Texas musicians and jazz share a history that goes all the way back to the origins of jazz in ragtime, blues, and boogie-woogie. Texans have left their mark on all of jazz's major movements, including hot jazz, swing, bebop, the birth of the cool, hard bop, and free jazz. Yet these musicians are seldom identified as Texans because their careers often took them to the leading jazz centers in New Orleans, Chicago, New York, Kansas City, and Los Angeles.
In Texan Jazz, Dave Oliphant reclaims these musicians for Texas and explores the vibrant musical culture that brought them forth. Working through the major movements of jazz, he describes the lives, careers, and recordings of such musicians as Scott Joplin, Hersal Thomas, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Sippie Wallace, Jack Teagarden, Buster Smith, Hot Lips Page, Eddie Durham, Herschel Evans, Charlie Christian, Red Garland, Kenny Dorham, Jimmy Giuffre, Ornette Coleman, John Carter, and many others.
The great strength of Texan Jazz is its record of the contributions to jazz made by African-American Texans. The first major book on this topic ever published, it will be fascinating reading for everyone who loves jazz.
By Dave Oliphant
Dave Oliphant is Editor of The Library Chronicle at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
"A first in its field and long overdue...account of the lives and careers of the principal musicians, singers and pianists from the beginnings [of jazz]...to the present." —Ross Russell, author of Jazz Style in Kansas City and the Southwest