Book: Ted Gioia

Ted Gioia: The Jazz Standards: A Guide To The Repertoire (Oxford)

In nearly 500 pages, Gioia covers 254 songs that he considers the core of the jazz repertoire. They include compositions by jazz musicians as well as standard songs. Duke Ellington, of course, fits both categories. In a typical essay of perhaps 500 words, Gioia discusses a song’s and its writer’s history, its musical form and construction and, often, its social and cultural significance. He also recommends important recordings of the pieces. One might quibble about tunes that are left out, but this book is both a valuable research tool and a fine read. That’s a rare and desirable combination.

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  1. SeptemberintheRain says

    I already bought Ted’s book. It’s chock-full of historical anecdotes and information, interesting, insightful and amusing, in short: essential reading about American Popular Song.

  2. Rob D says

    Just started on this one…great read. I’ve had a few email exchanges with Ted and it would be hard to find a nicer and more congenial personality on ye old interwebs.