In a swinging improvisation with poster artist Paul Rogers, Wynton Marsalis celebrates the spirit of twenty-six stellar jazz performers, from Armstrong to Dizzy — and showcases the same number of poetic forms.
A is for "almighty" Louis Armstrong, whose amazing artistry unfolds in an accumulative poem shaped like the letter he stands for. As for sax master Sonny Rollins, whose "robust style radiates roundness," could there be a better tribute than a poetic rondeau? In an extraordinary feat, Pulitzer Prize-winning jazz composer Wynton Marsalis harmonizes his love and knowledge of jazz's most celebrated artists with an astounding diversity of poetic forms — from simple blues (Count Basie) to a complex pantoum (Charlie Parker), from a tender sonnet (Sarah Vaughan) to a performance poem snapping the rhythms of Art Blakey to life.
Matching Wynton Marsalis's musical cadences note for note is the bold, poster-style art of Paul Rogers, highlighted in two phenomenal foldout spreads. The art's vibrant nostalgic feel is echoed in an exquisite design, with its size simulating an old 78 LP and its endpapers die-cut to mimic a vintage record sleeve. Complete with a discography and brief biographies of the featured musicians as well as notes on the various poetic forms, this is truly an incomparable gift book — for older children learning about jazz, longtime jazz aficionados, lovers of poetry, and readers of all ages who appreciate the finest in book design. Back matter includes biographical sketches, notes on the poetic forms, and information about the author and the illustrator.
About the Author
Wynton Marsalis, trumpeter, composer, and tireless champion of the art of jazz, has been instrumental in bringing the musical genre back to center stage in the United States. The first jazz musician to win a Pulitzer Prize in music — for his epic oratorio on slavery, Blood in the Fields — he has won nine Grammy awards for his jazz and classical recordings, which have sold nearly five million copies worldwide. Wynton Marsalis serves as artistic director for the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center program in New York, where he created the popular series Jazz for Young People. A recipient of numerous awards around the world as well as several honorary degrees, he was named one of America's "25 Most Influential People" by Time magazine. Jazz ABZ is Wynton Marsalis's first book for children.
Paul Rogers has worked as an illustrator for twenty years. An ardent admirer of the great poster artists of the twentieth century, he has created everything from old-fashioned billboard portraits at Dodger Stadium to vintage-style neon signs. A longtime jazz buff, he says that one of the best things about being an illustrator is working on jazz-related projects, including prints and program covers for jazz festivals. Recently he was commissioned to create a limited-edition silkscreen portrait of Wynton Marsalis for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Jazz ABZ is Paul Rogers's first book.
Electric. . . . This is a must for anyone who has ever been drawn to a scat by Ella or a riff from Miles or who has whirled around the dance floor courtesy of Count Basie. The passion for jazz shared by this book's creators emanates from every page - and it's contagious.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Fans of poetry, jazz, and modern art will love this book. . . . Every page is a delight to behold.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
At last: a jazz book that thrillingly, exhilaratingly, palpitatingly GETS it.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
This striking book combines beautiful design, gorgeous illustrations, and remarkably clever text.
—Booklist (starred review)