From Library Journal
Gioia, founder of Stanford's jazz studies program, provides a fresh view of West Coast jazz during its heyday. Avoiding the hackneyed debate over West Coast cool versus East Coast bop, he emphasizes the variety in West Coast jazz in chapters about such talents as cool trumpeter Chet Baker, the muscular-sounding Dexter Gordon, the classically oriented Dave Brubeck, innovative bandleader Stan Kenton, and avant-garde hornman Ornette Coleman. The author attributes this West Coast diversity to the urban sprawl of Southern California and to supportive jazz clubs, critics, and such record companies as Fantasy, Contemporary, Capitol, and Pacific Jazz. Basing his account on numerous interviews, Gioia offers the first comprehensive history of postwar West Coast jazz, which should quickly become a standard. Recommended for general and scholarly collections in American music.- David Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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"A book that desperately needed to be written and has turned out to be a surprise landmark and masterpiece." -- Bruce and Joel Klauber, Jazziz
"Gioia writes with the musical knowledge of a jazzman and the immediacy of a reporter, in language that has a casual grace." -- Bill Kisliuk, San Francisco Review of Books
"Ted Gioia is very much a West Coast jazz partisan, and his informed enthusiasm and wide-ranging research make West Coast Jazz a highly rewarding and arguable book. . . . Makes a large, disparate, unruly subject not only coherent but also intriguing." -- Chicago Tribune
"While the requisite space is devoted to such cool icons as Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker, Gioia also takes an expert, often iconoclastic look at the careers of other West Coast jazz men, both well-known and obscure. . . . Anyone looking for a basic history of the California scene should start with this smart, opinionated book." -- Chris Morris, Billboard