An acclaimed music scholar presents an accessible introduction to the art of listening to jazz

In How to Listen to Jazz, award-winning music scholar Ted Gioia presents a lively introduction to one of America’s premier art forms. He tells us what to listen for in a performance and includes a guide to today’s leading jazz musicians. From Louis Armstrong’s innovative sounds to the jazz-rock fusion of Miles Davis, Gioia covers the music’s history and reveals the building blocks of improvisation. A true love letter to jazz by a foremost expert, How to Listen to Jazz is a must-read for anyone who’s ever wanted to understand and better appreciate America’s greatest contribution to music.

“Mr. Gioia could not have done a better job. Through him, jazz might even find new devotees.” — Economist

What's Inside

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"Mr. Gioia could not have done a better job. Through him, jazz might even find new devotees."Economist
"How to Listen to Jazz is an effort to teach casual listeners how 'careful listening can demystify virtually all of the intricacies and marvels of jazz.'"—New York Times
"How to Listen to Jazz fills an important and obvious gap by offering a sensible and jargon-free introduction to what Gioia calls 'the most joyous sound invented during the entire course of twentieth-century music.' The book deserves a place alongside such classic works of jazz criticism as Martin Williams's The Jazz Tradition, Will Friedwald's Jazz Singing, the books of Gary Giddins and Gioia's own The History of Jazz."—Washington Post
"[How to Listen to Jazz is a] satisfying new book.... One of the best features of the book is a set of 'music maps,' as Mr. Gioia calls them, that serve as a guide to individual recordings."—WallStreet Journal
"His prose is brisk and well-paced, with many surprising insights along the way.... It's also a lot of fun, and before long you're no longer just a listener but an active participant in the music."—WashingtonPost
"How to Listen to Jazz is a packed and useful introduction to the medium with suggestions and aids for the listener who wants to gain entrance to a rich and complicated body of work."—WeeklyStandard
"How to Listen to Jazz is a thorough, impassioned guide to a sound that tends either to inspire deep, almost religious devotion or cause eyes to go crossed...[Gioia] elucidates the music in a way that increases the listener's sense of awe and wonder, rather than supplants it."—ColumbiaDaily Tribune
"Gioia's engaging yet authoritative style makes How to Listen to Jazz not just a valuable primer but a delight to read."—CityJournal (online)
A perfect begin an understanding of a music that is, in truth, very, very easy to love."—BuffaloNews
"How to Listen to Jazz is a fresh, clearly written and infinitely usable book that should put the jazz novice on track."—LibraryJournal
"A pretense-free primer on learning to appreciate jazz.... Curious neophytes can start here."—Mojo
"As jazz enters its second century, becoming more multi-faceted apace, guidance for the novice--listener or musician--is more useful than ever, and Ted Gioia offers it expertly, in blessedly readable prose."—Dan Morgenstern, Director emeritus, Institute of JazzStudies and author of Living withJazz
"This book does what so many have tried to and failed: it teaches without preaching and empowers the reader to search for their own understanding and preferences. It's a welcome and needed addition to everyone's bookshelf."—Wayne Winborne, Executive Director, Institute of JazzStudies
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Meet The Author: Ted Gioia

Ted Gioia is a music historian and the author of eleven books, including How to Listen to Jazz. His three previous books on the social history of music—Work Songs, Healing Songs, and Love Songs—have each been honored with the ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award. Gioia's wide-ranging activities as a critic, scholar, performer, and educator have established him as a leading global guide to music past, present, and future.

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