Jazz is over a hundred years old. Conventional histories briefly mention Buddy Bolden, leader of the first jazz band, but the actual circumstances of its birth are rarely described. Because the only recording made by the band was lost, it has been assumed we can never know how it sounded. The truth is that there were many witnesses to its birth and childhood.
By patiently gathering the many scraps of information left by them, it is possible not only to create a chronological account of its emergence, but also to describe the music itself. Daniel Hardie outlines when, where, and how jazz came into being and who its creators were. All that is left is to recreate the repertoire and performance style of the time.
In 2004, Hardie formed a repertory orchestra to perform jazz as it was played during its first ten years. He describes the research needed to revive the music and how the Buddy Bolden Revival Orchestra was established. He also gives an account of the resulting performances and how they illuminate our understanding of the music itself. His findings are surprising.
The Birth of Jazz is a must for all lovers of jazz.