Jazz Notes
Interviews across the Generations
by Sanford Josephson
June 2009, 207pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-35700-8
$55, £41, 46€, A79
eBook Available: 978-0-313-35701-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Back in the 1920s, Hoagy Carmichael earned both a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from Indiana University. But, for the history of jazz, an even more momentous event occurred there. It was as he walked across the Bloomington campus that Carmichael first whistled the opening eight bars of what became the classic “Stardust.”

Jazz is a vibrant and a living art, and this volume serves to remind us of that fact through interviews with Art Tatum, Maynard Ferguson, Dizzy Gillespie, and Dave Brubeck, along with almost 20 other jazz greats.

Meet the greatest musicians in the history of jazz. From Hoagy Carmichael to David Sanborn, these interviews and their subjects reflect the diverse appeal and deep roots of a truly American art form. Some of the interviews in Jazz Notes: Interviews across the Generations remain intact from their original publication. Others are updated to include conversations with younger artists, influenced by these legends and attempting to carry on their legacies. The interviews range from the 1970s to the present day and are followed by a concluding section that provides perspective from current artists.

In the course of the interviews, the history of American art and culture receives interesting augmentation. Some artists, such as Dave Brubeck and Maynard Ferguson, discuss how they broke through to the top of the pop charts. Of course, many African American jazz musicians endured difficult and demeaning conditions while on the road in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, and their memories of these experiences are a bittersweet counterpoint to remembered triumphs.

Sanford Josephson has written extensively about jazz musicians in a variety of publications ranging from the New York Daily News to American Way magazine. He has served as executive director of the New York Market Radio Broadcasters Association; editor of Television/Radio Age magazine; and editor of the Daily News Record.


"....Josephson has an ability to capture the essence of his subjects in the limited space available to him, and does so in a literate and informative manner. " —Jersey Jazz, November 1, 2009

"This is a collection of profiles unlike any I have encountered in that it both updates interviews done three decades ago and presents interviewees from the perspectives of musical associates or admirers. . . . I enthusiastically recommend this collection because of the author's interviewing skills -- he frequently elicits telling and unfamiliar revelations from his subjects -- and for the variety of views casting light upon those subjects, 22 luminaries of the art form. Josephson clearly has deep feeling for the music and its makers and that feeling comes across on every page."—Jazz Journalists Association News, May 17, 2010

"Jazz Notes is more than just a compilation of interviews with jazz greats. In addition to talks with luminaries like Hoagy Carmichael and Dave Brubeck, it includes updated conversations with those who are still living, as well as musicians who played with or were influenced by them. . . . Throughout the book, Josephson's writing is personal and direct. The reader gets a real sense of who these musicians are (or were) as people, along with their challenges and their triumphs. All of this makes Jazz Notes: Interviews Across the Generations a great read." —All About Jazz, September 12, 2009

"This collection of interviews with famous jazz musicians provides general audiences with new insights into such issues as the difficulties African-American musicians encountered while on the road through the middle of the 20th century, the crossover of jazz into popular music and the passing of jazz traditions to a new generation of performers. Josephson is a noted jazz expert and former editor of the Daily News Record, and he has included interviews he has conducted over several decades with such musicians as Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, Maynard Ferguson and Art Tatum. The author has also added updates to the original articles, especially in cases where the interview subject has passed away."—Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2009
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