Gary Giddins, Weather Bird: Jazz At The Dawn Of Its Second Century (Oxford). I take my time getting through Giddins’s big compilations of his columns, reviews and essays. This one was beside my bed for a couple of years. I savored it a piece at a time, enjoying insights like this about Erroll Garner: “Two things invariably keep the train on the track. First, he swings hard enough to allay reservations; if he has charge of your foot, he can get to your mind. Second, and more impressively, he improvises with a matchless lucidity that allows people who glaze over at the thought of improvisation to follow Garner’s most fanciful inventions.” And this, in a chapter called “How Come Jazz Isn’t Dead?”: “For half a century, each generation mourned anew the passing of jazz because each idealized the particular jazz of its youth.” Or, as Woody Herman, surveying the crowd at a dance he was playing, told me, “These people haven’t listened to anything new since high school.” Giddins, as they say, gets it.