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African American Jazz and Rap: Social and Philosophical Examinations of Black Expressive Behaviorby James L., Jr. Conyers
Synopses & Reviews
Music is an expressive voice of a culture, often more so than literature. While jazz and rap are musical genres popular among people of numerous racial and social backgrounds, they are truly important historically for their representation of and impact upon African American culture and traditions. This collection of essays offers interdisciplinary study of these musical styles as they relate to black culture in America. The essays are grouped under sections. One examines an Afrocentric approach to understanding jazz and rap; another, the history, culture, performers, instruments, and political role of jazz and rap. There are sections on the expressions of jazz in dance and literature; rap music as art, social commentary, and commodity; and the future. Each essay offers insight and thoughtful discourse on these popular musical styles and their roles within the black community and in American culture as a who
Book News Annotation:
Conyers (Black studies, U. of Nebraska, Omaha) provides a chapter on criticism which introduces the theme of the book: that an Afrocentric approach is the most appropriate one for understanding African American culture and tradition. Contributors (all but two are academics, in Black studies, music, musicology, and ethnomusicology) of the remaining 17 papers consider jazz and rap from this standpoint, with topics including jazz antecedents, the jazz style of Blue Mitchell, jazz guitar, the social roots of jazz, jazz musicians in postwar Europe and Japan, jazz expressions in dance and literature, rap from a jazz perspective, and African American life as seen in jazz and rap.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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