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1 Beaverton Music- Jazz

Hotter Than That: The Trumpet, Jazz, and American Culture

by

Hotter Than That: The Trumpet, Jazz, and American Culture Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A swinging cultural history of the instrument that in many ways defined a century
 
The twentieth century was barely under way when the grandson of a slave picked up a trumpet and transformed American culture. Before that moment, the trumpet had been a regimental staple in marching bands, a ceremonial accessory for royalty, and an occasional diva at the symphony. Because it could make more noise than just about anything, the trumpet had been much more declarative than musical for most of its history. Around 1900, however, Buddy Bolden made the trumpet declare in brand-new ways. He may even have invented jazz, or something very much like it. And as an African American, he found a vital new way to assert himself as a man.

Hotter Than That is a cultural history of the trumpet from its origins in ancient Egypt to its role in royal courts and on battlefields, and ultimately to its stunning appropriation by great jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Wynton Marsalis. The book also looks at how trumpets have been manufactured over the centuries and at the price that artists have paid for devoting their bodies and souls to this most demanding of instruments. In the course of tracing the trumpets evolution both as an instrument and as the primary vehicle for jazz in America, Krin Gabbard also meditates on its importance for black male sexuality and its continuing reappropriation by white culture.

 
 
Krin Gabbard is professor of comparative literature and English at Stony Brook University and an amateur trumpet player. He is the author of three previous books.
When Buddy Bolden, the grandson of a slave, picked up a trumpet for the first time, he transformed American culture.  The twentieth century was barely under way, and before that moment, the trumpet had been a regimental staple in marching bands, a ceremonial accessory for royalty, and an occasional diva at the symphony. Because it could make more noise than just about anything, the trumpet had been much more declarative than musical for most of its history. Around 1900, however, Buddy Bolden made the trumpet declare in brand-new ways. He may even have invented jazz, or something very much like it. And as an African American, he found a vital new way to assert himself as a man.

Hotter Than That is a cultural history of the trumpet from its origins in ancient Egypt to its role in royal courts and on battlefields, and ultimately to its stunning appropriation by great jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Wynton Marsalis. The book also looks at how trumpets have been manufactured over the centuries and at the price that artists have paid for devoting their bodies and souls to this most demanding of instruments. In the course of tracing the trumpets evolution both as an instrument and as the primary vehicle for jazz in America, Krin Gabbard also meditates on its importance for black male sexuality and its continuing reappropriation by white culture.

“This is the smartest book about a single musical instrument that I've ever read. Like Miles Davis, who attended Juilliard and apprenticed with Charlie Parker, Krin Gabbard turns his immense learning into lines that are quick, witty, and irresistibly alluring. How did the trumpet emerge as the first-chair instrument in jazz history? What is this beautiful horn's significance as an instrument of desire and romance? A triumph of the new jazz studies, Hotter than That is for all who play music (especially for all trumpeters), and for all who are yearning for an enriched understanding of what and how the music called jazz means.”—Robert G. O'Meally, author of Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday and founder of The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University
“The trumpet is the quintessentially all-American musical instrument—the one whose clarion tones proclaim our national character—and Krin Gabbard's Hotter Than That, an engagingly written, admirably concise study of its place in American popular culture, goes a long way toward explaining why the trumpet and its best-known players have set down such deep roots in our collective imagination."—Terry Teachout
 
“Krin Gabbard's thoroughly absorbing and original account of the trumpet in jazz and American life—written with a disarmingly anecdotal ease that should be the envy of any writer—argues that this ancient brass instrument didn't achieve its true potential until it was taken up by African American musicians in the early years of the twentieth century. His argument is as entertaining as it is unassailable. I learned something from every page.”—Gary Giddins

“What makes Hotter than That such an enjoyable read is that the author does many things very well in a comparatively short space. Hotter than That is a concise contemplation of the jazz trumpet from every angle: technological, cultural, historical, musical, artistic—and even psychological.  For the first time we have a highly-readable survey of the horn by an author who is both a superior researcher and a player himself, who knows the trumpet from the inside out.  Along the way he finds the time to profile the three most notable exponents of the jazz trumpet - Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, and Miles Davis - at length, and to offer autobiographical insight from his own experiences with the horn. It's a fast-paced and rewarding read.”—Will Friedwald, jazz critic for The New York Sun

“Krin Gabbard, a university professor in comparative literary and cultural studies, is also an amateur trumpeter, describing himself as a ‘come-back player. A life-long enthusiast who gave up playing when he was a student, he has taken up the trumpet again after forty years, while writing this fascinating exploration of its history in general and its contribution to American culture in particular. You have to ‘blow to know, he tells us, and Hotter Than That benefits enormously from his account of a personal odyssey to find himself the ideal trumpet and mouthpiece with which he parallels his argument. He may in the process have become, as he describes himself, ‘a hopeless equipment geek but, for his literary purposes, advantageously so . . . Gabbards achievement in Hotter Than That has been to chart this musical and cultural shift in a vivid and engrossing history which along the way incorporates perspectives on politics (racial and gender), literature and film. He is particularly good on the role played by the trumpet in the cinema, how several movies featuring troubled trumpeters make the rather banal connection between failure to hit the high note and sexual impotence, and, much more interestingly, how the trumpets tonal range has been used to convey complex emotional states.”—John Mole, The Times (UK) “Krin Gabbards love of music, his passion for history, and his keen raconteurs voice and ear all combine to create an extraordinary brass fantasia.  In Hotter Than That, Gabbard writes through jazz toward the wonder and complexity of human achievement, and with wit and grace, reminds us that through music, we can discover love, and through love, we discover the world.”—George E. Lewis, Case Professor of American Music, Columbia University

“This is the smartest book about a single musical instrument that I've ever read. Like Miles Davis, who attended Juilliard and apprenticed with Charlie Parker, Krin Gabbard turns his immense learning into lines that are quick, witty, and irresistibly alluring. How did the trumpet emerge as the first-chair instrument in jazz history? What is this beautiful horn's significance as an instrument of desire and romance? A triumph of the new jazz studies, Hotter than That is for all who play music (especially for all trumpeters), and for all who are yearning for an enriched understanding of what and how the music called jazz means.”—Robert G. O'Meally, author of Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday and founder of The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University

"Would jazz exist without the trumpet?  The instrument defines the art, as Krin Gabbard demonstrates in this revelatory book.  His instrument is an uncommonly keen, probing mind, and, with it, Gabbard redefines the art of jazz."—David Hajdu

“As he has done before, Krin Gabbard has written a book with a vision that is neither mine nor anyone elses's. It is more than unique or exotic. There is always substance to his overview and that substance brings authority, whether you agree with his point of view or not. We can say that of only a few of our writers: those who take actual chances.”—Stanley Crouch

"Hotter Than That is a secondary jazz trumpet player's history of jazz trumpet. He writes the way traditional trumpets sound—brightly, clearly and never losing the point."—Jeff Simon, Buffalo News

"The subtitle of Hotter Than That: The Trumpet, Jazz and American Culture, by Krin Gabbard, announces a book of no small ambition. To his great credit, Gabbard pulls it off, and he does it by adopting something of Mark Kurlansky and Macolm Gladwell's macro-via-micro approach. In this case, by focusing firmly on the instrument once employed to herald the presence of kings, but raised to undreamed-of expressive flowering by African American jazz musicians, Gabbard tells a parable of how the new world broke free of the old. Read Hotter Than That and you'll be struck by how music is never just music. You'll also feel an immediate desire to investigate the complete works of Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Borwn, Miles Davis, Art Farmer et al."—Montreal Gazette

"A witty history of the trumpet and the many meanings of its sounds. Gabbard details the instrument's odyssey from its ceremonial origins in ancient Egypt through its provocation of political head-butting within the ranks of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Although the author expertly assesses important technological innovations, cultural events and musical personalities central to the trumpet's long existence, he also thoroughly examines how the instrument's sound, particularly in American culture, has been intertwined with notions about masculinity and race. In the hands of many authors, such a discussion might suffer from political correctness or heavy-handed seriousness, but Gabbard handles the matter with graceful openness and an honest, convincing sense of humor. He narrows his discussion to the trumpet's special role within the cultural history of jazz, beginning with the importance of the high-volume playing of Buddy Bolden and Louis Armstrong and finishing with the softer tones of Miles Davis. He particularly engages during his excursions into the biographies of Armstrong and Davis, two men who changed music in America. Gabbard isn't afraid of touching on their less-than-attractive sides in order to demonstrate that when we fail to acknowledge jazz's unsavory and gritty ingredients, we sacrifice appreciation of its full flavor . . . Gabbard tells the history of his adopted instruments with a historian's rigor and a comedian's wit, scattering plenty of juicy anecdotes throughout. "—Kirkus Reviews 

Review:

"In a pleasing celebration of the 'most difficult of instruments,' Gabbard, a professor of comparative literature and English at Stony Brook University in New York, sheds light on the history of the trumpet. He takes the instrument through the ages from ancient Egypt to the European royal courts, the American battlefield and the 'cutting' contests by bebop jazz musicians. The astonishing stories of Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis — all American originals on the horn — merge with history, art, style and humor as this amateur trumpeter weaves into the colorful narrative large spoonfuls of film and literary references as well as personal observations. Gabbard also lists the long tally of serious physical ailments that dog trumpeters in classical and jazz music. Although this slightly eccentric book meanders a bit, it's never less than engaging and thought provoking in its insights and random chatter." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Gabbard pens a cultural history of the trumpet from its origins in ancient Egypt to its role in royal courts and on battlefields, and ultimately to its stunning appropriation by great jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Wynton Marsalis.

Synopsis:

A swinging cultural history of the instrument that in many ways defined a century
 
The twentieth century was barely under way when the grandson of a slave picked up a trumpet and transformed American culture. Before that moment, the trumpet had been a regimental staple in marching bands, a ceremonial accessory for royalty, and an occasional diva at the symphony. Because it could make more noise than just about anything, the trumpet had been much more declarative than musical for most of its history. Around 1900, however, Buddy Bolden made the trumpet declare in brand-new ways. He may even have invented jazz, or something very much like it. And as an African American, he found a vital new way to assert himself as a man.

Hotter Than That is a cultural history of the trumpet from its origins in ancient Egypt to its role in royal courts and on battlefields, and ultimately to its stunning appropriation by great jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Wynton Marsalis. The book also looks at how trumpets have been manufactured over the centuries and at the price that artists have paid for devoting their bodies and souls to this most demanding of instruments. In the course of tracing the trumpets evolution both as an instrument and as the primary vehicle for jazz in America, Krin Gabbard also meditates on its importance for black male sexuality and its continuing reappropriation by white culture.

 
 

About the Author

Krin Gabbard is professor of comparative literature and English at Stony Brook University and an amateur trumpet player. He is the author of three previous books.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780571211999
Subtitle:
The Trumpet, Jazz, and American Culture
Author:
Gabbard, Krin
Publisher:
Faber & Faber
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Music
Subject:
Jazz musicians
Subject:
History
Subject:
Genres & Styles - Jazz
Subject:
Musical Instruments - Brass
Subject:
Jazz musicians -- United States.
Subject:
Trumpet -- History.
Subject:
Music - Jazz
Subject:
History & Criticism *
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20081028
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes 16 Pages of Black-and-White Ill
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.55 x 5.78 x 1.055 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz » General
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Instruments » Brass
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Instruments » Brass and Woodwinds

Hotter Than That: The Trumpet, Jazz, and American Culture Used Hardcover
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Product details 272 pages Faber & Faber - English 9780571211999 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In a pleasing celebration of the 'most difficult of instruments,' Gabbard, a professor of comparative literature and English at Stony Brook University in New York, sheds light on the history of the trumpet. He takes the instrument through the ages from ancient Egypt to the European royal courts, the American battlefield and the 'cutting' contests by bebop jazz musicians. The astonishing stories of Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis — all American originals on the horn — merge with history, art, style and humor as this amateur trumpeter weaves into the colorful narrative large spoonfuls of film and literary references as well as personal observations. Gabbard also lists the long tally of serious physical ailments that dog trumpeters in classical and jazz music. Although this slightly eccentric book meanders a bit, it's never less than engaging and thought provoking in its insights and random chatter." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Gabbard pens a cultural history of the trumpet from its origins in ancient Egypt to its role in royal courts and on battlefields, and ultimately to its stunning appropriation by great jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Wynton Marsalis.
"Synopsis" by ,
A swinging cultural history of the instrument that in many ways defined a century
 
The twentieth century was barely under way when the grandson of a slave picked up a trumpet and transformed American culture. Before that moment, the trumpet had been a regimental staple in marching bands, a ceremonial accessory for royalty, and an occasional diva at the symphony. Because it could make more noise than just about anything, the trumpet had been much more declarative than musical for most of its history. Around 1900, however, Buddy Bolden made the trumpet declare in brand-new ways. He may even have invented jazz, or something very much like it. And as an African American, he found a vital new way to assert himself as a man.

Hotter Than That is a cultural history of the trumpet from its origins in ancient Egypt to its role in royal courts and on battlefields, and ultimately to its stunning appropriation by great jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Wynton Marsalis. The book also looks at how trumpets have been manufactured over the centuries and at the price that artists have paid for devoting their bodies and souls to this most demanding of instruments. In the course of tracing the trumpets evolution both as an instrument and as the primary vehicle for jazz in America, Krin Gabbard also meditates on its importance for black male sexuality and its continuing reappropriation by white culture.

 
 
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