A Child’s Introduction to Jazz: The Musicians, Culture, and Roots of the World’s Coolest Music

Black Dog & Leventhal. Dec. 2022. 96p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780762479412.
Gr 3-7–Early jazz, bebop, jazz fusion, and more are covered in this beautifully and thoughtfully laid-out book. Every page has large full-color illustrations that highlight small orchestras, fashion of the era, lovely rendered images of many instruments, and more. Included are “Listen Along” boxes with QR codes on some pages to hear samples of jazz through the ages. A variety of instruments, bands, and voices are featured on these recordings. Many famous musicians are highlighted, including Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea, and others dating back to early musicians Jelly Roll Morton and Bessie Smith. Musical novelties, the history of select instruments, and tidbits about American history as it relates to music, all give a well-rounded view of jazz. For those so inclined, this book truly does cover “The Musicians, Culture, and Roots of Jazz” as the subtitle advertises. The writing seems a bit elevated for the intended age group, although a precocious reader or an avid jazz fan could likely breeze through this very well-researched book.
VERDICT For those interested in an attractive and comprehensive history of jazz, this book is a must-have.

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