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Big Ears: Listening for Gender in Jazz Studies
     

Big Ears: Listening for Gender in Jazz Studies

by Nichole T. Rustin, Sherrie Tucker, Ronald Radano, Josh Kun
 

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ISBN-10: 0822343207

ISBN-13: 9780822343202

Pub. Date: 11/07/2008

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

In jazz circles, players and listeners with “big ears” hear and engage complexity in the moment, as it unfolds. Taking gender as part of the intricate, unpredictable action in jazz culture, this interdisciplinary collection explores the terrain opened up by listening, with big ears, for gender in jazz. Essays range from a reflection on the female boogie

Overview

In jazz circles, players and listeners with “big ears” hear and engage complexity in the moment, as it unfolds. Taking gender as part of the intricate, unpredictable action in jazz culture, this interdisciplinary collection explores the terrain opened up by listening, with big ears, for gender in jazz. Essays range from a reflection on the female boogie-woogie pianists who played at Café Society in New York during the 1930s and 1940s to interpretations of how the jazzman is represented in Dorothy Baker’s novel Young Man with a Horn (1938) and Michael Curtiz’s film adaptation (1950). Taken together, the essays enrich the field of jazz studies by showing how gender dynamics have shaped the production, reception, and criticism of jazz culture.

Scholars of music, ethnomusicology, American studies, literature, anthropology, and cultural studies approach the question of gender in jazz from multiple perspectives. One contributor scrutinizes the tendency of jazz historiography to treat singing as subordinate to the predominantly male domain of instrumental music, while another reflects on her doubly inappropriate position as a female trumpet player and a white jazz musician and scholar. Other essays explore the composer George Russell’s Lydian Chromatic Concept as a critique of mid-twentieth-century discourses of embodiment, madness, and black masculinity; performances of “female hysteria” by Les Diaboliques, a feminist improvising trio; and the BBC radio broadcasts of Ivy Benson and Her Ladies’ Dance Orchestra during the Second World War. By incorporating gender analysis into jazz studies, Big Ears transforms ideas of who counts as a subject of study and even of what counts as jazz.

Contributors: Christina Baade, Jayna Brown, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Monica Hairston, Kristin McGee, Tracy McMullen, Ingrid Monson, Lara Pellegrinelli, Eric Porter, Nichole T. Rustin, Ursel Schlicht, Julie Dawn Smith, Jeffrey Taylor, Sherrie Tucker, João H. Costa Vargas

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822343202
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
11/07/2008
Series:
Refiguring American Music
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
472
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction / Nichole T. Rustin and Sherrie Tucker 1

Part I. Rooting Gender in Jazz History

Separated at "Birth": Singing and the History of Jazz / Lara Pellegrinelli 31

With Lovie and Lil: Rediscovering Two Chicago Pianists of the 1920s / Jeffrey Taylor 48

Gender, Jazz, and the Popular Front / Monica Hairston 64

"The Battle of the Saxes": Gender, Dance Bands, and British Nationalism in the Second World War / Christina Baade 90

Identity for Sale: Glenn Miller, Wynton Marsalis, and Cultural Replay in Music / Tracy McMullen 129

Part II. Improvising Gender: Embodiment and Performance

From the Point of View of the Pavement: A Geopolitics of Black Dance / Jayna Brown 157

Perverse Hysterics: The Noisy Cri of Les Diaboliques / Julie Dawn Smith 180

"Born Out of Jazz . . . Yet Embracing All Music": Race, Gender, and Technology in George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept / Eric Porter 210

"But This Music is Mine Already!" : "White Woman" as Jazz Collector in the Film New Orleans (1947) / Sherrie Tucker 235

Fitting the Part / Ingrid Monson 267

Part III. Reimagining Jazz Representations

"Better a Jazz Album Than Lipstick" (Lieber Jazzplatte Als Lippenstift): The 1956 Jazz Podium Series Reveals Images of Jazz and Gender in Postwar Germany / Ursel Schlicht 291

Exclusion, Openness, and Utopia in Black Male Performance at the World Stage Jazz Jam Sessions / João H. Costa Vargas 320

"It Takes Two People to Confirm the Truth": The Jazz Fiction of Sherley Ann Williams and Toni Cade Bambara / Farah Jasmine Griffin 348

"Blow, Man, Blow!": Representing Gender, White Primitives, and Jazz Melodrama Through A Young Man With A Horn / Nichole T. Rustin 361

The Gendered Jazz Aesthetics of That Man of Man: The International Sweethearts of Rhythm and Independent Black Sound Film / Kristin McGee 393

Bibliography 423

Contributors 435

Index 441

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