9780306810343 / 0306810344

The Da Capo Jazz and Blues Lover's Guide to the United States


Publisher:Da Capo Press



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About the book:

Calling all jazz and blues lovers (and that includes those recent Ken Burns-inspired fans): The Da Capo Jazz and Blues Lover's Guide to the United States is for you. With this trove of historical information and fully updated guide to the contemporary jazz and blues scene in 25 US cities and the Mississippi Delta, you can tour the landmarks and visit the legends without even having to leave home (although it's clearly a lot more fun to go). Beginning in New Orleans, where "jass" began, Bird takes you on a tour of such landmarks as Storyville, Lulu White's Saloon, the homes of Fats Domino and Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong Park and Congo Square--one of the only spots in America where slaves were allowed to drum and dance and where experts believe jazz was born. Travelling the country, she stops in places like Kansas City, Missouri which was at the top of the jazz world in the 1920s and 30s. While the Historic 18th and Vine District, where Count Bassie got his start, was largely ignored for years, it has recently been restored and is hopping again with a completely renovated Gem Theatre, the Blue Room Jazz Club, the Charlie Parker Memorial and the American Jazz Museum. In fact, jazz seems to be on the up-swing all over and Bird has the word on recently opened venues in each city as well as more established ones, from which is the most hip, to which jazz and blues artists to watch out for, to the quality of the food. Where did John Coltrane live? Where did Bessie Smith die? Where is Deep Ellum? And where do you find jazz in cities like Dallas where there are no full-time jazz clubs? From decidedly local venues for folks who like their drinks stiff and the stage close to the most commercially successful clubs complete with legendary performers at the bar, it's all here with lots of great quotes to liven it up even further. It's been 10 years since this book was first published and it's still the only book of it's kind. No wonder--it's a hard act to follow. --Lesley Reed

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