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Why Jazz Happened


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Record Giants Blink 2. DJs, Promoters, and Bebop 3. G.I. Bill and Cool 4. Speed War, Tape, and Solos 5. Suburbia and West Coast Jazz 6. BMI, R&B, and Hard Bop 7. Bias, Africa, and Spiritual Jazz 8. Invasion and Jazz-Pop 9. Alienation and the Avant-Garde 1. Lights, Volume, and Fusion 11. Jazz Hangs On Notes Index

About the Author

Marc Myers is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, where he writes about jazz, rock, soul, and rhythm & blues as well as art and architecture. He blogs daily at, winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's Blog of the Year Award.


"A highly engaging, thoroughly researched book." All About Jazz "'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 "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 "Myers has managed to come up with a fresh take on the [history of jazz's evolution]." -- Willard Manus "Excellent new jazz history... A refreshingly concrete volume on a genre that stubbornly, sometimes proudly, refuses to be defined." The New York City Jazz Record "Why Jazz Happened contains a treasure trove of insider information ... a valuable addition to readings in jazz history." -- Mark C. Gridley Notes

Here, jazz critic Myers tells the story of the development of jazz from 1942 to 1972. The author's focus, in contrast to most jazz history books currently available, is on how sociological phenomena and a variety of complex and intertwined developments in the music industry (e.g., radio, recording companies, the American Federation of Musicians, and performing rights licensing agencies) as well as society as a whole affected and in some cases drove the development of bebop, cool jazz, West Coast jazz, avant-garde jazz, the Afro-centric jazz of the 1960s, and jazz rock. The research is solid, the documentation is strong, the writing style is engaging and readable, and the complex relationships are well developed and explained. Just don't be fooled by the title: this is not a book about the origins of jazz. Verdict A thoroughly compelling study of jazz music and the sociological and economic forces essential to the genre's development from 1942 to 1972. An essential volume for any jazz fan.-James E. Perone, Univ. of Mount Union, Alliance, OH (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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