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Other titles in the Music of the African Diaspora series:
What Is This Thing Called Jazz? : African American Musicians As Artists, Critics, and Activists (02 Edition)by Eric Porter
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
"Among the many books on the history of jazz. . . an implicit division of labor has solidified, whereby black artists play and invent while white writers provide the commentary. . . . Eric Porter's brilliant book seeks to trace the ways in which black jazz musicians have made verbal sense of their accomplishments, demonstrating the profound self-awareness of the artists themselves as they engaged in discourse about their enterprise."and#151;Susan McClary, author of Conventional Wisdom: The Content of Musical Form
"With What Is This Thing Called Jazz Eric Porter has given us an original portrait of black musicians as creators, thinkers and politically conscious individuals. This well-written, thoroughly researched work is a model of a new kind of scholarship about African American musicians: one that shows them as people who are both shaped by and actively shaping their political and social context. One of the book's most important contributions is that it takes seriously what the musicians themselves say about the music and allows their voices to join that of critics and musicologists in helping to construct a critical and philosophical framework for analyzing the music. Professor Porter's work is rare in it's balanced attention to the formal qualities of the music, historical interpretation and theoretical reflection. His is a work that will certainly shape the direction of future studies. What Is This Thing Called Jazz? is an extraordinary work."and#151;Farah Jasmine Griffin, author of If You Can't Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday
"A major contribution to American Studies in music, Eric Porter's lucidly written book is the first to thoroughly analyze and contextualize the critical, historical and aesthetic writings of some of today's most innovative composer-performers. Placing the vital concerns of artists at the center, this work provides academic and lay readers alike with important new insights on how African-American musicians sought to realize ambitious dreams and concrete goals through direct action--not only in sound, but through building alternative institutions that emphasized the importance of community involvement."and#151;George E. Lewis, Professor of Music, Critical Studies/Experimental Practices Area University of California, San Diego
Miles Davisandrsquo;s Bitches Brew is one of the most iconic albums in American music, the preeminent landmark and fertile seedbed of jazz-fusion. Fans have been fortunate in the past few years to gain access to Davisandrsquo;s live recordings from this time, when he was working with an ensemble that has come to be known as the Lost Quintet. In this book, jazz historian and musician Bob Gluck explores the performances of this revolutionary groupandmdash;Davisandrsquo;s first electric bandandmdash;to illuminate the thinking of one of our rarest geniuses and, by extension, the extraordinary transition in American music that he and his fellow players ushered in.
Gluck listens deeply to the uneasy tension between this groupandrsquo;s driving rhythmic groove and the sonic and structural openness, surprise, and experimentation they were always pushing toward. There he hearsandmdash;and outlinesandmdash;a fascinating web of musical interconnection that brings Davisandrsquo;s funk-inflected sensibilities into conversation with the avant-garde worlds that players like Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane were developing. Going on to analyze the little-known experimental groups Circle and the Revolutionary Ensemble, Gluck traces deep resonances across a commercial gap between the celebrity Miles Davis and his less famous but profoundly innovative peers. The result is a deeply attuned look at a pivotal moment when once-disparate worlds of American music came together in explosively creative combinations. and#160;
A study of black jazz musicians' own thinking about their music, their struggles to define it and to create a black art in a white society. This book is one of very few to examine jazz from the perspective of the self-aware and sophisticated (black) artists instead of the (white) critics and scholars.
About the Author
Eric Porter is Assistant Professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Table of Contents
1 "A Marvel of Paradox": Jazz and African American Modernity
2 "Dizzy Atmosphere": The Challenge of Bebop
3 "Passions of a Man": The Poetics and Politics of Charles Mingus
4 "Straight Ahead": Abbey Lincoln and the Challenge of Jazz Singing
5 Practicing "Creative Music": The Black Arts Imperative in the Jazz Community
6 Writing "Creative Music": Theorizing the Art and Politics of Improvisation
7 "The Majesty of the Blues": Wynton Marsalis's Jazz Canon
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