In this valuable compendium, Budds critically evaluates the stylistic experimentation which characterized the musical goals of jazz musicians during the complicated, controversial sixties. Rather than merely offering portraits of significant players of the era, he identifies resources and techniques new to jazz or regards those which were reintroduced into a new musical context. To direct the reader to the music itself, he cites eighty-five basic recordings from the period.
For this expanded edition, Budds has added a substantial chapter describing the extramusical content proclaimed by many leading musicians of the day. Jazz as a mode of program music and jazz in the service of social protest and religious expression are documented. In addition, this edition includes an insightful summary of the jazz legacy of the sixties.
"His chronicling of the innovations, instrumentations, tones, colorings and other parts of the music's makeup is quite comprehensive and thorough…he cuts through the era's rhetoric and cant to hear the music with a fresh ear."—Cadence
"I can't help admire the coolness with which he cuts through the tangle of the sixties…it's good and refreshingly precise."—Linnet Evans in Black Echoes