Books by Roxane Orgill

JAZZ DAY by Roxane Orgill
Released: March 8, 2016

"Teachers, librarians, jazz-loving families: take note. (author's note, thumbnail bios, note on the photograph's influence, source notes, bibliography) (Poetry. 8-13)"
In 21 poems, Orgill introduces Art Kane's iconic 1958 Harlem photograph to young readers, spotlighting many of the 57 jazz musicians pictured. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2008

"Effectively captures the rhythm and the zeitgeist of a special time and place not so long ago."
ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award-winning music critic Orgill celebrates the Depression's big-band soundtrack. Read full book review >
FOOTWORK by Roxane Orgill
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

Focusing on Fred and Adele's childhood and acts, Orgill chronicles the siblings' hard work as child dancers on the vaudeville and small-time music-hall circuits. Interesting details—such as the break taken so that the younger Fred could catch up with Adele's physical development—are delivered in engrossing, if occasionally inelegant prose. ("The children went to school. For the first time, Fred sat at a desk in a classroom smelling of chalk.") The narrative concludes by touching on Fred's success as a solo artist and film star, as his and Adele's paths diverge after 30 years as a duo. Jorisch's digitally enhanced, mixed-media illustrations feature delicately inked line and a color palette evoking vintage costumery—a lovely approach for spotlighting both the dancers on stage and the architectural details of early-20th-century cityscapes. The handsome layout alternates pages of text facing bordered illustrations, with bordered text blocks against full-bleed double spreads. Pair this with aural and visual treats from the performers' stellar careers. (selected bibliography of adult titles, selected discography, suggested films, television, website) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

Music critic Orgill shares her love of music with her choice of women who influenced the music of their contemporaries and their successors, selecting the women according to her own aesthetic and experience in the music business. She highlights women who were "terrific" singers, who took charge of their lives and their careers, and who had an interesting story to tell. Each singer represents the decade in which she did her best or most prolific work. Sophie Tucker, Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ethel Merman, Judy Garland, and Anita O'Day represent the past. Joan Baez, Bette Midler, Madonna, and Lucinda Williams are singing today. Each chapter includes basic biographical information, anecdotes that illustrate the qualities that make each singer memorable, and descriptions of the singers' unique musical attributes. Historical photographs illustrate the text. Teens will relate to the inclusion of facts in sidebars such as "What Madonna Wore." We learn that Ethel Merman looked for bargains in everyday dress but splurged on a mink-trimmed chartreuse evening gown. Orgill also notes what the singers earned and how that compared to average salaries at the time. In "What's New, " Orgill details the changes in recorded music from the 12-inch record introduced in 1902 to the digital videodisc of 1997. Missing, however, is the development of music on the Internet. Other sidebars bring attention to musical styles or to noteworthy musical events of each period. Also included is a discography and bibliography. A lively, informative, and enthusiastic title. (Nonfiction.12+)Read full book review >