While many books chronicle the history of jazz, few are both designed for classroom use and follow jazz’s evolution to the modern day. But by speaking to the student musician, veteran performer and educator David Lee Fish has created uncommon opportunities for general music teachers to relate the work of the jazz masters, their instruments, and their musical achievements to popular music and today’s jazz styles.
Starting with the origins of jazz, Dr. Fish traces the genre’s history as it evolved from ragtime in the clubs of New Orleans. Each of the book’s 15 chapters covers an era in jazz history by focusing on the people who shaped the music, from Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, and Jaco Pastorius to the greats of today, like Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Pat Metheny, and more. Each chapter also includes a printed music example tracing the evolution of the music, offers suggested listening, and contains a brief list of historical events that helped shape the society in general (making this book a useful text for cross-curriculum study).