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January/February 2006

Luke Miner
Paris Jazz: A Guide from the Jazz Age to the Present

For all the furor that followed Ken Burns Jazz documentary, few if any of his critics objected to his setting the narrative exclusively within the borders of the United States. But almost from its beginnings, jazz was of the world, thanks to a burgeoning record industry that was global in scope. That means there is not just one history of jazz but many. As each nation adopted jazz, a new history of the music was born, unique to that country. France has a long history of engagement with both jazz and prejazz forms, and Paris Jazz seeks to tell the story of jazz in France through its clubs and theaters.

The book goes from the Montmartre area, which welcomed jazz musicians at the end of World War I, to Montparnasse, home to both French and American expatriate musicians, then to the area around the Champs-Elysees where Josephine Baker and Dizzy Gillespie made their debuts, and the Saint-Germain region, home to cutting-edge bebop, The tiny book--literally--ends with the clubs of today. Well illustrated, with several rare shots including Charlie Parker at the Club Saint Germain-des-Pres in 1949, this handy guide provides a useful primer to jazz in France.

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