Welcome to a new episode of The Book Report presented by The Millions! This week, Janet discusses a book about jazz. As the great Louis Armstrong once said, “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know. Ha ha ha ha ha! I’m just kidding. Jazz is a performance-based musical genre that originated in the African-American communities of the early 20th century, and is marked by syncopated beats and, frequently, improvisation.”
Discussed in this episode: But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz by Geoff Dyer, confusion, cross-genre literature, the meaning of life, fancy
writer switches, aircraft carriers, flying at night, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, sadness, pain, and heroin. Oh, and jazz!
Rejected as a musical accompaniment for this episode: Mike’s original jazz composition, “In a Bookish Mood,” performed entirely on the kazoo and theremin, two instruments Mike does not know how to play.