Download the first chapter of Wynton’s new book

Posted on August 26th, 2008 in Books | Tags: blues, geoffrey ward, moving to higher ground, new orleans, swing

Wynton’s new book, entitled: Moving to Higher Ground: How can Jazz change your life will be in stores on September 2, 2008.
Feel free to download the first chapter of the book (PDF – 78 kb) as free sample.

Discuss about the new book in this special thread on Wynton’s forum.

Table of Contents

“Now That’s Jazz”

Discovering the Joy of Swinging (page 3)

Speaking the Language of Jazz (page 21)

Everybody’s Music: The Blues (page 47)

What it Takes – and How it Feels – to Play (page 63)

The Great Coming-Together (page 87)

Lessons from the Masters (page 109)

That Thing with No Name (page 157)

Wynton’s letter to readers of the new book.

Dear Reader:

When I first decided to become a musician, at the age of 12 or 13, inspired by my father, and by the New Orleans jazz tradition, I was under the impression that I had only to learn the fundamentals of music—rhythm, melody, harmony, texture—to progress as a musician. What I didn’t know then was that over the next three decades, jazz music would teach me many significant things about living. This book is my attempt to share some of the things I’ve learned through jazz about life.

Jazz can help us realize the potential of ourselves and of our country. We hear a lot these days about how important it is for Americans to come together. Well, we’ve been doing that on the bandstand for more than a century. Jazz was integrated long before Jackie Robinson made it to the Majors. It is the unique American music form. It can help us, personally and collectively, to move to higher ground. It proves many working metaphors for successful contemporary democratic engagement.

Central to the music of the great jazz musicians I write about in MOVING TO HIGHER GROUND: How Jazz Can Change Your Life, is the importance of being yourself—of prizing those things that make you unique and that express the truth of who you are—while recognizing the importance of listening to and responding to that same truth from other people. Without that kind of reciprocity, swinging, on stage or in everyday life, is impossible. With it, however, our collective creativity will assuredly take on all types of unimaginable and exciting new forms.

Jazz gives us soulful insights into history and the human condition. The blues, a universal musical form, was born to heal. Jazz helps you find, or hold on to, the proper balance between your right to have things your own way and your responsibility to respect others, while working with them to improvise toward a common goal. Jazz also demonstrates that great art can be for everybody. It’s both down-home and sophisticated. It deals with elite ideas but is not elite. I have written this book because I believe jazz can change your life, as it has changed mine.

I hope you will read MOVING TO HIGHER GROUND: How Jazz Can Change Your Life – and let me hear from you.

Yours in the spirit of swing,
Wynton Marsalis