Francis Davis's The History of the Blues is a groundbreaking rethinking of the blues that fearlessly examines how race relations have altered perceptions of the music. Tracing its origins from the Mississippi Delta to its amplification in Chicago right after World War II, Davis argues for an examination of the blues in its own right, not just as a precursor to jazz and rock 'n' roll. The lives of major figures such as Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, and Leadbelly, in addition to contemporary artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robert Cray, are examined and skillfully woven into a riveting, provocative narrative.
"The path the slave took to 'citizenship' is what I want to look at. And I make my analogy through the slave citizen's music -- through the music that is most closely associated with him: blues and a later, but parallel development, jazz... [If] the Negro represents, or is symbolic of, something in and about the nature of American culture, this certainly should be revealed by his characteristic music."
So says Amiri Baraka in the Introduction to Blues People, his classic work on the place of jazz and blues in American social, musical, economic, and cultural history. From the music of African slaves in the United States through the music scene of the 1960's, Baraka traces the influence of what he calls "negro music" on white America -- not only in the context of music and pop culture but also in terms of the values and perspectives passed on through the music. In tracing the music, he brilliantly illuminates the influence of African Americans on American culture and history.
âThe essential history of this distinctly American genre.ââAtlanta Journal-Constitution
In this âexpertly researched, elegantly written, dispassionate yet thoughtful historyâ (Gary Giddins), award-winning author Ted Gioia gives us âthe rare combination of a tome that is both deeply informative and enjoyable to readâ (Publishers Weekly, starred review). From the field hollers of nineteenth-century plantations to Muddy Waters and B.B. King, Delta Blues delves into the uneasy mix of race and money at the point where traditional music became commercial and bluesmen found new audiences of thousands. Combining extensive fieldwork, archival research, interviews with living musicians, and first-person accounts with âhis own calm, argument-closing incantations to draw a line through a century of Delta bluesâ (New York Times), this engrossing narrative is flavored with insightful and vivid musical descriptions that ensure âan understanding of not only the musicians, but the music itselfâ (Boston Sunday Globe). Rooted in the thick-as-tar Delta soil, Delta Blues is already âa contemporary classic in its fieldâ (Jazz Review). 38 illustrations
Praised as "suave, soulful, ebullient" (Tom Waits) and "a meticulous researcher, a graceful writer, and a committed contrarian" (New York Times Book Review), Elijah Wald is one of the leading popular music critics of his generation. In The Blues, Wald surveys a genre at the heart of American culture. It is not an easy thing to pin down. As Howlin' Wolf once described it, "When you ain't got no money and can't pay your house rent and can't buy you no food, you've damn sure got the blues." It has been defined by lyrical structure, or as a progression of chords, or as a set of practices reflecting West African "tonal and rhythmic approaches," using a five-note "blues scale." Wald sees blues less as a style than as a broad musical tradition within a constantly evolving pop culture. He traces its roots in work and praise songs, and shows how it was transformed by such professional performers as W. C. Handy, who first popularized the blues a century ago. He follows its evolution from Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith through Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix; identifies the impact of rural field recordings of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton and others; explores the role of blues in the development of both country music and jazz; and looks at the popular rhythm and blues trends of the 1940s and 1950s, from the uptown West Coast style of T-Bone Walker to the "down home" Chicago sound of Muddy Waters. Wald brings the story up to the present, touching on the effects of blues on American poetry, and its connection to modern styles such as rap. As with all of Oxford's Very Short Introductions, The Blues tells you--with insight, clarity, and wit--everything you need to know to understand this quintessentially American musical genre.
Superbly researched and vividly written, The Devil's Music is one of the only books to trace the rise and development of the blues both in relation to other forms of black music and in the context of American social history as experienced by African Americans. From its roots in the turn-of-the-century honky-tonks of New Orleans and the barrelhouses and plantations of the Mississippi Delta to modern legends such as John Lee Hooker and B. B. King, the blues comes alive here through accounts by the blues musicians themselves and those who knew them. Throughout this wide-ranging and fascinating book, Giles Oakley describes the texture of the life that made the blues possible, and the changing attitudes toward the music. The Devil's Music is a wholehearted and loving examination of one of America's most powerful traditions.
Rhapsody in Blue catapulted George Gershwin into a world-famous career. It brought jazz into the concert hall using a musical language that was fresh, spontaneous, and uniquely American. This edition is based on the piano solo version, first published in 1924 by Warner Brothers Music Corporation. Editorial pedal and fingerings are included.
This book addresses the practice of arts integration using a basic approach for the music and dance classroom. It features 25 themes with music, poetry, dance and visual art activities for preschool through middle school students. It includes:. Lesson examples applicable to students of all ages.. Pedagogical and methodological ideas for teaching music and visual arts.. Games, songs and poems with body percussion and orchestrations for the Orff instrument ensemble..
The opening verse of this latest father/son collaboration probes the very essence of a form--and a feeling; it asks the question that anyone who has sought solace in music can relate to. The pair's first composition wandered through a Harlem collage, depicting "a call, a song, the mood indigo, a language of darkness." This new duet is the blues: verbally and visually, it explores the idiom while exemplifying it. A call and response accompanies each painting. As the journey progresses, the lyrics and art look at loss through the lenses of slavery, poverty, lynching, love spurned, fear of dying and of living. An author's note provides a lucid description of the history, elements, and importance of the blues.
Blues is the cornerstone of American popular music, the bedrock of rock and roll. In this extraordinary musical and social history, Robert Palmer traces the odyssey of the blues from its rural beginnings, to the steamy bars of Chicagoâs South Side, to international popularity, recognition, and imitation. Palmer tells the story of the blues through the lives of its greatest practitioners: Robert Johnson, who sang of being pursued by the hounds of hell; Muddy Waters, who electrified Delta blues and gave the music its rock beat; Robert Lockwood and Sonny Boy Williamson, who launched the King Biscuit Time radio show and brought blues to the airwaves; and John Lee Hooker, Ike Turner, B. B. King, and many others.
"A lucid . . . entrancing study" -- Greil Marcus
"Palmer has a powerful understanding of the music and an intense involvement in the culture." --Â The Nation
Due to numerous piano teacher and student requests, Martha Mier has written Book 5 in her best-selling Jazz, Rags & Blues series. Titles: Blue Interlude * Hot Potato Rag * Jazz Finale * Memphis Blues * Opening Night Jazz * Persnickety Rag * River City Blues * Steamboat Jazz.
"This is a great way for students that aren't keen on classical music to discover an appreciation for the timeless melodies." -Jean Ritter, Progressions