Books in this online selection represent only a sliver of what we offer in the store. If you've got a particular book in mind and want to check on its availability, call us at 415-362-8193.

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The Anthology of Rap
Adam Bradley, Andrew DuBois
From the school yards of the South Bronx to the tops of the Billboard charts, rap has emerged as one of the most influential cultural forces of our time. In "The Anthology of Rap", editors Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois demonstrate that rap is also a...
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The History of Jazz
Ted Gioia
Ted Gioia's History of Jazz has been universally hailed as a classic--acclaimed by jazz critics and fans around the world. Now Gioia brings his magnificent work completely up-to-date, drawing on the latest research and revisiting virtually every...
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Why Jazz?
A Concise Guide
Kevin Whitehead
What was the first jazz record? Are jazz solos really improvised? How did jazz lay the groundwork for rock and country music? In Why Jazz?, author and NPR jazz critic Kevin Whitehead provides lively, insightful answers to these and many other fascinating questions, offering an entertaining guide for both novice listeners and long-time fans.
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Just Kids
Patti Smith
Just Kids illuminates the impressive lover of literature that Patti Smith is. Her memoir will be of particular interest to City Lights enthusiasts as she is our quintessential reader, a fan of the Surrealists...
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Head Hunters
The Making of Jazz's First Platinum Album
Steven F. Pond
". . . [a] very readable dissection of all the different ways in which Herbie Hancock's 1973 album Head Hunters broke the mould. . . . An entertaining and thought-provoking read." ---Jazzwise Magazine "An important and timely book. Pond's work...
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The Vulture
Gil Scott-Heron
Digging the rhythms of the street, where the biggest deal life has to offer is getting high, this hip, fast-moving thriller relates the strange story of the murder of a teenage boy called John Lee...
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Black Music
LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka)
"Jones has learned—and this has been very rare in jazz criticism—to write about music as an artist."—Nat Hentoff Black Music is a book about the brilliant young jazz musicians of the early 1960s: John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Ornette...
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Hallelujah Junction
Composing an American Life
John Adams
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year A San Francisco Chronicle Notable Bay Area Book of the Year  A book unlike anything ever written by a composer--part memoir, part description and explication of the creative process--Hallelujah Junction is an...
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But Beautiful
A Book About Jazz
Geoff Dyer
"May be the best book ever written about jazz."--David Thomson, Los Angeles Times In eight poetically charged vignettes, Geoff Dyer skillfully evokes the music and the men who shaped modern jazz. Drawing on photos, anecdotes, and, most important, the...
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The Story of a Sound
Ben Ratliff
John Coltrane left an indelible mark on the world, but what was the essence of his achievement that makes him so prized forty years after his death? What were the factors that helped Coltrane become who he was? And what would a John Coltrane look...
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Lady Sings the Blues the 50th Anniversary Edition
William Dufty, Billie Holiday
Lady Sings the Blues is the fiercely honest, no-holds-barred autobiography of Billie Holiday, the legendary jazz, swing, and standards singing sensation. Taking the reader on a fast-moving journey from Holiday's rough-and-tumble Baltimore...
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The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend
Michael Dregni
Django Reinhardt was arguably the greatest guitarist who ever lived, an important influence on Les Paul, Charlie Christian, B.B. King, Jerry Garcia, Chet Atkins, and many others. Yet there is no major biography of Reinhardt.
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Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan wrote Tarantula in 1966. It existed for years only in dog-eared bootleg copies, but was eventually published in 1971. The book captures the tone and spirit of the turbulent times in which it was...
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Bill Evans
How My Heart Sings
Peter Pettinger
Perhaps it was a white jazz musician's need to negate his very ordinary American boyhood, or maybe it was in the genes he inherited from his alcoholic father--no one can be quite sure--but Bill Evans, one of the most influential American jazz pianists...

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