The last few years have witnessed an ermous resurgence in the popularity of jazz, after some lean times in the sixties when many potential jazz fans turned to rock. Now the pendulum is on the backswing, and vintage and modern jazz as well as jazz rock are attracting huge new audiences. One factor involved in the comeback of jazz among blacks and whites alike is the rise of black consciousness, with its search for roots in the American experience. Nat Hentoff's The Jazz Life explores the social, ecomic, and psychological elements that make up the context of modern jazz. Among the jazz greats whose lives and work are discussed are Count Basie, Charles Mingus, John Lewis, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, and Ornette Coleman. Written with intelligence, passion, and wit, this jazz classic is of immense importance to anyone wanting a better understanding of the jazz--or indeed our American life.
Nat Hentoff is the first Jazz critic every named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts.