Donald Dietz

“You can’t tell the history of jazz in America without also telling the history of jazz from Detroit,” says Mark Stryker. “Those two things are indivisible.”

David Katzenstein / Courtesy of the artist

Editor's Note: Jazz From Detroit, which publishes this July on the University of Michigan Press, is the result of many years of firsthand research by Mark Stryker, a former music critic and arts reporter for the Detroit Free Press. A substantial portion of the book consists of insightful artist profiles — covering everyone from composer-conductor Gerald Wilson to trumpeter-educator Donald Byrd to the esteemed Jones Brothers (Hank, Thad and Elvin). At the heart of the book is an assertion that pianist Kenn Cox once uttered in Stryker's presence: "Jazz wouldn't be the same without Detroit."

Paul Moore / Blue Note Records

Saxophonist Dave McMurray says that every time he hears an instrumentalist from Detroit, it feels like they’re singing.

The Motown native knows this feeling. He grew up with it, eventually bringing his own versatility to gigs with B.B. King, Herbie Hancock, Johnny Hallyday, Gladys Knight, Nancy Wilson and Geri Allen. This was all in addition to being part of Was (Not Was), whose bassist and cofounder, Don Was, is now president of Blue Note Records.

Think of summer and you think of escape. It’s built into the architecture. Hot sun, summer in the city, escape to the beach, escape to the Cape. And go to the movies to escape the escape.

How about escape the cops? Traditional summer escape movies have crashed and burned by the dozens this summer.