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Why Jazz Happened Hardcover – December 10, 2012
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"'Why Jazz Happened' Makes Its Points Like a Snazzy Lawyer in the Courtroom: Zip, Zam, Zot. . . . Students and fans of jazz will come away enlightened about a huge part of the jazz story that has been mostly untold, before this otherwise intelligent and well-reported book was published."--Will Layman"Popmatters.com" (02/21/2013)
"A needed historical overview. . . . Myers presents his argument of 'why jazz happened' in a concise, powerfully convincing style. . . . Highly recommended."--G. A. Akkerman, University of South Carolina Upstate"Choice" (04/01/2013)
"Myers has managed to come up with a fresh take on the [history of jazz's evolution]."--Willard Manus"LivelyArts.com" (04/01/2013)
Why Jazz Happened' Makes Its Points Like a Snazzy Lawyer in the Courtroom: Zip, Zam, Zot. . . . Students and fans of jazz will come away enlightened about a huge part of the jazz story that has been mostly untold, before this otherwise intelligent and well-reported book was published. --Will Layman"Popmatters.com" (02/21/2013)"
A needed historical overview. . . . Myers presents his argument of why jazz happened in a concise, powerfully convincing style. . . . Highly recommended. --G. A. Akkerman, University of South Carolina Upstate"Choice" (04/01/2013)"
Myers has managed to come up with a fresh take on the [history of jazz's evolution]. --Willard Manus"LivelyArts.com" (04/01/2013)"
"Why Jazz Happened contains a treasure trove of insider information . . . a valuable addition to readings in jazz history."--Mark C. Gridley"Notes" (06/01/2015)
Top Customer Reviews
So, Why Jazz Happened is a history of jazz, yes; but it is as much a history about American culture told through the story of jazz. West Coast jazz (a favorite of mine), for instance, is largely 'explained' (though Marc Myers is no reductionist) by the housing boom in post-WWII West Coast and the fact that many touring musicians decided to settle there, developing a laid back sound to match the laid back weather and atmosphere. Spiritual jazz (from Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" to Rollins's "Freedom Suite") is argued to be largely an outgrowth of black musicians' disappointment with legal and cultural segregation, and the lack of progress toward equality; many black artists increasingly wrote spiritual-influenced jazz expressing their anger at the present and hope toward the future. Soul jazz (from Lou Donaldson to Grant Green) is seen as jazz musicians' and record labels' attempts to get R&B record buyers to come back and buy jazz records.Read more ›
I believe the true audience for this book is much wider than just those interested in the history of Jazz. The book actually covers social and economic topics such as the advent of the LP and 45rpm records and the business rivalries that led to the emergence of pop, rock and even classical music as an at-home-entertainment industry. This book is probably just as important as an MBA case study as it is to the history of Jazz. Myers' coverage of the GI Bill and how it led to a generation of "schooled" musicians is another interesting social and political phenomenon that is of general interest, and helps explain why there is such a proliferation of music majors even today.
I don't mean in any way to diminish the importance of this book as a history of Jazz. My point is that it is much wider in scope. Myers set out to explain why Jazz happened, and he ended up explaining why the music industry as a whole happened, and the central role America has played in its evolution. A must-read for all music lovers.
often in the Wall Street Journal...but even better is his daily blog JAZZWAX.
Never miss it.
And now we can have a real published book - perfect for reading with Ella Fitzgerald
playing on the stereo and a fire in the fireplace.
Thank you Marc for opening our eyes to so much of this great music. Even if you think
you're not a jazz fan, WHY JAZZ HAPPENED will enlighten you and open up a new world of
Most Recent Customer Reviews
With this title you would expect it to be about the origins of jazz. Unfortunately the focus is long after it was already established. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Chris Chapman
Excellent, well-written, and scholarly. An entertaining read, as well as a serious "treatise" on jazz history.Published 20 months ago by Arnold Gross
Answered many of my questions about the development of the business of jazz.Published 23 months ago by Laurence M. Yorgason
He can write, and what he wrote, is right. Not a bland history, but a lively one. Marc has a blog also, and one of the most contemporary, up-to-date internet site going to be in... Read morePublished on April 29, 2014 by david sleet
A wonderful book. Well written and easy to read. Especially if you are a jazz fan and want to see the development of the art from another perspective.Published on October 30, 2013 by Ron
Too detailed --- I should have just read the Wall Street Journal write-up. it was way too political for me.Published on June 26, 2013 by Ed Seidlinger
The combination of musical, union, competitive-corporate, format and historical influences is not only extremely enlightening but also amazingly well integrated. Read morePublished on May 25, 2013 by Jamguy
This should be required reading for all music fans it provides a historical journey on the history of jazz Americas classical music. Read morePublished on March 31, 2013 by Clifton Warren