As a teenager who was starting to become obsessed with music, Iaccidentally came across this book at my hometown's public library.Looking back, I can't believe my luck. Not only is Visions of Jazz anideal introduction to the music in question, it's an equally idealintroduction to the craft of cultural criticism. Giddins maintains anopen mind without diminishing his discerning ear; he recognizes thatthe critic's role is to report on both what you're hearing and whereit came from. The book is not a linear history of jazz, but acollection of essays on most of its major figures—the format suggeststhat this is a canon that remains subject to revision. The prose,which is not an afterthought, flows with the logic and wit of a greatsolo.