Read Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop--A History by Frank Driggs Chuck Haddix Online


There were but four major galaxies in the early jazz universe, and three of them--New Orleans, Chicago, and New York--have been well documented in print. But there has never been a serious history of the fourth, Kansas City, until now. In this colorful history, Frank Driggs and Chuck Haddix range from ragtime to bebop and from Bennie Moten to Charlie Parker to capture theThere were but four major galaxies in the early jazz universe, and three of them--New Orleans, Chicago, and New York--have been well documented in print. But there has never been a serious history of the fourth, Kansas City, until now. In this colorful history, Frank Driggs and Chuck Haddix range from ragtime to bebop and from Bennie Moten to Charlie Parker to capture the golden age of Kansas City jazz. Readers will find a colorful portrait of old Kaycee itself, back then a neon riot of bars, gambling dens and taxi dance halls, all ruled over by Boss Tom Pendergast, who had transformed a dusty cowtown into the Paris of the Plains. We see how this wide-open, gin-soaked town gave birth to a music that was more basic and more viscerally exciting than other styles of jazz, its singers belting out a rough-and-tumble urban style of blues, its piano players pounding out a style later known as "boogie-woogie." We visit the great landmarks, like the Reno Club, the "Biggest Little Club in the World," where Lester Young and Count Basie made jazz history, and Charlie Parker began his musical education in the alley out back. And of course the authors illuminate the lives of the great musicians who made Kansas City swing, with colorful profiles of jazz figures such as Mary Lou Williams, Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Rushing, and Andy Kirk and his "Clouds of Joy." Here is the definitive account of the raw, hard-driving style that put Kansas City on the musical map. It is a must read for everyone who loves jazz or American music history....

Title : Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop--A History
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780195047677
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop--A History Reviews

  • John
    2019-05-07 09:05

    I love jazz and I've long been a fan of KC-style. I was aware of the roster of jazz greats that hailed from KC, and I thought it would be interesting to learn more about its jazz history. This book is, as best I can tell, the only thorough history written on the subject.And it's extremely thorough (although I wish the authors had spent a bit more time on the history of KC jazz/blues from the mid-50s through the present - they glancingly touch on bits of it in the epilogue in an obligatory attempt to bring their history to the present day, but a full chapter to round out the book would have been welcome.) The history is interesting and compelling, so much so that I feel like I should rate the book four stars.That being the case, the writing style is rather basic and the narrative structure is somewhat disjointed. I had difficulty in some sections tracking who and what was being discussed, as each event, band, or person leads to asides about others. The book is organized mainly chronologically, but at times the authors focus on one band over a period of time and then step back to cover other bands from the same period - this intermingling of both chronological and subject organization doesn't always work as well as I would like.This is an essential balancing act that occurs in all written history. Chronology must be maintained so the reader can understand not just when and where things happened, but how all these things interact and influence each other. On the other hand, there are times that individual subjects within a history cry out to have their story told as a cohesive narrative. Every history writer needs to decide when it’s appropriate to interrupt chronology to tell these little stories, and when to break up these stories to maintain chronology. Each writer does it differently, and each subject and audience requires a different balance.I don’t think the authors of this book found the right balance; worse, they’re inconsistent about how they handle it, which led to moments when I expected narrative but got chronology instead, and vice versa. I can't help feeling that a more stylistically accomplished writer could have made this history work to greater effect.As strange as this may sound - the authors have so much information about the history of KC jazz that I felt like they got lost in it, and I got lost with them. That's not so good in a book that's supposed enlighten and guide me through the subject.I'm not accurately capturing my disappointment with this book. As I said, the history is compelling and interesting. And I'm a very willing audience for it! So I expected to get caught up in this book... but I just wasn't. It was, all told, a bit of a slog to get through. I'm glad I did, I like what I learned, but the book never captured me the way I feel it should have.Still, being the only comprehensive history of KC jazz, and being extremely thorough, this book is a must read for anyone interested in the history of jazz.

  • Nick H
    2019-05-12 12:00

    This is a book so tediously researched to get the time-line and facts straight, that it misses the opportunity to spin some great stories into a yarn that they are worthy of. Focusing more on the technical prowess of the folks who make up the history of Kansas City's jazz scene, and less on the trials and tribulations which they all faced at one time of another fighting their way from local stardom, to attempting to achieve national fame. That being said, I swell with pride reading about the unmatched well of talent that came from my hometown less than a century ago, and enjoyed reading how the environment of the political machine coupled with this talent created the perfect storm at the perfect time to earn a spot on the map with the other big three original jazz scenes (New Orleans, Chicago & NYC.) From Bennie Moten to Bill "Count" Basie to Mary Lou Williams, from Coleman Hawkins to Lester Young to Charlie Parker. They're all here and they're all from "Kaycee", the Paris of the Plains. At the very least, I recommend this book to anybody who questions Kansas City's place in the ranks as one of the great american cities of yesterday and today.

  • Hoagie
    2019-04-27 09:49

    This Jazz history is detailed and interesting both as an in depth view of the music scene in Kansas City from 1910 until the late Fifties, and as an insight into the political climate that allowed the music to flourish there. There are quite a few excellent photos of Kansas City during those years from the Driggs collection.

  • Carol Keefer
    2019-05-09 08:05

    I was glad to learn of other African American musicians besides Scott Joplin and some Kansas City history also. In the 1980s, I worked in Boone County, MO and no white people I asked knew who John Boone was although there are lots of historical signs about his birth place and residence near where I was.

  • Sam Stevens
    2019-05-24 06:50

    great information about the history of kansas city, but a bit brick-like

  • Dale
    2019-05-22 07:36

    Interesting book about jazz and the different styles

  • Ladonna Sanders
    2019-05-09 10:41

    Very detailed, which adds interest to those who are familiar with Kansas City. I really got a feel for the era and the industry at that time.