A Night in Tunisia: Imaginings of Africa in Jazz

A Night in Tunisia: Imaginings of Africa in Jazz

by Norman Weinstein
     
 

This is a study of the Afrocentric imagination set to a jazzy beat. The African connection to jazz through recordings has never been fully analyzed until now. In this ground-breaking study, poet and critic Norman Weinstein reveals a long-neglected thread running throughout jazz history. Spotlighting the African-inspired recordings of thirteen major musicians—Duke…  See more details below

Overview

This is a study of the Afrocentric imagination set to a jazzy beat. The African connection to jazz through recordings has never been fully analyzed until now. In this ground-breaking study, poet and critic Norman Weinstein reveals a long-neglected thread running throughout jazz history. Spotlighting the African-inspired recordings of thirteen major musicians—Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, George Russell, John Carter, Count Ossie, Randy Weston, Max Roach, Pierre Dorge, Archie Shepp, Yusef Lateef, Sunny Murray, and Ronald Shannon Jackson—he also offers a comprehensive discography cataloging the recordings of hundreds more. A Night in Tunisia illuminates the affection, humor, concern, curiosity, anger, and pride toward Africa that jazz artists have manifested in their recordings.

Editorial Reviews

The IAJRC Journal
...intriguing...points the way for further discussions of jazz from a strategy of textual interpretation...
The Beat (UK)
...he may be the Stephen Hawking of jazz criticism....a fascinating book....an extremely valuable overview of the music...
Jazz Now
Norman Weinstein has crafted a valuable work that, with its adherence to scholarship and careful analysis stands as the most successful attempt to address the enduring influence of African imagination on American Jazz.

Norman Weinstein has written an animated and intelligent examination of what in American jazz reflects African origins and imaginings. He lets the text develop naturally, with sound scholarship and psychological cunning. ... Weinstein cuts through the gristle to reveal the bone of racism and appropriation working in counterpoint to the authentic esthetic and cultural history of the music. This psychological approach with its debt to Jung and Bachelard, gives A Night in Tunisia compelling contextual depth lacking in most jazz scholarship.— Joseph Murphy, Earshot Jazz

IARJC
...intriguing...points the way for further discussions of jazz from a strategy of textual interpretation...
The Beat
...he may be the Stephen Hawking of jazz criticism....a fascinating book....an extremely valuable overview of the music...
Multicultural Review
clever and entertaining...not just for students of jazz.
Morning Star
...a book of both keen scholarship and fine tribute...exceptional...
Joseph Murphy
Norman Weinstein has crafted a valuable work that, with its adherence to scholarship and careful analysis stands as the most successful attempt to address the enduring influence of African imagination on American Jazz. Norman Weinstein has written an animated and intelligent examination of what in American jazz reflects African origins and imaginings. He lets the text develop naturally, with sound scholarship and psychological cunning. ... Weinstein cuts through the gristle to reveal the bone of racism and appropriation working in counterpoint to the authentic esthetic and cultural history of the music. This psychological approach with its debt to Jung and Bachelard, gives "A Night in Tunisia" compelling contextual depth lacking in most jazz scholarship..
Beat
...he may be the Stephen Hawking of jazz criticism....a fascinating book....an extremely valuable overview of the music....
IAJRC Journal
...intriguing...points the way for further discussions of jazz from a strategy of textual interpretation....
Library Journal
Jazz buff Weinstein outlines the styles of 13 musicians while connecting their diverse sounds to an Afrocentric vision. This connection, he claims, runs deeper than most jazz writers acknowledge. The characteristics of African music, which include rhythm, vocal styles, and improvisation, appear frequently in the jazz music of non-Africans of all races. While somewhat uneven in presentation (a chapter parodying Duke Ellington's personification of jazz as a woman strikes an especially false note), the book may interest serious jazz fans--if only so they can argue with it. Musicians discussed include Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, George Russell, Randy Weston, Max Roach, and Yusef Lateef, among others. Appendixes list jazz recordings that include African themes. For large subject collections.-- Bonnie Jo Dopp, Dist . of Columbia P.L.
Booknews
Weinstein examines the way jazz composers have creatively explored images and ideas about Africa, spotlighting the African recordings of 13 major musicians, and also offering a comprehensive discography cataloging the recordings of dozens more. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810825253
Publisher:
The Scarecrow Press, Inc.
Publication date:
02/28/1992
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Norman Weinstein is a widely published poet and critic whose books include Gertrude Stein and the Literature of the Modern Consciousness (Ungar) and Nigredo: Selected Poems 1970-1980 (Station Hill). His jazz criticism has been published in The Village Voice, Jazziz, and Downbeat. He has won an ASCAP-Deems Taylor award for excellence in music criticism.

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