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5.0 out of 5 starsHot and Cool.
Reviewed in the United States on September 29, 2009
I like jazz. I'm not an officianado, but sometimes I like to know what I'm listening to as well as just listening, and Bill Messenger is a jazz messenger. Just as one might turn and tell someone, 'listen to this piece of music,' you will do the same to large portions, if not whole lessons of Messenger's takes. He's so knowledgeable, and is so facile with his material I thought he was a 'cat' even before he revealed his own particular era. He underpins each of the stages of jazz first with simple musical figures he plays live, and then, perhaps, some of the recognizable variations on that figure, and then gives you, not a 'hit' example but one that employs all of what you just heard. His lesson on BeBop is a thing of beauty. You realize how much you recognize of what you've heard. Bill Messenger has done a glorious service to the general appreciation of jazz: I'm a teacher, and this guy is good! He's real good!
Be careful when you order. I had seen this as a CD and thought it would be great for the car. I bought from an Amazon seller for only a few $$ but did not notice it was a cassette tape. Sending it back would cost more than I paid. I have yet to round up a cassette player to listen to it. Just check the format before you order
5.0 out of 5 stars“Life is a lot like jazz... it's best when you improvise.” George Gershwin
Reviewed in the United States on July 30, 2015
1. Plantation Beginnings 2. The Rise and Fall of Ragtime 3. The Jazz Age 4. Blues 5. The Swing Era 6. Boogie, Big Band Blues and Bop 7. Modern Jazz 8. The ABC’s of Jazz Improvisation
I really enjoyed this class as I have always liked Ragtime and Dixieland Bands and as I grew I, loved going to a place in Portland, Oregon called Jazz de Opus where they would have a trio playing or just some classic records that the owner had. Alas, it is no longer in existence so I have to listen at home. Disneyland introduced me to the Dixieland music because they always had a great band playing at one of their restaurants near Frontierland.
Professor Bill Messenger is a musician who opened for Bill Haley and the Comets, played with Cass Elliott and many other musicians over the years before becoming a professor for The Peabody Institute.
Each class is forty-five minutes in length. Prof. Messenger always includes many musical examples, played by him or guests or sometimes pre-recorded. The class is lively and easy for a non-musical person to follow along.
Every class flows by so fast that I began looking for examples of music he talked about so I could continue my education. The only Jazz variant I wasn’t wild about was fusion, which from some of the examples he played seemed just like a lot of noise. No beat, no rhythm and no blues.
I highly recommend this class for anyone that wants to learn more about Jazz and the different versions it has undergone. The Professor makes his class fun and begging for more.
5.0 out of 5 starsSuperb Course On Jazz! Must Listen On Audible!
Reviewed in the United States on July 28, 2018
I really appreciate and enjoy this superb course by Bill Messenger on Jazz. Many musical examples. This course is very well researched and well written. Fun easy and educational course on jazz America's Music,! I recommend this course without qualifications.
Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2013
Not only did I learn a lot, but it was terribly entertaining with many interesting musical samples. I have listened to it over and over again. Before I heard this, I knew I sort of liked old jazz. Now, I love it and seek out performances.