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Music of the African Diaspora #17: The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History, and the Challenge of Bebop

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Music of the African Diaspora #17: The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History, and the Challenge of Bebop Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Bud Powell was not only one of the greatest bebop pianists of all time, he stands as one of the twentieth centurys most dynamic and fiercely adventurous musical minds. His expansive musicianship, riveting performances, and inventive compositions expanded the bebop idiom and pushed jazz musicians of all stripes to higher standards of performance. Yet Powell remains one of American musics most misunderstood figures, and the story of his exceptional talent is often overshadowed by his history of alcohol abuse, mental instability, and brutalization at the hands of white authorities. In this first extended study of the social significance of Powells place in the American musical landscape, Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. shows how the pianist expanded his own artistic horizons and moved his chosen idiom into new realms. Illuminating and multi-layered, The Amazing Bud Powell centralizes Powells contributions as it details the collision of two vibrant political economies: the discourses of art and the practice of blackness.

Review:

"Ramsey's second book (after Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop) aims to understand 'one of jazz's greatest and indeed most mysterious stars' from a variety of perspectives. He takes in bebop — from East to west and back West again — with consideration given to the social, political, and economic contexts of its day, as well as the concept of the free-spirited, convention-defying 'musical genius' (in Ramsey's view 'the ultimate construction of the bourgeois subject'). It is a lot to take on in such a brief book and Ramsey doesn't quite pull it off. His tendency to quote in full — often unnecessarily — and his occasional isolation of mundane details drain energy from his subjects. For instance, the author makes fine observations on how 'the jazz industry' of the '40s and '50s took advantage of Black musicians, but then goes into no further detail about just how Powell's life and work were affected. What starts as an engaging criticism winds down into a pedestrian biographical observation with admirable but unrealised ambitions; it's jarring, and by trying to say a lot, results, inversely, in not saying enough. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

"What happens to a genius deferred? If that genius is Bud Powell, it finds resonance in the prose and cultural exegesis of Guthrie Ramsey, Jr., whose brilliant The Amazing Bud Powell offers one of the most compelling and generative views into this enigmatic giant of Black Modernism."—Mark Anthony Neal, author Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities

About the Author

Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr., is the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Music and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the prize-winning Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop (UC Press).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. “Cullud Boys with Beards”: Serious Black Music and the Art of Bebop

2. Something Else: The Tests and Triumphs of a Modernist

3. Notes and Tones: Black Genius in the Social Order

4. Making the Changes: Jazz Manhood, Bebop Virtuosity, and a New Social Contract

5. Exploding Narratives and Structures in the Art of Bud Powell

Coda: Cultural Validation and Requiem for a Heavyweight

Notes

Selected Bibliography

Credits

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520243910
Author:
Ramsey, Guthrie P
Publisher:
University of California Press
Author:
Ramsey, Guthrie P., Jr.
Subject:
Jazz
Subject:
Music-Books on Piano and Harpsichord
Subject:
Biography-Composers and Musicians
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
Music of the African Diaspora
Series Volume:
17
Publication Date:
20130531
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
7 b/w photographs, 16 music examples
Pages:
254
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.25 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz » Biographies
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Instruments » Piano and Keyboard
Biography » Composers and Musicians

Music of the African Diaspora #17: The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History, and the Challenge of Bebop New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$34.95 In Stock
Product details 254 pages University of California Press - English 9780520243910 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Ramsey's second book (after Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop) aims to understand 'one of jazz's greatest and indeed most mysterious stars' from a variety of perspectives. He takes in bebop — from East to west and back West again — with consideration given to the social, political, and economic contexts of its day, as well as the concept of the free-spirited, convention-defying 'musical genius' (in Ramsey's view 'the ultimate construction of the bourgeois subject'). It is a lot to take on in such a brief book and Ramsey doesn't quite pull it off. His tendency to quote in full — often unnecessarily — and his occasional isolation of mundane details drain energy from his subjects. For instance, the author makes fine observations on how 'the jazz industry' of the '40s and '50s took advantage of Black musicians, but then goes into no further detail about just how Powell's life and work were affected. What starts as an engaging criticism winds down into a pedestrian biographical observation with admirable but unrealised ambitions; it's jarring, and by trying to say a lot, results, inversely, in not saying enough. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
"What happens to a genius deferred? If that genius is Bud Powell, it finds resonance in the prose and cultural exegesis of Guthrie Ramsey, Jr., whose brilliant The Amazing Bud Powell offers one of the most compelling and generative views into this enigmatic giant of Black Modernism."—Mark Anthony Neal, author Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities
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