Book Hunters in Brief #71: Jazz Appreciation Month

From the 1920s well into the 1950s, the soundtrack of life in this country was jazz in various forms, and why not? The American Century needed its distinctly American music, and jazz is just that. Its deepest and strongest roots may be in Africa, but it was the intertwining of those roots with European traditions that made jazz what it is. It is the music of the "Melting Pot." For every Armstrong and Ellington there was a Beiderbecke and Goodman. To say jazz is "as American as Apple Pie" is to undersell its American-ness. It could not have come to be anywhere else.

This week, the Book Hunters encourage you and your family to learn a little more about the people who created "America's classical music."

For Kids:

Jazz Age Josephine by Jonah Winter

When Louis Armstrong Taught Me to Scat by Muriel Harris Weinstein

The Cosmo-Biography of Sun Ra: The Sound of Joy Is Enlightening by Chris Raschka

Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum by Robert Andrew Parker

For Adults:

Jazz by Gary Giddins & Scott DeVeaux

At The Jazz Band Ball: Sixty Years on the Jazz Scene by Nat Hentoff

Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker by Stanley Crouch

Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington by Terry Teachout

These books are likely to lead you to other books--to other fascinating characters and eras--and the Book Hunters are here to help you in your explorations. Just tell us what you're interested in and we'll send you a reading road map.