A comprehensive and interesting study and history of jazz from its origins in Africa. Then he proceeds to discuss its evolution through the ages, from the plantation songs and negro spirituals to the ""blues"", attempting to establish the precise period when jazz as it is known today came into existence. The second half of the book deals with rhythm, instrumentation, harmonies, including the functions of the various instruments used in a jazz band. Throughout he mentions the various composers, artists, and orchestra leaders who have contributed to its development. An informative and complete picture of this type of music, if for a specialized market.