Cover image for Latin jazz : the first of the fusions, 1880s to today
Latin jazz : the first of the fusions, 1880s to today
Roberts, John Storm.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Schirmer Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiv, 306 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


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ML3506 .R63 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Examines in depth the long-standing influence of Latin music on jazz. Details the early influence of Latin styles on the birth of the musical form, and the continuing cross- pollination of Brazilian, Cuban, Argentinean, and Mexican music with American jazz. Profiles such key Latin jazz musicians as Tito Puente, Astrid Gilberto, Chick Corea and others, as well as Anglo and Black musicians who were deeply influenced by Latin music, such as Stan Getz and Dizzy Gillespie. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Accounting for every Latin American rhythm, instrument, song form, and harmony as it arrived in sheet music and recordings of proto-jazz and jazz might be one way to write a dull book. But Roberts, author of Black Music of Two Worlds (2d ed., 1998) and scads of album liner notes, is an enthusiast for his subject, capable of exclamations such as "Until you've heard the Lennon-McCartney `Michelle' done as a rumba abierta, you haven't lived!" Lovers of jazz, the vast range of musics called Latin, and dance music may be assured--this book is never dull. The Latin jazz story is a colorful chapter of the immigrant saga, with Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Haitians, Dominicans, and Brazilians all figuring distinctively and powerfully in it, usually surprisingly early--notice "1880s to Today" in the subtitle. Should Latin jazz nonspecialists think they won't know the music Roberts dissects, well, if they know some of Jelly Roll Morton's, Stan Kenton's, Dizzy Gillespie's, or Stan Getz's best stuff, they will be nose down in this book for days. --Ray Olson

Choice Review

Roberts's knowledgeable exegesis of Latin jazz recordings overflows with details of recording sessions, evocative descriptions of musical style, and interesting tidbits of Latin jazz history--such as how US State Department cultural exchanges fostered Brazilian music in North America and how Latin rhythmic breaks came to substitute for harmonically complex "bridge" sections in jazz. Roberts writes in a hip-connoisseur style (". . . fat, clave-based, bullfrog-bop trombone riffs reproducing a classic piano guajeo. . .") reminiscent of his columns in Rolling Stone and of reviews he wrote for his world music mail-order catalogue. The book is weakest in sociocultural context of the music and the music's meaning for practitioners and audiences (chapters devoted to Cuban influences circa 1950s-60s fail to mention the Cuban Revolution and US embargo, with their profound effects on Latin music). Roberts's broader The Latin Tinge: The Impact of Latin American Music on the United States (CH, Jan'80; 2nd ed., 1999) overlaps significantly with the current volume. The wealth of recording details and the period photographs make this book a valuable resource for fans and collectors of Latin jazz; but for sophisticated analysis, one will have to look elsewhere. G. Averill; New York University

Table of Contents

Introductionp. v
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
1 Much More Than Morton: The First Latin Tingep. 1
2 Tango Land: The 1910s-1920sp. 19
3 Rumbatism: The 1930sp. 39
4 Swing Shift: The 1940sp. 59
5 Mambo Comes to Cubop City: The 1950sp. 85
6 Everything's Coming Up Bossa: The 1960s, Part 1p. 115
7 Come Out Smokin' ...: The 1960s, Part 2p. 133
8 Got That Funky, Funky Feelin': The 1970sp. 156
9 But It Ain't Necessarily So...: The 1980sp. 194
10 Everything is Everything: The 1990sp. 220
Glossaryp. 249
Select Discographyp. 260
Select Bibliographyp. 281
Indexp. 285