OFFICIAL HARDBACK EDITION
The author of the magisterial A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers now approaches the great singers and their greatest work in an innovative and revelatory way: through considering their finest albums, which is the format in which this music was most resonantly organized and presented to its public from the 1940s until the very recent decline of the CD. It is through their albums that Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, and the rest of the glorious honor roll of jazz and pop singers have been most tellingly and lastingly appreciated, and the history of the album itself, as Will Friedwald sketches it, can now be seen as a crucial part of musical history. We come to understand that, at their finest, albums have not been mere collections of individual songs strung together arbitrarily but organic phenomena in their own right. A Sinatra album, a Fitzgerald album, was planned and structured to show these artists at their best, at a specific moment in their artistic careers.