"This is the best jazz book in a long time. Many jazz books are promoted as good for the beginning listener and the aficionado; they almost never are. Ted Gioia, one of my favorite music writers, has done it. Choosing over 250 songs, both from the American songbook (Gershwin, Cole Porter, et al) and from jazz composers (Ellington, Coltrane, Monk), he writes a fascinating short essay about each, and lists a dozen or so recommended jazz versions. I’d say that the recommendations alone are worth the price, but then I couldn’t say that about the index, which cross-references every song, every artist, and every composer. And on top of all this, there’s the fun of coming up with which songs you’d argue should have been included. It’s a book that can lead you on an amazing jazz discovery tour."
The Jazz Standards, a comprehensive guide to the most important jazz compositions, is a unique resource, a browser's companion, and an invaluable introduction to the art form. This essential book for music lovers tells the story of more than 250 key jazz songs, and includes a listening guide to more than 2,000 recordings.
Many books recommend jazz CDs or discuss musicians and styles, but this is the first to tell the story of the songs themselves. The fan who wants to know more about a jazz song heard at the club or on the radio will find this book indispensable. Musicians who play these songs night after night now have a handy guide, outlining their history and significance and telling how they have been performed by different generations of jazz artists. Students learning about jazz standards now have a complete reference work for all of these cornerstones of the repertoire.
Author Ted Gioia, whose body of work includes the award-winning The History of Jazz and Delta Blues, is the perfect guide to lead readers through the classics of the genre. As a jazz pianist and recording artist, he has performed these songs for decades. As a music historian and critic, he has gained a reputation as a leading expert on jazz. Here he draws on his deep experience with this music in creating the ultimate work on the subject.
An introduction for new fans, a useful handbook for jazz enthusiasts and performers, and an important reference for students and educators, The Jazz Standards belongs on the shelf of every serious jazz lover or musician.