Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich's list of great books for the Chicago jazz enthusiast.
“A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music,” by George Lewis (University of Chicago Press). In this definitive history, Lewis documents the rise of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, a Chicago-based collective that began to revolutionize jazz in the 1960s — and still does.
“DownBeat: The Great Jazz Interviews — a 75th Anniversary Anthology” (Hal Leonard). Based in Chicago from its inception and now located in Elmhurst, DownBeat has chronicled the evolution of jazz from a distinctly Midwestern perspective; this anthology covers the high points.
“Chicago Jazz: A Cultural History, 1904-1930,” by William Howland Kenney (Oxford University Press). This scholarly tome illuminates a critical but underexamined chapter in the development of jazz: the early years in Chicago.
“Destination Chicago Jazz,” by Sandor Demlinger and John Steiner (Arcadia). What did the early days of Chicago jazz look like? Demlinger's brilliant photographs tell the tale.
“The Velvet Lounge: On Late Chicago Jazz,” by Gerald Majer (Columbia University Press). The title refers to Fred Anderson's indispensable club, while the high-flown prose evokes the virtuosity of jazz made in Chicago.
“The Best of Jackson Payne,” by Jack Fuller (Knopf). Fuller's novel captures the rhythms and obsessions of the jazz life, as well as the rough-and-tumble nature of the Chicago scene.
Read: Howard Reich's list of favorite jazz performances from his new book “Let Freedom Swing: Collected Writings on Jazz, Blues and Gospel” from Northwestern University PressCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun