The Jazz Cadence of American Culture

The Jazz Cadence of American Culture

by Robert O'Meally
     
 

ISBN-10: 0231104480

ISBN-13: 9780231104487

Pub. Date: 12/01/1998

Publisher: Columbia University Press

Taking to heart Ralph Ellison's remark that much in American life is "jazz-shaped," The Jazz Cadence of American Culture offers a wide range of eloquent statements about the influence of this art form. Robert G. O'Meally has gathered a comprehensive collection of important essays, speeches, and interviews on the impact of jazz on other arts, on politics…  See more details below

Overview

Taking to heart Ralph Ellison's remark that much in American life is "jazz-shaped," The Jazz Cadence of American Culture offers a wide range of eloquent statements about the influence of this art form. Robert G. O'Meally has gathered a comprehensive collection of important essays, speeches, and interviews on the impact of jazz on other arts, on politics, and on the rhythm of everyday life. Focusing mainly on American artistic expression from 1920 to 1970, O'Meally confronts a long era of political and artistic turbulence and change in which American art forms influenced one another in unexpected ways.

Organized thematically, these provocative pieces include an essay considering poet and novelist James Weldon Johnson as a cultural critic, an interview with Wynton Marsalis, a speech on the heroic image in jazz, and a newspaper review of a recent melding of jazz music and dance, Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk. From Stanley Crouch to August Wilson to Jacqui Malone, the plurality of voices gathered here reflects the variety of expression within jazz.

The book's opening section sketches the overall place of jazz in America. Alan P. Merriam and Fradley H. Garner unpack the word jazz and its register, Albert Murray considers improvisation in music and life, Amiri Baraka argues that white critics misunderstand jazz, and Stanley Crouch cogently dissects the intersections of jazz and mainstream American democratic institutions. After this, the book takes an interdisciplinary approach, exploring jazz and the visual arts, dance, sports, history, memory, and literature. Ann Douglas writes on jazz's influence on the design and construction of skyscrapers in the 1920s and '30s, Zora Neale Hurston considers the significance of African-American dance, Michael Eric Dyson looks at the jazz of Michael Jordan's basketball game, and Hazel Carby takes on the sexual politics of Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith's blues.

The Jazz Cadence offers a wealth of insight and information for scholars, students, jazz aficionados, and any reader wishing to know more about this music form that has put its stamp on American culture more profoundly than any other in the twentieth century.

-An innovative approach to understanding jazz within a larger social context. -Library Journal -Both a celebration and an analysis of jazz, this massive omnibus of essays, interviews, riffs, reminiscence s, lectures and meditations examines the impact of jazz on American culture from the 1920s Harlem Renaissance to the 1960s black arts revolution. . . . Outstanding. -Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231104487
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
12/01/1998
Pages:
576
Product dimensions:
7.34(w) x 10.30(h) x 1.77(d)
Lexile:
1360L (what's this?)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Preface
pt. 1what is jazz?
Ch. 1Jazz - The Word7
Ch. 2Forward Motion: An Interview with Benny Golson32
Ch. 3Repetition as a Figure of Black Culture62
Ch. 4Black Music as an Art Form82
Ch. 5Remembering Thelonious Monk: When the Music Was Happening Then He'd Get Up and Do His Little Dance102
Ch. 6Improvisation and the Creative Process111
pt. 2one nation under a groove, or, the united states of jazzocracy
Ch. 7What's "American" About America123
Ch. 8Jazz and the White Critic137
Ch. 9Duke Ellington: "Music Like a Big Hot Pot of Good Gumbo"143
Ch. 10Blues to Be Constitutional: A Long Look at the Wild Wherefores of Our Democratic Lives as Symbolized in the Making of Rhythm and Tune154
Ch. 11The Ellington Programme166
pt. 3jazz lines and colors: the sound i saw
Ch. 12Art History and Black Memory: Toward a "Blues Aesthetic"182
Ch. 13Skyscrapers, Airplanes, and Airmindedness: "The Necessary Angel"196
Ch. 14Profiles: Putting Something Over Something Else224
Ch. 15Celebration243
Ch. 16Black Visual Intonation264
Ch. 17Improvisation in Jazz269
pt. 4jazz is a dance: jazz art in motion
Ch. 18Jazz Music in Motion: Dancers and Big Bands278
Ch. 19Characteristics of Negro Expression298
Ch. 20African Art and Motion311
Ch. 21Be Like Mike? Michael Jordan and the Pedagogy of Desire372
Ch. 22"Noise" Taps a Historic Route to Joy381
pt. 5tell the story: jazz, history, memory
Ch. 23Pulp and Circumstance: The Story of Jazz in High Places393
Ch. 24Jazz and American Culture431
Ch. 25The Golden Age, Time Past448
Ch. 26Double V, Double-Time: Bebop's Politics of Style457
Ch. 27It Jus Be's Dat Way Sometime: The Sexual Politics of Women's Blues469
Ch. 28Constructing the Jazz Tradition483
Ch. 29Other: From Noun to Verb513
pt. 6writing the blues, writing jazz
Ch. 30The Blues as Folk Poetry540
Ch. 31Richard Wright's Blues552
Ch. 32Preface to "Three Plays"563
Ch. 33The Function of the Heroic Image569
Ch. 34The Seemingly Eclipsed Window of Form: James Weldon Johnson's Prefaces580
Ch. 35Sound and Sentiment, Sound and Symbol602
Sources629
Index633

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