A Detroit Jazz Reading Room
New Orleans is commonly called the cradle of jazz. The early concentration of the recording industry in New York made that city the capital of jazz. St. Louis, Chicago, Los Angeles and Kansas City are all heralded for their distinctive contributions to the swinging vernacular.
Detroit, too, has played and continues to play an important role. In the '20s it was a nexus for the development of the big band jazz style; in the '50s an exodus of Detroit-grown musicians joined the bebop revolution in New York. Today such Detroiters as Geri Allen, James Carter and Kenny Garrett are among the most widely-praised talents on the scene. Six essays take the story from the 19th Century to today.
Boyd's essays and Bjorn's solo effort first appeared "Detroit Jazz Who's Who" published by the Jazz Research Institute in 1984 and now out of print; the title to Boyd's Black Bottom piece has been changed slightly here. The Bjorn-Gallert essay on the Blue Bird Inn first appeared in 1994 in the official program guide to the 15th annual Montreux-Detroit Jazz Festival. The essays are reprinted with permission of the authors. Heron's piece is new to this exhibit.
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