First trained as a violinist, then as a composer, André Hodeir began writing about jazz in the 1940s. As editor-in-chief of the French magazine Jazz Hot, he was an early proponent of bebop and its practitioners, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.
Downbeat called Hodeir's first compilation of jazz writings, Jazz: Its Evolution and Essence, "the best analytical book on jazz ever written," and Martin Williams named it and Hodeir's second book, Toward Jazz, "two of the most important critical works ever written on the subject." While Hodeir's ideas sparked widespread debate, his study of jazz improvisation and his use of music theory shed new light on the intricacies of jazz composition and arrangement and helped launch a new era of jazz criticism.
This new volume, which collects pieces from Hodeir's three books of jazz writings—and one new essay never before published in English—will introduce Hodeir to a new generation of jazz enthusiasts and scholars alike, and prove his work to be as relevant today as when he wrote it. Jean-Louis Pautrot's introduction to the book, and his preface to each piece, helps put Hodeir's work in its proper context.
"[Hodeir has] set the highest criteria of jazz writing ever reached."
"Andre Hodeir [is] the French critic whose books set a high intellectual tone for the post-World War II generation of jazz writers worldwide."
—James Wierzbicki, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Hodeir is one of the most brilliant, provocative, and opinionated writers in the history of jazz."
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