Library Ed. Blackstone Audio 2003
CS ISBN $44.95 Six cassettes
CD ISBN $56.00/ $15.95(R) Seven CDs
MP3-CD ISBN $24.95 One MP3-CDs
In this idiosyncratic introduction to jazz, John Szwed’s tone is refreshing--he’s not ideological (jazz writers have a tendency to be dismissive of certain styles or artists), he recognizes that jazz didn’t end in 1960 (see Ken Burns), and his notes on landmark recordings are concise gems. Grover Gardner’s reading is entirely competent, but he’s like a pianist with great chops and no swing. To be fair, he’s hindered by the book’s disorganized structure and by the editorial decision to include the CD catalog numbers in the narration. A more creative production would have brought out the strengths of this book. D.B. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine [Published: APR/MAY 04]
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