Experiencing Jazz: A Listener's Companion.pdf
Michael Stephans, Ph.D., is currently in residence at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches writing. An award-winning poet, writer, and jazz journalist, he often writes liner notes and promotional material for such luminaries as Bennie Maupin, Bob Brookmeyer, Darek Oles, and Bob Florence. Stephans is also a prominent jazz musician, and has performed and recorded with a wide array of jazz artists.
In Experiencing Jazz: A Listener's Companion, writer, teacher, and renowned jazz drummer Michael Stephans offers a much-needed survey in the art of listening to and enjoying this dynamic, ever-changing art form. More than a mere entertainment, jazz is a pleasurable and sometimes dizzying listening experience, with an extensive range in structure and form, from the syncopated swing of a big band to the musical experimentalism of the small combo. As Stephans illustrates, listeners and jazz artists face their musical challenges together, an experience nearly unique in the world of music. Experiencing Jazz demonstrates how the act of listening to jazz inevitably takes place on a deeply personal level. Stephans then adventurously takes readers on a whirlwind tour of the genre, instrument by instrument, offering along the way not only brief portraits of key musicians but commentaries by them on the art of performing. Throughout, jazz takes center stage as a distinctly human art, a type of personal transaction through music that enriches the lives of the musician and the listener. Written for anyone curious about jazz, Stephans encourages further reading, listening, and viewing, helping potential listeners cultivate an understanding and appreciation of the jazz art and how it can help-in drummer Art Blakey's words-"wash away the dust of everyday life."