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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.


Zappa and Jazz: Did It Really Smell Funny, Frank? by Geoff Wills (2015)

"I love it....The whole thing is fascinating. I learned so much! Really well-researched and written!"

-- Saxophonist Ed Palermo (whose big band has recorded four albums of Frank Zappa's music)

Chet Baker: The Missing Years by Artt Frank (2014)

"A natural storyteller in the oral tradition, Artt'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

What would it be like to hang out with Miles Davis for a day?

Don Cheadle co-wrote, directed, and stars in this fictionalized account of a day spent chasing down a stolen demo tape. Ewan McGregor co-stars as a music journalist who becomes Davis's sidekick as they become involved in high-speed car chases and gritty drug deals. But the real focus of the film is on the emotional life of Miles Davis during the 1970s, and in particular his stormy relationship with his first wife, Francis Taylor (whose image is featured on several of his iconic album covers).

We have this DVD available for check out on our Browsable DVD Collection shelves!

Other jazz-related feature films in our collection include: Whiplash, Bird, Round Midnight, Born to Be Blue, and Lady Sings the Blues.