Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Essential Jazz, 3rd Edition

  • includes CourseMate Printed Access Card and 2-CD Set
  • Henry Martin
  • Keith Waters
  • ISBN-10: 1285749154
  • ISBN-13: 9781285749150
  • 336 Pages | Paperback
  • COPYRIGHT: 2014 Published
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About the Product

A complete jazz chronology, ESSENTIAL JAZZ delivers a thorough and engaging introduction to jazz and American culture. Designed for nonmajors, this brief text explores the development of jazz, from its 19th century roots in ragtime and blues, through swing and bebop, to fusion and contemporary jazz styles. Unique in its up-to-date coverage, one-third of ESSENTIAL JAZZ is devoted to performers of the 1960s through present-day performers. The text's flexible organization and clear, interesting presentation are designed to appeal to students with little or no music background. Accessible, informative Listening Guides provide a rich sociocultural context for each selection, giving both newcomers and aficionados a true feel for the vibrant, ever-changing sound of jazz.


  • Additional music selections broaden students' exposure to various jazz styles.

  • Expanded coverage of sociocultural context gives students a deeper understanding of the music and its significance.

  • Audio Primer is available online (formerly on CD) for greater flexibility; an AP icon in the text alerts students to additional information available through Audio Primer.

  • "What To Listen For" listening guides are less complex and require no musical background; longer listening guides are available online.

  • Complete coverage of jazz music includes jazz fundamentals, African and blues roots of jazz, and all major historical and style periods and genres.

  • Unique photos and images bring jazz and its impact on American culture to life.

  • Generous listening pedagogy, such as the Audio Primer that introduces key terms, basic music concepts, and jazz instrumentation, helps encourage critical listening and aids in student understanding.

  • Two CDs available separately include all music discussed in the text.

About the Author

Henry Martin

Henry Martin is Professor of Music at Rutgers University--the country's only program that grants a degree in jazz scholarship. He has enjoyed a dual career as an award-winning composer-pianist and a music theorist specializing in jazz and the Western tonal tradition. Albany Records released his SELECTED PIANO MUSIC CD in 2010, and in 2004 Bridge Records released his CD PRELUDES AND FUGUES, with Martin performing. He is coeditor of the ANNUAL REVIEW OF JAZZ STUDIES, and his books include CHARLIE PARKER AND THEMATIC IMPROVISATION, COUNTERPOINT, and ESSENTIAL JAZZ: THE FIRST 100 YEARS, 2e.

Keith Waters

Keith Waters is Associate Professor of Music Theory at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has written extensively on jazz improvisation and analysis. A jazz pianist, he has performed in concerts, jazz festivals, and clubs throughout the United States, Europe, and Russia. Prof. Waters has recorded with VSOP Records, and his playing has been a featured topic in JAZZ PLAYER magazine. Among his recent recordings is a Chet Baker tribute with former Baker sideman Phil Urso and West Coast trumpeter Carl Saunders. The current chair of the Jazz Special Interest Group of the Society for Music Theory, he just completed a book on the studio recordings of Miles Davis' second great quintet.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Jazz Basics.
1. Roots.
2. Early Jazz.
3. The Swing Era.
4. The Bebop Era.
5. The Fifties and New Jazz Substyles.
6. The Sixties.
7. Jazz-Rock, Jazz-Funk Fusion.
8. Jazz Since the 1980s.

New to this edition

  • The four-color interior design gives everything a contemporary and exciting look.
  • There is an in-depth Introduction with more help for students on hearing texture and form.
  • New audio selections include: Count Basie's "Every Tub," Duke Ellington's "Ko-Ko," Ella Fitzgerald's "Take the A Train," Weather Report's "Birdland," John McLaughlin's "Phenomenon: Compulsion," Maria Schneider's "Hang Gliding," and Vijay Iyer's "Falsehood."
  • Listening guides ("What To Listen For" boxes) highlight the most important features of each recording.
  • The text offers expanded coverage of crossover developments between jazz and world music.