- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Peretti (history, Western Connecticut State Univ.; The Creation of Jazz) undertakes the daunting task of summarizing the history of African American music from slave hollers to gangsta rap within social, economic, and racial contexts. He lays a solid foundation with an examination of African and American slave music, spirituals, and minstrelsy and continues with a good description of syncopated ragtime and a thumbnail sketch of the beginnings of the blues. In the most successful section, Peretti describes the origins of jazz during the 1920s from the marriage of ragtime and the blues. He also discusses, e.g., classical music, jazz avant-garde, gospel, soul, and the birth of rock 'n' roll. Peretti ends with a disappointing chapter on more recent music like Motown, funk, disco, and hip-hop, making a few missteps along the way (e.g., characterizing house music as early rap; referring to the Notorious B.I.G. as Christopher Smalls rather than Christopher Wallace). Overall, however, Peretti scores more often than he misses in the ambitious task of capturing the many and varied contributions of African Americans to our musical heritage. Recommended as a college text or as a brief overview for general readers.