Jazz ABZ: An A to Z Collection of Jazz Portraits by Wynton Marsalis and Paul Rogers

Summary: Ages 9 & Up–Fans of poetry, jazz, and modern art will love this book. With Marsalis handling the words and Rogers the graphics, they have created an illustrated catalog of great jazz innovators from A (Louis Armstrong) to Z (Dizzy Gillespie). Large, colorful, LP-size paintings of the forefathers and mothers of jazz face cleanly printed, sometimes shaped poetry. The stylized artwork is gorgeous, evoking the spirit of pop art, Blue Note album covers, and 1920s advertising art. Particularly eye-catching are the images of Thelonious Monk (an homage to early-20th-century food-label graphics) and Eubie Blake (with hands and a keyboard integrated into the poem), but every page is a delight to behold. Although Marsalis includes 27 different poetic forms, his poems move along similarly at the pace of a drum solo. The selections are visual, but work best when read aloud like slam poetry, beat poetry, or hip-hop. Particular highlights are a playful Miles Davis selection and a challenging performance poem for Art Blakey. In addition to the information about the musicians embedded in the poems, short biographical sketches are included. This uncommon alphabet book will delight readers and deserves a place in most library collections.–Steev Baker, Kewaskum Public Library, WI Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Unique Features: A great alphabet book for older students' libraries. This text contains biographies of jazz musicians and the illustrations are presented in unique art deco format. Great to use in a study on jazz music and African American heritage.


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