“[Gerber] unearths some interesting facts, such as shared cultural experiences of African-Americans and Jews: he notes that African-American singers such as Billie Holliday and Alberta Hunter recorded Jewish songs, and that Louis Armstrong so admired Jewish people that he wore a Star of David around his neck.” —Kirkus Reviews (recommended review)
“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)
“[Gerber] makes a strong, enthusiastic case for Gershwin’s contributions to jazz, something that many jazz historians, according to the author, don’t often acknowledge (“As far as George Gershwin goes—jazz can’t live with him and jazz can’t live without him!”).” —Kirkus Reviews (recommended review)
“It’s interesting to learn that Gershwin’s folk opera, Porgy and Bess, was initially a financial failure, and Gerber also delves into other aspects of Gershwin’s life, including his dietary habits, his relationships with women, and his love for fine art” —Kirkus Reviews (recommended review)
“Rather than taking a dry, academic approach to the subject, Gerber, a musician and natural foods entrepreneur, writes in a conversational, lively, and witty style . . . ” —Kirkus Reviews (recommended review)
” . . . Covarrubias’ vibrant illustrations really enhance the text.” —Kirkus Reviews (recommended review)
“A lively . . . overview of jazz’s origins.” —Kirkus Reviews (recommended review)
Read full review of Jazz America’s Gift on Kirkus Reviews.
Founded in 1933, Kirkus Reviews has been an authoritative voice in book discovery for 80 years. Kirkus Reviews serves book reviews through many venues, including Kirkus.com, giving readers unbiased, critical recommendations.