Read Giants of Jazz by Studs Terkel Free Online
Book Title: Giants of Jazz|
The author of the book: Studs Terkel
Edition: New Press, The
Date of issue: September 1st 2006
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 888 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1031 times
Reader ratings: 6.8
ISBN 13: 9781565849990
Read full description of the books:
This is the first book of Terkel's I've read, as well as his first book. It's a model of clear and effective writing and a loving and reverent portrayal of 13 great jazz musicians. (I admit I skipped the chapter about Woody Herman, since I've never listened to much of his stuff.) The writing level would probably suit a middle-schooler just fine, but that's no insult. In fact, the simplicity of the writing and the relative absence of complicated musicology would make this an excellent read for even the most casual jazz fan, which can't be said of some other books about jazz. The profiles are not overloaded with biographical detail. Terkel breezes through their lives with a remarkably light touch, in each case covering many years in surprisingly few pages but always seeming to hit the important notes.
Terkel illustrates several key points worth remembering about jazz: that it's a music of the people, that came from the people (is this at all the case today? a question worth considering more deeply at some point); that its innovators were truly courageous in pursuing their visions and did not always meet with immediate success (a worthwhile reminder for anyone following a creative pursuit); and that jazz's greatest musicians became such thanks in part to a diet of steady encouragement from the larger jazz community. It's heartwarming to read of the friendships the musicians forged and of their passion for what they created.
I found the book's only weakness to be that the final two profiles, about Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, felt somewhat thinner than the rest. Perhaps this was because Coltrane charted such a different path from the other figures (who range chronologically from King Oliver to Charlie Parker), and at the time Terkel was writing, maybe listeners and critics had not yet come to terms with Coltrane. (Maybe they still haven't.) It might also be that Terkel didn't speak directly with Coltrane. (The book's sourcing is unclear--it's hard to tell when Terkel had actually spoken with the musicians, and when he might have been imagining the details of their childhoods that he relates.) But that's a minor shortcoming when compared with the book's overall accomplishments.
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Read information about the authorLouis "Studs" Terkel was an American author, historian, actor, and broadcaster. He received the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1985 for "The Good War", and is best remembered for his oral histories of common Americans, and for hosting a long-running radio show in Chicago.
Terkel was acclaimed for his efforts to preserve American oral history. His 1985 book "The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two", which detailed ordinary peoples' accounts of the country's involvement in World War II, won the Pulitzer Prize. For "Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression", Terkel assembled recollections of the Great Depression that spanned the socioeconomic spectrum, from Okies, through prison inmates, to the wealthy. His 1974 book, "Working" also was highly acclaimed. In 1995, he received the Chicago History Museum "Making History Award" for Distinction in Journalism and Communications. In 1997, Terkel was elected a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters. Two years later, he received the George Polk Career Award in 1999.
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