The History of Jazz

30 01 2014

historyjazzThe history of jazz is a long, often-told story for which there are quite possibly over a hundred books. Here at the ARC, we have cataloged more than one thousand books that make reference to jazz in one way or another.

In 2011, Oxford University Press published the second edition of a book suitably titled “The History of Jazz,” written by Ted Gioia. At 388 pages (not counting notes, indexes, etc.), it is a very comprehensive story of jazz: how it was invented and developed; how it went through different phases of popularity; how it grew; how it fragmented into disparate styles; and finally, the state of jazz today.

Having been an avid listener of jazz since the late sixties and having read many books and liner notes dealing with the subject, it can be said that, for the most part, Gioia gets it right. He tells all the key stories and recites all the biographies of jazz’s most important artists in an interesting and concise manner that keeps the story moving at an even pace. Gioia knows his subject well, and he explains it all with the enthusiasm and care that the subject deserves. Indeed, if you read this book, you will find yourself wanting to listen to the recordings that he mentions on nearly every page. Perhaps in the future, books like this will be coupled with a website where referenced recordings may be sampled by the reader. This would make it much easier for the attentive reader to understand what the author is discussing.

However, Gioia gets two things wrong: one is rather major; the other is admittedly nitpicking on the part of this reviewer.

Jazz began splitting apart in several styles most apparently during the forties. Traditional, Dixieland-style had become a cult. Swing was still the thing. Modern styles like bebop and chamber jazz were being played in the clubs. Gioia notes all of this. What he does not note is that rhythm & blues (thus, rock ’n’ roll) also developed out of the swing tradition. The most notable artist (not mentioned at all in “The History of Jazz”) is Louis Jordan. Jordan was an alto saxophonist and singer with the great orchestra led by the influential drummer Chick Webb. After splitting from Webb, Jordan’s small combo recordings were immensely popular and became the template for practitioners of jump blues, and subsequently rock ’n’ roll. The most obvious example would be Bill Haley and His Comets, which is basically a hillbilly act trying to be Louis Jordan and His Tympani Five. Other examples of rock ‘n’ roll having been an offshoot of jazz include Big Joe Turner, who sang with Art Tatum; and Johnny Otis, who drummed behind Lester Young.

Indeed, Gioia’s knowledge of rock music seems to be lacking in other aspects, also. It is more likely that he does not care for it. When discussing jazz styles, particularly fusion’s mix of jazz and rock, the subject of The Brecker Brothers comes up. On page 331 Gioia states that Randy Becker “had played on the first Blood, Sweat & Tears album…” (a fact) but on the next page, when discussing the jazz-influenced horn section of the rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears, he states, “…recording of Billie Holiday’s ‘God Bless the Child’ from their debut album…” The song was actually on B,S&T’s second album, possibly confused by the fact that its title was eponymous.

As stated earlier, this latter beef is nitpicking. The former beef, however, is one that is rarely mentioned in jazz histories, as if the authors do not want jazz to be held liable for what passes for rock music in the 21st Century. One can not blame them, but it should be noted here that jazz is even more directly responsible for a phenomena that is even worse than contemporary rock music: smooth jazz!

In all, Ted Gioia’s Second Edition of “The History of Jazz” is a wonderful read. Gioia’s love of the art form is infectious and reading it will send you to where ever you get your music from these days (record store, online store, youtube, etc) to listen to the titles he discusses. It will also send you to the bookstore to read more about the many fascinating characters a tome like this can only allow a few paragraphs to: Jelly Roll Morton, Art Tatum, Benny Goodman, Billy Holiday, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell… way too many to list here!

If you only read one book on jazz in your life, this would be a good one. Read the book. Dig the music.

For more on the author, check out his website: http://tedgioia.com/

Fred Patterson, Head Archivist, ARC

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SUNDAY – Final Day of ARC’s Holiday Sale

14 12 2013

Sun Dec 15 – Outside it looks like this…D+Kwinter13Inside it’s warm and colorfulpunchbowl– not only records, but lots of lovely housewares from donated estates like this “Slick and Fancy” Jeannette glass punchbowl set with enough cups to egg-knock over your whole family.

Great stuff, good people, all to help support the not-for-profit ARChive of Contemporary Music.  More vinyl and CDs than we’ve had in years – all genres and formats – 45s, LPs, CDs, cassettes, books, posters, DVDs, VHS, magazine and a vintage flea market + yard sale! An incredible collection of punk/new wave 45s + LPs, 3 big boxes of Christmas LPs, 12″ singles and sound effects for sampling.

SUNDAY SPECIALS – all $1 + $2 items, half off. THEN take 10% off the final total if you buy 10 items or more. more info : 212-226-6967   Please tell all your friend about our sale and help support the ARC!





The Wine Is Gone, but We Still Have Plenty of Records

6 12 2013

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Archivist Quinn MacRorie pictured before the start of our sale.  Notice the custom ARC wine label courtesy City Winery!

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After the ARC Party, no more wine, but we still have lots of great stuff on the wall!

Last night’s members party at the archive was a great success. As you can see from the “After” picture, all of the excellent LPs displayed on our wall before the party started were snatched up by our record-hungry attendees. Fortunately, we have plenty of other excellent selections to replace them, all of which will be available for purchase when our sale officially begins tomorrow at 11:00AM. Get ’em while they’re hot!

ARChive of Contemporary Music • 54 White Street in Tribeca.  Sale everyday from Saturday, Dec 7 through Sunday, Dec 15, from 11am to 6pm.  Cash only – all to benefit the library.





ARC Holiday Record + CD Sale! Dec 7 – 15

19 11 2013

home_imageThe LONG wait is over.  More than 20,000 never before offered recordings just in time for the Holidays.  Join us as for one week every December ARC is the largest record store in New York City!

when: Sat Dec 7-Sun Dec 15, everyday 11 am – 6 pm
where: Our Tribeca space – 54 White St, ground floor
directions: 3 short blocks south of Canal St, between Broadway + Church Take the #1 train to Franklin, or any train to Canal
why: To support the preservation and research activities at the ARC
what: 25,000+ recordings-all genres and formats – 45s, LPs, CDs, cassettes, books, posters, DVDs, VHS, magazine and a vintage flea market + yard sale!
specials: This year there is an incredible collection of punk/new wave 45s + LPs, 3 big boxes of X-mas LPs, more CDs than ever before, + a special Lou Reed section. 100s of modern art, experimental + modern Classical LPs – Glass/Varese/Crumb/Carter/Satie.

All recordings never offered before – we start fresh every sale.  All styles of music in all formats. Cheaper than online prices, no shipping costs and cheaper than downloading.

We hope you can lend a hand by making a donation or joining the ARC. Memberships start @ $50 annually + you can join online via our NYcharities.org page (best for matching funds) or through paypal using the button below.

Paper people can always post a donation/membership by mail.

Members attend our pre-sale party on Thurs. evening, Dec 5. Here they can meet fellow ARC supporters, and enjoy food, drink + early shopping.

You can also donate materials. Clean out that closet, check under the bed, un-deck those halls. ARC accepts any and all music related ‘stuff.’ – LPs, CDs, 45s, 8-tracks, books, posters, swag, press kits, memorabilia and ephemera. All contributions are tax deductible.

More than 250,000 recordings are donated to the ARC every year; we sort through these, make sure we have the two best copies in our collection, and sell off third copies. Our sale improves the permanent collection, frees up space and offers everyone a fresh crop of great recordings.

So PLEASE lend a hand – donate, shop and tell folks about our sale! Is that too much to ask?

Contact us if you need more information.
212-226-6967 info@arcmusic.org
ARC: 54 White St, NYC, 10013
Thanks!





Grubby Dub Surfaces

15 07 2013

Everyone knows that ARC has the BEST interns in the American League, and today’s All-Star is Arlo, who, while inspecting classical LPs for surface worthiness, discovered some booklets stuffed inappropriately in inappropriate sleeves.

DubPoet_scan 1smlWho could have have thought to place these very pricey items (going for up to $125 online) into totally trashed Bach variations?  And why did they choose to snack on Jerk Chicken over the only illustrated page of ‘Inglan’?

DubPoet_scanSmiBut we’re glad to have them, and lucky that Arlo checked before he chucked.

If you’ve listened to the recorded versions of Linton Kwesi Johnson’s dub poetry, the righteous rhetoric tempered by tasty licks, you know how glad we are to have found these.  As Wiki claims, “In 2002 he became the second living poet, and the only black poet, to be published in the Penguin Modern Classics series.”

But I prefer the wax.  Here’s a list of the LKJ LP recording here at the ARC.

• A cappella Live  (Lkj, CD 016, 5”, compact disc, 1996)
• Bass Culture  (Island, UK, ILPS 9605, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1980)
• Bass Culture  (Mango, USA, MLPS 9605, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1980)
• Dread Beat An’ Blood  (Heartbeat, USA, 01, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp   , 1981)
• Forces of Victory  (Mango, USA, MLPS 9566, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1979)
• Forces of Victory  (Island, UK, ILPS 9566, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1979)
• In Concert With the Dub Band  (Rough Trade, Rough78/LKJ 006, 12”, vinyl disc-LP)
• In Concert With the Dub Band  (Shanachie, USA, 43034/5, 12″, vinyl disc-2Lp, 1985)
• LKJ in Dub  (Mango, USA, MLPS 9650, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1980)
• LKJ in Dub  (Mango, UK, RRCD 34 / (510 170-2), 5”, compact disc,1980)
• LKJ in Dub Volume 2  (LKJ, UK, LKJ LP 009, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1992)
• Making History  (Mango, USA, MLPS 9770, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1984)
• Reggae Greats Linton Kwesi Johnson (Mango, USA, MLPS 9786, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1984)
• Tings An’ Times  (Shanachie, USA, 43084, 5″, compact disc,1991)

There are a lot more out there – feel free to stuff a few into a Bach folio and send ’em on down to the ARC…





Tutti Fruity Rings of Saturn…

1 07 2013

Today John Schaefer’s show on WNYC ( Soundcheck’s Writers Club: Talking with Authors About Music ) will explore music and literature, and just by coincidence, THIS arrived in the mail today.

Carmen
We’ve added it to our pop music pulp page http://www.ouiouipulp.com/pop_pulp_open.html

I mean how can you NOT love “Carmen Miranda’s Ghost Is Haunting Space Station Three”   Can’t wait for “Jimmy Durante, Vampire From Mars.”





French Girl Paperbacks

28 05 2013

Sure the next ARC sale is looming (June 8 – 16), but does that mean all the REAL fun is over?   Non!   Here’s the latest find from a flea, posted on the French Girl Pulp Page, joining the 66 other lonely and pouting heroines at Oui Oui Pulp.

Streets_Paris_sml








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