Jazz: The Basics gives a brief introduction to a century of jazz, ideal for students and interested listeners who want to learn more about this important musical style. The book is organized chronologically, focusing on the major eras in jazz's growth and development. It opens with a chapter defining the musical style, with an overview of the major genres within it. Next, the author gives the beginning jazz fan points on how to listen to and enjoy the music. The heart of the book traces jazz's growth from its folk origins through early recordings and New Orleans stars; the big-band and swing era; bebop; cool jazz and third stream; avant-garde; jazz-rock; and the neo-conservative movement of the '80s and '90s. Key figures from each era--from Louis Armstrong through Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Wynton Marsalis--are highlighted along with classic works. The book concludes with a list of the 100 essential recordings to own, along with a timeline and glossary. Jazz: The Basicsserves as an excellent introduction to the players, the music, and the styles that make jazz "America's classical music."