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Origins; the Twenties - variations on the New Orleans style; the Twenties - styles other than New Orleans; jazz in Europe; interlude -the influence of jazz on European composers; the Thirties and swing; against the current - traditional survivals and revivals; the transition to modern jazz.
Max Harrison is a musicologist who reviewed for The Times and The Gramophone from 1967-90, has written widely on jazz, and contributed to the 1980 edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and other reference works. Charles Fox (deceased) was a broadcaster and reviewer. He was the host of "Jazz Today," a weekly British radio program. Eric Thacker (deceased) was a clergyman, with a long-standing interest in jazz.
"An immense body of information is packed into the volume, the writing is lucid, literate, and frequently a joy to read, and the discussion builds on itself . . . nothing approaching the compass, balance, and erudition of this volume has been produced this side of the [Atlantic] ocean." Downbeat "All collectors will welcome the meticulous documentation of recording dates, titles, and personnel . . . a valuable addition to jazz criticism, discography and . . . historiography." Popular Music "The Mona Lisa of its genre. To the initiate and novice alike, it provides an enlightened and enlightening overview of the music it surveys. . . . One looks forward to a sequel of like strengths. . . . this book stands on its own as one of the handful in the literature of jazz that can truly be called essential." Annual Review of Jazz Studies