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Ted Gioia

How to Listen to Jazz

Basic Books

Gioia is a jazz musician, historian and educator, whose book The History of Jazz is a standard work. Like Leonard Bernstein with classical music, Gioia is attempting to take the intimidation out of learning to appreciate the Devil’s Music. This requires some history, but he makes his points painlessly, establishing connections and breaking complex musical ideas into digestible bites. He also has some techniques for listening analytically that, with a little practice, could be useful for any genre of music. Yes, there is a list at the end—”The Elite 150”—but it’s all artists in early or mid-career.

– Bruce Collier
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