Monday, February 18, 2008

Nonfiction Monday: Jazz

The 2008 winner of the first Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production is the perfect title for my first Nonfiction Monday post:

Jazz, written by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers, and produced by Live Oak Media.

A marvelous journey through the history of the American musical art form, Jazz combines poetry, illustrations, and musical narration to create an extraordinary listening experience for all ages. The readalong production of hardcover book plus audio CD offers an introduction that provides historical context, seventeen rhythmic poems, a timeline of jazz, and a glossary of terms. Live Oak commissioned original music that supports and extends every word of text and every brilliant illustration. Jazz vocalists James "D-Train" Williams and Vaneese Thomas sing the poems while a jazz ensemble provides authentic riffs. Who knew that a glossary could be read with such soul? Williams and Thomas alternate performances that illuminate the many stylistic variations of jazz, provide biographical sketches of notable performers, and offer homage to the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans. This production is the benchmark for audiobook excellence, providing an aural interpretation that renders the solo print version incomplete. A unique creation that melds music, art, poetry, and song in a notable nonfiction title: Jazz.

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