“Using a variety of bibliographical sources, Gerber paints a vivid picture of jazz’s roots in slaves’ spirituals and minstrel shows; the music’s popularity in the Storyville section of New Orleans; and the emergence of Louis Armstrong.” —Kirkus Reviews (recommended review)
Music is both a unifying force and a deeply personal expression of the self. Over the millennia, melody and lyrics have served as a multilayered mode of storytelling and expression of joy, sorrow, and hope. For America, no other musical style is quite so adept at this than jazz. Jazz: America’s Gift delves into the rich and storied history of American jazz–from its roots in early American folk song and the blues into the sound and splendor of the Jazz Age. Not just another history book, Jazz: America’s Gift is a unique and engaging exploration of the musical styles, traditions, innovations, and incredible talents that shaped jazz, and exposes how jazz itself shaped America’s history, bringing the country closer together.
George Gershwin Embodies the Mood and Music of the Jazz Age
No figure embodies the mood and music of this time like George Gershwin, a Jewish American musical dynamo whose Rhapsody in Blue would become one of the most widely known compositions to come out of this time. Using song titles as markers along the path of Gershwin’s life, author Richie Gerber tells the evocative, often joyous, and sometimes heart-wrenching story of this often misunderstood genius. Gershwin’s life story is elegantly framed within the larger narrative of the rise of jazz music, with an attention to detail that makes the words leap off the page and music sound in your ears.