Concise Guide to Jazz

Mark C. Gridley  
Total pages
December 2012
Related Titles


For courses in Introduction to Jazz

An introduction to jazz and how to listen to it
Written by active jazz musician and jazz historian Mark Gridley, the Concise Guide to Jazz was created in response to students and professors asking for a clear and accurate introductory jazz text. This brief text examines how jazz originated, how it is made, what to listen for, and the major style eras. By focusing on just over fifty historical figures, the 7th Edition allows students to understand a broad range of jazz styles without feeling overloaded. Concise Guide to Jazz focuses on the diversity of jazz styles and serves as a basis for further jazz exploration.

Music for this text is available as a playlist on the music streaming service Spotify. Visit the Spotify website and sign up for a free Spotify account using an email address or by connecting with Facebook. You will be able to access the Spotify playlist for this text after your account is set up.


Hallmark features of this title

  • Listening call-outs - Listening suggestions are called out in the margin of the text, encouraging students to study music first hand.
  • Summary - Summaries at the end of each chapter recap important facts, helping readers to focuses on critical information.
  • Key Terms - Bolded and defined in the margin when they first appear, key terms help readers focus on important vocabulary. Key terms are also listed at the end of the chapter they are first mentioned.
  • Further Resources - Concluding each chapter, a list of additional readings and song selections is available for students to expand their studies.

New to this Edition

New and updated features of this title

  • Updated material - The “Music Buying Strategies” appendix has been updated. Recommended further reading, listening, and viewing for every chapter has also been updated.
  • New photos - 19 full-color photographs have been added to this edition.
  • Online listening guides - 12 historic recordings can now be found online for students’ convenience.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: What is Jazz?

Chapter 2: How to Listen to Jazz

Chapter 3: The Origins of Jazz

Chapter 4: Early Jazz

Chapter 5: Swing

Chapter 6: Bebop

Chapter 7: Cool Jazz

Chapter 8: Hard Bop

Chapter 9: Avant-Garde of the 1960s and 1970s

Chapter 10: Fusion

Chapter 11: 1985 to the Present


Dr. Mark C. Gridley is the author of Jazz Styles: History and Analysis, America’s most widely used introduction to jazz. It emerged from the History and Styles of Jazz course that he had developed at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Jazz Styles has been required for jazz history classes in more than 400 colleges and universities. The book has been translated into 5 foreign languages, and its influence and reference value led to Gridley’s listing in Who’s Who in America. A Cleveland-based jazz flutist-saxophonist-bandleader, Gridley has also conducted field research in Africa and the Caribbean. For his studies of jazz popularity, Gridley earned the Distinguished Achievement Award of the Educational Press Association of America. His articles on jazz styles and teaching jazz appreciation appear in the Grove Dictionaries of Music, Encyclopaedia Britannica, The Black Perspective in Music, Black Music Research Journal, The Musical Quarterly, The Instrumentalist, Current Musicology, College Music Symposium, Popular Music and Society, and Jazz Educator’s Journal. His research on perception and preferences in music and art has been published in several scientific journals.

Instructor Resources