Written by award-winning jazz historian Ted Gioia, this comprehensive guide offers an illuminating look at more than 250 seminal jazz compositions.
In this comprehensive and unique survey, here are the songs that sit at the heart of the jazz repertoire, ranging from "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Autumn in New York" to "God Bless the Child," "How High the Moon," and "I Can't Give You Anything But Love." Gioia includes Broadway show tunes written by such greats as George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, and classics by such famed jazz musicians as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, and John Coltrane. The book offers vibrant discussions of each song, packed with information about how the song was written, who recorded it, the song's place in jazz history, and much more. Gioia includes recommendations for more than 2,000 recordings, with a list of suggested tracks for each song.
Filled with colorful anecdotes and expert commentary, The Jazz Standards will appeal to a wide audience, serving as a fascinating introduction for new fans, an invaluable and long-needed handbook for jazz lovers and musicians, and an indispensable reference for students and educators.
About the Author
Ted Gioia is a pianist, recording artist, and the author of eight books including the award-winning The History of Jazz and Delta Blues.
"Which is best: interpretation or song? In any case, jazz and standards are forever locked in loving embrace. A finely researched work." --Sonny Rollins
"A monument to taste and scholarship" --The Atlantic
"If you look up just one title in The Jazz Standards, before you realize it you will have spent an intriguing hour or two learning fascinating and new things about old songs that you have known most of your life." --Dave Brubeck
"This history is fascinating, a reminder that jazz is at heart a vernacular medium in which the most essential skill for a musician may be the ability to think on his or her feet...What makes 'The Jazz Standards' so engaging is just this sort of anecdotal texture, Gioia's ability to write as an inhabitant of both the tradition and the songs.....to read 'The Jazz Standards,' then, is not unlike listening to Gioia play his way through this music, sharing not just
what he likes (and dislikes) but also what he knows." -- The Los Angeles Times
"This excellent and entertaining resource would be a fine addition to any library's music collection. It serves as an informative guide to the standard jazz repertoire and would be useful for both novices and aficionados of jazz history. Its best place, however, may not necessarily be on the reference shelves but, rather, out for circulation." --Booklist
"This book should be in the library of every gigging jazz musician and every serious jazz fan; to the extent that these 250-plus pieces remain in the repertory, it will be relevant for years to come." --Library Journal
"Warning: this book is addicitive." --Dallas Morning News
"Gioia writes with an endearing blend of erudition and opinionating...that makes the book both a delightful browse and a handy reference and roadmap for jazzophiles." --Publishers Weekly
"What a useful and informative book The Jazz Standards is! Explaining the jazz repertory in a way that is accessible for the jazz beginner yet stimulating for the aficionado, Ted Gioia shows once again why he is one the best jazz writers around today." --Gerald Early, Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters, Washington University in St. Louis; Editor of Miles Davis and American Culture
"It's a book to be browsed and enjoyed at leisure. The facts are illuminating, and so are the opinions....The book is wise, often funny--and it always accomplishes the highest mission of writing about music, which is to send you back to the music with wide-open ears." --Kansas City Star