There is a lot of great jazz being played today, but the kind of songwriting that came out of Tin Pan Alley---and makes up so much of the jazz canon---has all but disappeared. The songs were not only sophisticated, witty, and unabashedly romantic, they were remarkably distinctive one from another. From Rogers and Hart's, My Funny Valentine to Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust, the melodies and lyric lines are unique unto themselves.
JazzBook is about this "swellest" era in songwriting: Blues and the Bebop contains a form of Cajun unknown to any New Orleanian; Without You testifies to one of the great things about America---Brazil is in the Americas; Regular Guy is the only lesbian love song in the history of Big Band music. While the songs of Tin Pan Alley are great, we've tried to leap over Julie Andrews and go straight to Ella---bringing the kind of rhythmic and tonal complexities to the songs that make jazz among the greatest of American cultural creations.
Our world is a mess. Hopefully, The Lost American JazzBook offers a bit of a romantic andswinging respite, and provides a small reminder of just how swell life can be.
Albert Greenberg, Prinicpal Composer