Skip to Main Content
MSU Logo

Jazz: Staff Recommendations

A guide to research materials for the serious jazz scholar as well as books, sound recordings, and videos for the jazz enthusiast.


Chet Baker: The Missing Years

"A natural storyteller in the oral tradition, [author Artt Frank's] gifts at dialog and narrative shine in this new book, except here the tale is true and the material is from Artt's exciting and heart-rending years with his jazz brother, Chet Baker. Artt knew Chet's jazz life. He lived it with him, on and off the bandstand."

-- Drummer Kevin Rabbas, author of Bird's Horn and Sonny Kenner's Red Guitar

Analyzing Jazz: A Schenkerian Approach

Music theorist Steve Larson sketches out Schenkerian-style graphs of five recorded performances of "Round Midnight" (two by Thelonious Monk, one by Oscar Peterson, and two by Bill Evans).

Video Pick!

The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith

New York City, 1957-1965...raw, uncensored jazz.

Interested? You can find this video in the Browsable DVD area...look for call number DVD ML3508.8.N5 J39 2018!

You'll need to take the DVD case to the main-level Circulation/Information Desk so that staff can place the DVD into the case and check it out to you.


Sonata for Alto (or Baritone) Sax by Phil Woods

This piece has undergone several transformations since its Carnegie Hall premier in 1962 under its original title: Four Moods for Alto Sax, Piano, and String Bass. Woods composed the work for saxophonist Victor Morosco, and in 1972 Morosco requested a revision that would eliminate the string bass part (no reflection, I'm sure, on bassist John Beal's 1962 performance!). A third edition, the one we have in the library, was published in 1997 by Advance Music, and includes performance notes by Victor Morosco. There are many opportunities for improvisation and embellishment  by the performer throughout the four movements.