We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Jazz is no more deceased than the perennial writings that debate the issue. In Blues Up and Down: Jazz in Our Time, Tom Piazza compiles his scribblings on the subject from the past 19 years. But rather than being an incisive collection drawn from a wellspring of commentary, Blues dusts off every last morsel from Piazza’s back catalog, regardless of its relevance (such as an unfavorable review of a McCoy Tyner record from 1979 and an unpublished piece on a Club Med jazz festival from 1980). At 194 pages, Blues Up and Down is too slim in both its size and ideas to make a convincing, or even compelling, argument. But Piazza does have a gift for literary prose, a skill he shows to further effect in his collection of short stories, Blues and Trouble. Piazza reads at 7:30 p.m. at Vertigo Books, 1337 Connecticut Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 429-9272. (Christopher Porter)