Author: Geoffrey C. Ward
Release Date: 2001
Ken Burns and geoffrey Ward bring us the history of the first American music, from its beginnings in Ragtime, Blues and Gospel, through to the present day. JAZZ has been a prism through which so much of American History can be seen - a curious and unusually objective witness to the 20th Century.
Author: Gary Giddins
Publisher: W W Norton & Company Incorporated
Release Date: 2009
A respected critic presents an intellectual history of jazz that explains the origins of the genre within a context of America culture, covering everything from the styles that informed jazz and the heated protests of the avant-garde to its most influential contributors and the radical diversity of today's artists.
Author: David Nicholls
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 1998-11-19
The Cambridge History of American Music, first published in 1998, celebrates the richness of America's musical life. It was the first study of music in the United States to be written by a team of scholars. American music is an intricate tapestry of many cultures, and the History reveals this wide array of influences from Native, European, African, Asian, and other sources. The History begins with a survey of the music of Native Americans and then explores the social, historical, and cultural events of musical life in the period until 1900. Other contributors examine the growth and influence of popular musics, including film and stage music, jazz, rock, and immigrant, folk, and regional musics. The volume also includes valuable chapters on twentieth-century art music, including the experimental, serial, and tonal traditions.
Author: Wynton Marsalis
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2008-09-02
“In this book I hope to reach a new audience with the positive message of America’s greatest music, to show how great musicians demonstrate on the bandstand a mutual respect and trust that can alter your outlook on the world and enrich every aspect of your life–from individual creativity and personal relationships to conducting business and understanding what it means to be American in the most modern sense.” –Wynton Marsalis In this beautiful book, the Pulitzer Prize-winning musician and composer Wynton Marsalis explores jazz and how an understanding of it can lead to deeper, more original ways of being, living, and relating–for individuals, communities, and nations. Marsalis shows us how to listen to jazz, and through stories about his life and the lessons he has learned from other music greats, he reveals how the central ideas in jazz can influence the way people think and even how they behave with others, changing self, family, and community for the better. At the heart of jazz is the expression of personality and individuality, coupled with an ability to listen to and improvise with others. Jazz as an art–and as a way to move people and nations to higher ground–is at the core of this unique, illuminating, and inspiring book, a master class on jazz and life by a brilliant American artist. Advance praise for Moving to Higher Ground “An absolute joy to read. Intimate, knowledgeable, supremely worthy of its subject. In addition to demolishing mediocre, uniformed critics, Moving to Higher Ground is a meaningful contribution to music scholarship.” –Toni Morrison “I think it should be in every bookstore, music store, and school in the country.” –Tony Bennett “Jazz, for Wynton Marsalis, is nothing less than a search for wisdom. He thinks as forcefully, and as elegantly, as he swings. When he reflects on improvisation, his subject is freedom. When he reflects on harmony, his subject is diversity and conflict and peace. When he reflects on the blues, his subject is sorrow and the mastery of it–how to be happy without being blind. There is philosophy in Marsalis’s trumpet, and in this book. Here is the lucid and probing voice of an uncommonly soulful man.” –Leon Wieseltier, literary editor, The New Republic “Wynton Marsalis is absolutely the person who should write this book. Here he is, as young as morning, as fresh as dew, and already called one of the jazz greats. He is not only a seer and an exemplary musician, but a poet as well. He informs us that jazz was created, among other things, to expose the hypocrisy and absurdity of racism and other ignorances in our country. Poetry was given to human beings for the same reason. This book could be called “How Love Can Change Your Life,” for there could be no jazz without love. By love, of course, I do not mean mush, or sentimentality. Love can only exist with courage, and this book could not be written without Wynton Marsalis’s courage. He has the courage to make powerful music and to love the music so, that he willingly shares its riches with the entire human family. We are indebted to him.” –Maya Angelou From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Jeff Farley (Ph. D.)
Release Date: 2008
The aim of this thesis is to investigate some significant examples of the process by which jazz has been shaped by the music industry and government and their ideas of the place of jazz within American culture and society. The examples demonstrate that the history and traditions of jazz are not fixed entities, but rather constructions used to understand and utilise issues of race, national identity, cultural value, and musical authenticity and innovation. Engagement with such issues has been central to identifying jazz as AmericaÂ's music, as it earned this status from its worldwide popularity and its identity as an innovative black American art form. Recognition for jazz as American music, in conjunction with its improvisational nature, consequently led to the identification of jazz as Â'democraticÂ' music through its role in racial integration in America and in its representation of American democracy in government propaganda programmes. The different histories of jazz and its status as democratic, American music have all been especially important to the development of House Concurrent Resolution 57 in 1987, referred to as the Jazz Preservation Act (JPA). Authored by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. of Michigan, the JPA defined jazz as a Â'national treasureÂ' that deserved public support and inclusion in the education system. Few in the industry have criticised the recognition and public subsidy of jazz, but many have found fault with the JPAÂ's definitions of jazz and its history that have dictated this support. While the JPA has essentially continued the practice of shaping jazz through ideas of its place within American culture and society, it has provided immense resources to promote a fixed history and canon for jazz. Specifically, the JPA has promoted jazz as the American music, taking a particular stance on the histories of race and discrimination in the industry and the definitions of authentic jazz that had been sources of disagreement, competition, and creativity since the release of the first jazz record in 1917.
Author: Peter Townsend
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
Release Date: 2000
The family of musical styles known as jazz came into being around 1900 as several popular black musical idioms coalesced. This free-flowing, spontaneous music based in improvisation emerged primarily from ragtime and the blues. But jazz did not remain solely in the domain of American music, for very quickly it swept through virtually all of the national culture as fiction, poetry, film, photography, painting, and classical music came under its spell. If it's art that expresses a nation's essence best, then jazz set America's tempo and afforded an artistic pattern for modernism. In this book for the nonspecialist Peter Townsend shows how during an entire century jazz has appeared in a wide diversity of times and places and in many different cultural settings. He reveals how jazz surfaced early in America's movies (The Jazz Singer, Strike Up the Band, Orchestra Wives, Blues in the Night) and how it became an aesthetic model serious composers (George Gershwin, Aaron Copland) did not miss. Jazz has punctuated literary fiction (Ralph Ellison, Eudora Welty, James Baldwin, John Clellon Holmes, Jack Kerouac, Toni Morrison) and American poetry (William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Percy Johnson). Jazz influenced painting (Jackson Pollock, Romare Bearden, Stuart Davis, Archibald Motley, and Jimmy Ernst), and several photographers have devoted their careers to documenting jazz performers and their music scene (William Claxton, William Gottlieb, Roy De Carava, Carol Reiff). Townsend probes the deep-rooted mythology that holds jazz as indefinable, unteachable, and instinctive with blacks but tough for whites and that its birthplace was New Orleans brothels, that its musicians live tragic lives, and that jazz is dominated by males and despises whiffs of the mainstream. As modernism swayed to the tempos of jazz and adapted to its modes, the once clearly defined lines of demarcation faded and jazz became well established as one of the great musical cultures of the world. Peter Townsend is a senior lecturer in the School of Music and Humanities at the University of Huddersfield in England. Copublished with Edinburgh University Press For sale in the U.S.A., Canada, and U.S. dependencies only
Author: John S. Davis
Publisher: Scarecrow Press
Release Date: 2012-09-13
The Historical Dictionary of Jazz covers the history of Jazz through a chronology, an introductory essay, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 1,500 cross-referenced entries on significant jazz performers, band leaders, bands, venues, record labels, recordings, and the different styles of jazz. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone seeking a broader understanding of the history of jazz and the connections within the genre.
Author: Lawrence Gushee
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2005-05-12
Thanks to the pioneering tours of the Creole Band, jazz began to be heard nationwide on the vaudeville stages of America from 1914 to 1918. This seven-piece band toured the country, exporting for the first time the authentic jazz strains that had developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century. The band's vaudeville routines were deeply rooted in the minstrel shows and plantation cliches of American show business in the late 19th century, but its instrumental music was central to its performance and distinctive and entrancing to audiences and reviewers. Pioneers of Jazz reveals at long last the link between New Orleans music and the jazz phenomenon that swept America in the 1920s. While they were the first important band from New Orleans to attain national exposure, The Creole Band has not heretofore been recognized for its unique importance. But in his monumental, careful research, jazz scholar Lawrence Gushee firmly establishes the group's central role in jazz history. Gushee traces the troupe's activities and quotes the reaction of critics and audiences to their first encounters with this new musical phenomenon. While audiences often expected (and got) a kind of minstrel show, the group transcended expectations, taking pride in their music and facing down the theatrical establishment with courage. Although they played the West Coast and Canada, most of their touring centered in the heartland. Most towns of any size in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana heard them, often repeatedly, and virtually all of their appearances were received with wild enthusiasm. After four years of nearly incessant traveling, members of the band founded or joined groups in Chicago's South Side cabaret scene, igniting the craze for hot New Orleans music for which the Windy City was renowned in the early 1920s. The best-known musicians in the group--cornetist Freddie Keppard, clarinetist Jimmy Noone and string bassist Bill Johnson--would play a significant role in jazz, becoming famous for recordings in the 1920s. Gushee effectively brings to life each member of the band and discusses their individual contributions, while analyzing the music with precision, skillful and exacting documentation. Including many never before published photos and interviews, the book also provides an invaluable and colorful look at show business, especially vaudeville, in the 1910s. While some of the first jazz historians were aware of the band's importance, attempts to locate and interview surviving members (three died before 1935) were sporadic and did little or nothing to correct the mostly erroneous accounts of the band's career. The jazz world has long known about Gushee's original work on this previously neglected subject, and the book represents an important event in jazz scholarship. Pioneers of Jazz brilliantly places this group's unique importance into a broad cultural and historical context, and provides the crucial link between jazz's origins in New Orleans and the beginning of its dissemination across the country.
Author: K. Heather Pinson
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
Release Date: 2010-12-01
Typically a photograph of a jazz musician has several formal prerequisites: black and white film, an urban setting in the mid-twentieth century, and a black man standing, playing, or sitting next to his instrument. That's the jazz archetype that photography created. Author K. Heather Pinson discovers how such a steadfast script developed visually and what this convention meant for the music. Album covers, magazines, books, documentaries, art photographs, posters, and various other visual extensions of popular culture formed the commonly held image of the jazz player. Through assimilation, there emerged a generalized composite of how mainstream jazz looked and sounded. Pinson evaluates representations of jazz musicians from 1945 to 1959, concentrating on the seminal role played by Herman Leonard (b. 1923). Leonard's photographic depictions of African American jazz musicians in New York not only created a visual template of a black musician of the 1950s, but also became the standard configuration of the music's neoclassical sound today. To discover how the image of the musician affected mainstream jazz, Pinson examines readings from critics, musicians, and educators, as well as interviews, musical scores, recordings, transcriptions, liner notes, and oral narratives.