Author, A Concise History of Jazz published by Mel Bay.
Paperback, £10.50. ISBN 0-7866-4983-6 Visit

"This book is an enjoyable, light read. It manages to live up to its title and not bog the reader down with too much depth or background information while still being thorough enough to be considered as a text for a jazz history course. As a matter of fact, whether or not it was the author's intention, I believe this is where A Concise History of Jazz will find its greatest market.

The book stays interesting and maintains a light and easy tone while taking the reader from the roots of jazz in slavery, through all the major developments and artists of the swing, bebop and cool eras, up to Wynton Marsalis and the neo bopsters. While I would still have enjoyed a bit more on the jazz artists of the past twenty years, the book certainly does a better job of addressing post-John Coltrane jazz than, say, a certain filmmaker's PBS documentary. The book does make an interesting comment about modern jazz by discussing the insurgence of jazz education in colleges across the country and the contributions, along those lines, of such individuals as Jamey Aebersold.

Another interesting feature that I enjoyed quite a bit was the "Why Was (blank) Important?" section, which was highlighted in each chapter. These short sections provided relevant insights into the contributions of such masters as Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and the rest of the usual suspects.

Author John Robert Brown obviously has a good grasp on the subject matter and his facts are correct and relevant to providing a thorough but concise history of jazz, its contributions and contributors. If you don't know much about the history of our music, are looking for a light read, or are involved in jazz education, you should examine A Concise History of Jazz and see if it might be what you are looking for."

Reprinted from Jazz Improv Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 2. Visit Jazz Improv Magazine Online

"The laudable aspects of the book are many...a book of rare insight and educative value." - Luke Harley, Music Teacher.

"A clever and entertaining a gift for a relative or friend who looks like they might just get the bug, this will do fine." - John Truitt, Jazz Review.

"Very readable...wealth of information...exhaustively researched...makes the history of jazz seem alive, and something which may be relevant to us, rather than dry academic posturing." - Richard Ingham, Clarinet and Saxophone Magazine.

"An excellent ideal for the classroom as it is for the casual, interested listener." - Stuart Nicholson, Jazzwise.

Author, A Concise Guide to Musical Terms, published by Mel Bay.
Paperback, £10.50. ISBN 0-7866-4984-4 Visit

"Editor's Choice." - Richard Edwards, Clarinet and Saxophone Magazine.

A Concise History of Jazz and A Concise Guide to Musical Terms are available from the author. Price £10.50, each plus £1.50 postage and packing within the UK. Overseas purchasers please email for details. Send a cheque or money order payable to 'John Robert Brown', to: John Robert Brown 25, Park Lane Mews Roundhay Park Lane, Leeds LS17 8SN, UK

Author, How to Play Saxophone, St Martin's Press, New York.
ISBN 0-312-30049-2 Visit St Martin'

Author, Le Saxophone Sans Professeur,
Purchase from Amazon

Author, Jazz Trumpet Volume 2: Miles Davis,
Purchase at Musicroom

Clarinet and Saxophone Magazine: Browse back issues

John's writing has appeared in:
The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer, BASBWE Journal, Blue Band, Classical Music, Crescendo, Double Reed News, Libretto, Jazz Journal, Jazz Review, Melody Maker, Music Teacher, Piano Monthly (Japan), Quest (The Journal of the Queen's English Society)

INTERVIEW with Randy Brecker and Wynton Marsalis.

Academic papers have been presented in London, and twice at major music education conferences in New York.

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