In August, saxophonist and educator Loren Schoenberg’s The NPR Curious Listener’s Guide to Jazz will hit stores. While it’s not the first of its kind, or even the 900th, the Curious Listener’s Guide provides an introduction for those not familiar with America’s classical music.
The book is divided into eight chapters, including “What Is Jazz?,” “The Story of Jazz,” “Varieties of Jazz,” “Jazz Deconstructed,” “The Musicians,” “The Music,” “Jazz on CD” and “The Language of Jazz.” Also included are a “Resources for Curious Listeners” appendix and a foreword by Wynton Marsalis.
While Schoenberg’s selection of important musicians and recordings is sure to elicit debate, he concedes “it becomes nigh well impossible to set a rational limit on how many entries to include in a chapter such as this. No matter where it ends, there will always be people left out who seem to ‘trump’ others who made the final cut.”
JazzTimes made the final cut in his roundup of magazines and Web sites covering the music, and Schoenberg had this to say about us: “Though there are the short puff pieces that reek of promotion, they will still, on occasion, print extended and substantive ones, but these remain the exception rather than the rule.” Hey, thanks. I think.
Naturally, all the institutions Schoenberg works for and all of his buddies get raves in the book. Talk about puff pieces.
For more information, go to www.npr.com or www.penguinputnam.com.