• How to Listen to Jazz

  • By: Ted Gioia
  • Narrated by: Peter Ganim
  • Length: 6 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (179 ratings)

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How to Listen to Jazz  By  cover art

How to Listen to Jazz

By: Ted Gioia
Narrated by: Peter Ganim
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Publisher's summary

A "radiantly accomplished" music scholar presents an accessible introduction to the art of listening to jazz (Wall Street Journal).

In How to Listen to Jazz, award-winning music scholar Ted Gioia presents a lively introduction to one of America's premier art forms. He tells us what to listen for in a performance and includes a guide to today's leading jazz musicians. From Louis Armstrong's innovative sounds to the jazz-rock fusion of Miles Davis, Gioia covers the music's history and reveals the building blocks of improvisation. A true love letter to jazz by a foremost expert, How to Listen to Jazz is a must-listen for anyone who's ever wanted to understand and better appreciate America's greatest contribution to music.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Ted Gioia (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"A radiantly accomplished writer.... Gioia conveys his passion for the music with vivid description and shrewd judgements." ( Wall Street Journal)

"Mr. Gioia could not have done a better job. Through him, jazz might even find new devotees." (Economist)

What listeners say about How to Listen to Jazz

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    4 out of 5 stars

Kind of useless as an audiobook.

Unlike the book I just finished about classical music, this audiobook has no music. Descriptions of what I should be hearing would be very useful if I had a PDF that I could go to afterwards. The PDF included with this one gives a list of artists, but no references to what was discussed in the book, or where I could go to in the book to find it again. So essentially what you get is a lot of verbal descriptions of songs.

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21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not really a "how to"

This is more of a history than a guide to listening. Goia's histories are good.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved everything about the material in this book!

The history, advice, and interpretations were all expertly helpful. I did wish there was access to the Pdf of present and future jazz greats.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect for a jazz newbie

I know next to nothing about jazz, so picked up this book after a recommendation from someone else. I found it to be an excellent overview of jazz with great narration by a jazz cat. I would highly recommend this book to provide some basics concerning the different varieties and history of jazz music.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a must for any Jazz listener

I absolutely loved it listening to the Arc of the explanation I was able to recall my own experience listening to all of these great artists

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • ms
  • 08-25-22

Solid Introduction

This book is a solid introduction to listening to Jazz. I know a little music theory and can play a couple of instruments badly. I wish there was something that had just a little more of a technical aspect to it, which I believe Mr. Gioia could easily provide. His book about Jazz Standards is also good as a reference when listening or playing.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A great book

A great review of the genre, including a discussion of form and major innovators and deviants. Useful even to an intermediate musician just getting into playing jazz. It's easy to get lost, but this book serves as a simple and effective anchor.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent work

An important book that actually teaches listening strategies. passionately read. a must read for anyone who is interested in getting into jazz.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love Jazz, now I understand why!

I have been listening to jazz for many years now. I even write about local jazz musicians to promote their performances. I loved the way Ted Gioia treated his presentation. His vocabulary is rich and evocative. His enthusiasm infectious. His rich knowledge enviable. Listen. You will be happy you did.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Was expecting more actual music

Seems like there is little point for this being an audiobook. No actual music is contained herein. What a waste of the format

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