What Jazz Is

I found What Jazz Is, which I borrowed from the library yesterday, to be a quality introduction to jazz. Written by jazz pianist Jonny King, it was steeped in firsthand knowledge of the genre, and also a humbleness and enthusiasm that made the reading not only informative, but entertaining.
As a jazz neophyte, I approached this book with a lot of appreciation for jazz, but not a great deal of technical or historical knowledge of the genre. The book provided both of the latter in abundance. In easily digested portions, pieces of the jazz genre were explained, from the improvisational and “swing factor” roots to the various instruments, important players and subgenres. With such a wealth of diversity and history, it was surprising that so much could be conveyed while still only showing the the most general review of the genre.
I’ve certainly come away with and even greater appreciation and understanding of jazz. Perhaps not a book for seasoned jazz enthusiasts, this is undoubtably valuable to newcomers in the world of jazz. It’s an excellent starting point that will leave you excited to experience the many flavours of jazz.

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