Know It All Jazz

The 50 Crucial Concepts, Styles, and Performers, Each Explained in Under a Minute

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Pub Date 03 Apr 2018 | Archive Date 19 Jun 2018

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For non-aficionados, jazz can be slippery and difficult to grasp. Jazz can leave a novice baffled, unsure how to listen, and with the question “How is it that they know what to play?”

Know-It-All Jazz takes readers from the African-American roots and all the way to the global mix of styles and performers in today’s jazz scene. Along the way, it looks at the shape, style, and instruments of the discipline, key personalities and recordings in the jazz canon, and, finally, at what might be expected next from this most diverse of musical forms.

Punchy and engaging entries help readers understand the basics in under a minute, ensuring that this is the ultimate companion for newcomers to the instinctive and diverse world of jazz.

For non-aficionados, jazz can be slippery and difficult to grasp. Jazz can leave a novice baffled, unsure how to listen, and with the question “How is it that they know what to play?”

Know-It-All Jazz...

Marketing Plan

Campaign Focus:
New series from Wellfleet that breaks down subjects in 50 easy to digest topics.
Key Selling Points:

  • Easy and fun way to learn about a specific topic
  • Topics explained in under 1 minute or less

Key Campaign Activity
Publicity focus on pop culture outlets and reviewers
Target traditional trade outlets

  • Series pitch to: Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Shelf Awareness, Booklist, Bookriot, NY Times, Wall Street Journal and NPR.


  • Outreach to top pop culture reviewers and outlets
  • ALA promotion—flyer or postcard announcing the series to librarians—1000
  • GoodReads Giveaways of each title—Giveaways run in April


  • Targeted pitches closer to pub date for the 4 Spring releases to pop culture reviewer, outlets and bloggers including:  Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Mental Floss, Geekscape, Pop Culture Beast, Refinery 29, Wired, Entertainment Weekly, The Observer, etc.
  • Pitch to Food and Wine outlets: Food & Wine, Drinks, Impact, Oregon Wine Press
  • Pitch to music outlets: Music Alive!, DownBeat, Living Blues, Jazz Inisde, Blues to Do
  • Pitch to fashion outlets: Redbook, Real Simple, Seventeen, Discovery Girls, J-14

Campaign Focus:
New series from Wellfleet that breaks down subjects in 50 easy to digest topics.
Key Selling Points:

  • Easy and fun way to learn about a specific topic
  • Topics explained in under 1 minute...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781577151753
PRICE $14.99 (USD)

Average rating from 11 members

Featured Reviews

Brief information to use as a short compendium to begin to know jazz. Not interesting for the long time estimator of the genre, but particularly useful to decide from where to start and where to dig in search of more information. A good beginning.

Un bignamino da usare come inizio per non farsi spaventare dalla vastitá dell'argomento. Non il libro adatto per gli estimatori del genere, ma particolarmente utile per decidere da dove iniziare e cosa approfondire. Un buon inizio.


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The 50 crucial concepts, styles and performers, each explained in under a minute – this is the subtitle of the book “Know-It-All Jazz.” While my personal time took a bit longer (I read the book cover-to-cover in about 100 minutes), one cannot argue against this wonderful idea of small, bite-sized chunks of facts arranged alongside colorful collages of instruments and performers.

This is one of those “coffee table” books that benefits anyone with a few minutes of time on their hands. Most pages can be read quickly, allowing browsers to add to their personal knowledge of jazz. I loved the arrangement, with chapters that examined different jazz eras as well as some of the most influential performers. Sidebars entitled “3-Second Riffs” and “3-Second Improvisations” draw our attention to related information. Folks new to jazz will probably find the chapter glossaries helpful, each one explaining terms that may be unfamiliar.

Editor Dave Gelly kept the reading light and interesting. For instance, one passage told us that “…many jazz drummers borrowed their rhythmic ideas from tap dancing, some performers, such as Jo Jones or Buddy Rich, being adept at both.” Now, that I didn’t know, and it’s just one of many eclectic moments included in “Know-It-All Jazz.” A resource section in the back includes books, websites, and a listing of festivals. The editor has also included an index for our convenience. While not a book intended for those who are already hardcore fans, it is a great intro for anyone with an interest in learning the basics about jazz history. Four-and-a-half stars.

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A good, basic introduction to jazz for anyone who wants to bone up just enough to impress musicians at cocktail parties.

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#KnowItAllJazz #NetGalley #Music #Jazz

A large and wonderful compilation of information about the jazz including the iconic artists, instruments, styles, historical facts and more. Sublime!

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Such a fun book! I found this to be a great intro book to help gain some beginner knowledge on a music genre that I've always been intrigued by. I've always loved jazz, although I've often found myself wanted to more about the genre as a whole. And thanks to this book, now I do! Just as the other "Know it All"" books, the book blurb didn't lie, I was able to soak up this book in less than an hour. What a wonderful idea! i am completely hooked on this series. I want to "Know It All" about everything. Bring on more books!

I have received a much appreciated digital copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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There's some music genres which history is so bast and so interesting that you can just try to know everything about them, the jazz is one of those genres and thi book works perfectly to achieve that goal.

Really recommended to every jazzlover

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This is a great series, and I would definitely buy it for a gift for a music lover. Very informative.

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When the topic of music and the favorites types comes in conversations i always include Jazz. I admit that except for some very famous names, i am ignorant of the basics of this music and i didn't know where to begin in order to learn more.

I was lucky to find this book. In different chapters dedicated to specific topics, the author explains the basic terminology, styles, types, evolution and the most influential figures in the world of Jazz. For someone who is already familiar with the basic of this world, i think the book will seem a bit general, for someone like me though, this is the best starting point.

I'm still far from being an expert of course, and honestly many information just slipped my mind. However, it is a starting point to dive into this amazing world because now i know that Jazz is more than just hearing the Saxophon.
I think the best feature of this book is that gives the reader a base to start from, in listening to the different names, albums and styles mentioned, one can pick what he likes best and from that point a whole world opens up.

If anything, this book made more eager to know about Jazz, and for the past couple of days i have been listening to nothing but some of the tracks mentioned.

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Probably the book I learnt the most from from this Know It All series, but that is solely because it's the subject I knew least about. Although I do enjoy jazz and have my favourites (pretty much only listen to Miles Davis because he is a god!), I did not know anything about the subgenres or vocal groups or even details on how instruments function within jazz compositions.

Anyway, great read! Full of details, but presented in a simple manner, easy to understand.

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This format, for me, is difficult but I found that this "know it all" really worked - perhaps because it didn't condescend? I'd recommend for the younger, burgeoning music lover or for the person that wants to sort of dip in and out of a book when the mood strikes them. A recommend.

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If you would like to learn more about Jazz Music and Musicians this is the perfect book for you. The authors provide short explanations of various styles of jazz and the corresponding musicians. They also provide short playlists. Accompanying the text are photographs. Enjoy

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