In Experiencing Jazz: A Listener's Companion, writer, teacher, and prominent 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 mere entertainment, jazz provides a pleasurable and sometimes dizzying listening experience with an extensive range in structure and form, from the syncopated swing of big bands to the musical experimentalism of small combos. As Stephans illustrates, listeners and jazz artists often experience the essence of the music together—an experience unique in the world of music.
Experiencing Jazz demonstrates how the act of listening to jazz takes place on a deeply personal level and takes readers on a whirlwind tour of the genre, instrument by instrument—offering not only brief portraits of key musicians like Joe Lovano and John Scofield, but also their own commentaries on how best to experience their music. Throughout, jazz takes center stage as a personal transaction that enriches the lives of the musician and the listener. Written for anyone curious about the musical genre, this book 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."