PANORAMA OF AMERICAN POPULAR MUSIC by David Ewen

PANORAMA OF AMERICAN POPULAR MUSIC

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As a clear and widely ranging survey of all kinds of American popular music from ballads to jazz, this should have its appeal for the increasing number of people who seriously follow popular music- especially jazz- and hence provide a definite market stability. Mr. Ewen is the author of several books in the field among the latest of which is the Gershwin biography A Journey to Greatness. Though he does not write brilliantly, his style has a steadiness and his material the authority of a devoted student who moves with ease and affection through the various forms of our music and their evolution. Speaking of jazz, he begins with the sociology of Storyville, the roots of ragtime and blues music in Negro spirituals and dances, and the special opportunity created for its playing on the streets and in the call houses and cabarets of New Orleans' famous red light district. When jazz outgrew its cradle the style ventured North at first hesitantly and then with greater daring as W. C. Handy composed The St. Louis Blues and as the spontaneous improvisations of Storyville players became the polished products of Louis Armstrong, Dizzie Gillespie, Bix Beiderbecke and a host of moderns, and the basis for our concert composers, Grofe and Gershwin. The contributions of folk ballads, the economics of Tin Pan Alley and the outgrowths of Swing and Be-Bop are treated with the same discernment.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1957
Publisher: Prentice-Hall