This book, first published in 1982, shows that jazz and blues are music forms that are about individualism, experiment, expression and feeling. From their origin in the work songs and spirituals of America’s southern slaves, through to their adaptation to the urban adaptation to the urban environment in Chicago and New Orleans, the author details the social and economic background that saw the birth of the blues and jazz, and introduces and appraises their leading exponents. He shows how African rhythms were combined with an American musical tradition to produce a distinctive style which was to revitalise Western music.
1. Introduction 2. The Roots of Black Music 3. The Deep South 4. The Big Move North 5. Depression Years 6. Disturbance at Minton’s 7. The Blues Roll On 8. The Strands Meet 9. Conclusion