio, George Lewis, and the author's own improvising collective, Surrealestate.


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Product Description
Pianist George Shearing is that rare thing, a European jazz musician who became a household name in the US, as a result of the 'Shearing sound' - the recordings of his historic late 1940s quintet. Together with his unique 'locked hands' approach to playing the piano, Shearing's quintet with guitar and vibraphone in close harmony to his own playing revolutionised small group jazz, and ensured that after seven years as Melody Maker's top British pianist, he achieved even greater success in America. His compositions have been recorded by everyone from Sarah Vaughan to Miles Davis, and his best known pieces include Lullaby of Birdland, She and Conception. His story is all the more remarkable because Shearing was born blind. His candid reminiscences include a behind the scenes experience of New York's 52nd Street in its heyday, as well as memories of a vast roll-call of professional colleagues that includes all the great names in jazz.


This is a delightful book by one of the finest jazz pianists in the world. Born blind in Britain, in a poor neighborhood in London, who would have guessed that Mr. Shearing would end up becoming one of the true jazz greats? It's a remarkable story, made all the more enjoyable by his boundless sense of humor. The book is full of stories of practical jokes and delightful reminiscences of the other fine musicians Mr. Shearing has had the pleasure of playing with. There is not a huge amount of in-depth history or musical theory in here, this is a fun, light read, but Mr. Shearing's character shines through as does his relentless optimism about life. In a delightful touch, my copy of the book includes a braille sticker on the third page, which has Mr. Shearing's name on it. If you close your eyes and run your fingers over the sticker, and then try to imagine playing the piano, it makes Mr. Shearing's life and achievements all the more remarkable.

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 Authors Oscar Peterson
Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson is, in the words of Quincy Jones, "one of the greatest musicians on the planet."

Richard Palmer
Richard Palmer writes regularly for Jazz Journal International and is series editor for Eastnote, Hull University Press's new imprint of jazz studies. He is the author of a number of books on jazz.




 Oscar Peterson's career as a jazz pianist has spanned over five decades. During that time, he has recorded nearly 90 albums, won seven Grammys, and earned lifetime achievement awards from the Black Theatre Workshop, the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. He has played with, and come to know, many of the genre's greatest contributors, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington. Peterson chronicles his storied career in A Jazz Odyssey: The Life of Oscar Peterson.



Organized chronologically, A Jazz Odyssey takes readers through the development of jazz over the course of the late 20th century as seen by one of the jazz world's most celebrated figures. Peterson guides readers through the turbulent 1940s, when he was playing with the Johnny Holmes Orchestra in Montreal, and first met Norman Granz - the jazz producer who would launch his career. With Granz, he joined Jazz at the Philharmonic, playing at Carnegie Hall and touring all over North America. A Jazz Odyssey also brings readers to the birth of the Oscar Peterson Trio - where Peterson would hone his trademark arrangement of piano, guitar, and bass and work with the likes of Ray Brown, Barney Kessel, and Herb Ellis. Peterson describes the endless practice sessions and tireless work ethic that earned the group the reputation of the hardest working trio in the business. He also describes meeting his idol Art Tatum during the 1950s and touring with him in Jazz at the Philharmonic.

A Jazz Odyssey is a revealing, fascinating look inside the career and life of a jazz world luminary.



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This biography tells the story of Bud Powell, one of the most significant pianists of modern jazz in the the style that became bop. He was influential in the 1940s and '50s, but suffered ill health and died aged only 42. Powell's story was subsequently made into the film "Round Midnight".


"The book assumes the reader is familiar with the general history of bebop and figures such as Miles Davis, Diz, Monk, Mingus, Clifford Brown, etc. It was originally published in 1993, so this is a reprint. The book can be read in a couple of days. The research done for the book is good in terms of people who were interviewed. Bud was a genius but a very troubled on. This books explains, sometimes to the point of being painful to read, the details of Bud's mental troubles. It leaves one feeling sad but full of wonder at Bud's extraordinary musical powers and the recorded legacy he leaves for current and future generations. These two books are probably the sum total of all that will ever be known about Bud Powell. Combined with his recordings, especially from the period 1947 to 1953, it is hopefully enough to satisfy the generations as yet unborn who will certainly revere Bud as a great master." -- Robert D. Glover Jr.

"The Glass Enclosure offers a brief biographical sketch of Bud Powell as it traces the artistic triumphs of his early career that turned to tragedy as mental illness, alcoholism, and mistreatment by his handlers all diminished his musical gifts. I Think that the most useful part of the book is the discography. This is presented first as a critical analysis and then as a detailed chronology of Powell's recordings. Together, these two chapters provide a brief but comprehensive survey of Powell's career and are useful to anyone building a collection of his important recordings. The book also pulls together a number of photos of both Powell and the musicians who influenced him..." --S. A. Edwards-Silva

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Synopsis: Buck Clayton, the American professional jazz player, in conjunction with Nancy Miller Elliott has produced an autobiography looking at his life and career. His visits to China and Europe are covered in detail as are his memories of Billie Holiday and Count Basie. Clayton's autobiography also gives a revealing picture of twentieth century American social history.




Legends Of Jazz

Legends Of Jazz (With Ramsey Lewis)

Extraordinary performances from the highly acclaimed jazz TV series!
This dynamic CD/DVD collection features riveting performances by some of the biggest stars of the hit jazz series presented on one of the most dazzling audio/visual recordings of the decade. LEGENDS OF JAZZ marks the first time in over 40 years that jazz has been the focus of a network television show bringing to life America’s most masterful art form.

The collection consists of DVD's and an audio CD, both featuring 13 unique performances from the highly acclaimed LEGENDS OF JAZZ television series hosted by Ramsey Lewis. All performances from HD masters are presented in 16 x 9 widescreen featuring Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Special DVD features include Customize Your Own Playlist, Photo Gallery, Artist Biographies, Web Links and more.

Volume 1      Volume 2

                                                     $ 24.98                                                         $ 24.98

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Legends of Jazz Showcase      Legends of Jazz Showcase

                                                  $ 24.98                                                         $ !9.98

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Talking Jazz

The ultimate gift for the ultimate jazz fan!

New from musician, author, journalist Ben Sidran, Talking Jazz includes an eighty page booklet with essays from writers, critics and musicians, classic photos from Lee Tanner, and 24 compact discs featuring conversations with 60 jazz greats, recorded during a five year period for Sidran’s award winning NPR program "Sidran On Record".

Ben Sidran is also the author of several books, including the critically acclaimed 2003 memoir A Life in the Music.



Talking Jazz Book

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For more information visit:


"It doesn't just capture history… it is history"—Michel Contat, Telerama, Paris

Listen to Audio Clips from Talking Jazz  here!


Retail price: $299 + S/H For a limited time only - Special pre-release price: $249 + S/H

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PLUS! A very limited edition of TALKING JAZZ, the coffee table art book with 40 selected conversations and dozens of photographs. Retail price: $59 + S/H Special pre-release price: $39 + S/H

Collector editions of this
classic coffee table book are now available!

Recorded in this book are fifty conversations with musicians such as Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, Jay McShann, Red Rodney, Frank Morgan, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Jackie McLean, Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, Phil Woods, Johnny Griffin, Pepper Adams, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Keith Jarrett, George Benson, Wynton Marsalis, Jack DeJohnette, Don Cherry, Steve Gadd, and club owner Max Gordon. Also included is a rare interview with recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder. Each of the fifty conversations conducted by author-musician Ben Sidran is illustrated with two duotone photographs of the featured musician.

Hardcover (9.5" x 12.25"). 210 pages.

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Wynton Marsalis


Be prepared to enter a sanctuary of jazz with this production of, "In This House, On This Morning", recorded live in July 1992 at Munich Philharmonic Hall during the Munich Piano Summer. The Wynton Marsalis Septet takes jazz to a whole level of creativity and sound with their divine and inspired performances.

Following the structure of a customary African American Sunday service - right up to the dinner feast - the band lays out each number with the same passion and conviction. Even the song titles reflect the influence and connection between a profound religious moment and a powerful musical one. Soaring and upbeat one minute, meditative and melancholy the next, it isn't exactly gospel truth, but their music is undoubtedly a revelation.

A one-time trumpet prodigy whose skills with jazz and classical music would later establish him as one of the true legends of his generation, Wynton Marsalis arrived on the scene in 1982 to launch a jazz revival that eventually found him the first jazz musician ever to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. For this performance, Marsalis and his skilled Septet use the structure of an African-American church service to explore the remarkable connection between music and worship. With songs that include "The Lord's Prayer", "In the Sweet Embrace of Life", "Holy Ghost", and "Pot Blessed Dinner", this inspired performance truly offers a unique and uplifting listening experience. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

DVD  $24.95

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Music Products

Sunhawk.com is now FreeHandMusic.com


MusicPad Pro with Stand      New Pricing    MusicPad Pro with Stand  

   MusicPad Pro Plus Features

An easy to use sheet music reader in a handy tablet size.

Store your entire music library.

You can easily scan your existing sheet music into the MusicPad Pro.

Allows you to annotate and make color notes directly on the music page.

Simple pull-down menus.

MAC and PC compatible.

MusicPad Pro Plus Specs
• Size: 13.3" x 9.9" x 1.8" (just over 4 lbs.)
• Easy-to-read, low glare, touch screen
• 12.1" TFT LCD back-lit, color display eliminates need for external music stand lighting
• Resolution: 1024 x 768
• 64MB Flash memory, 128MB RAM
• 64MB Flash memory module
• Video out
• Audio out
• AC power and rechargeable battery
• 2 USB ports (1 host, 1 device)
• Built-in jack for foot pedal
• Store your entire music library
• Download over 90,000 digital music scores already formatted for the MusicPad Pro Plus from www.freehandmusic.com
• Scan your music library into a computer and then convert
• Fully annotative with zoom in and zoom out feature while writing
• Add or erase rehearsal marks and notations
• Easy-to-read personal on screen color notes
• Extensive library of notation symbols
• Text annotation via a virtual keyboard
• Half-page turn option for look-ahead viewing in portrait mode
• Two-page display in landscape mode
• Remote easy page turning
• Audio Player for MIDI
• File browser and quick search
• Expanded play list capability
• 1-year limited warranty

Now only $899.00  (You can pay with credit card in 3 easy installment payments!)


Need Accessories?

To purchase Freehand Products visit here!

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