Thriving on a Riff: Jazz and Blues Influences in African American Literature and Film

Thriving on a Riff: Jazz and Blues Influences in African American Literature and Film

by Graham Lock
     
 

From the Harlem Renaissance to the present, African American writers have drawn on the rich heritage of jazz and blues, transforming musical forms into the written word. In this companion volume to The Hearing Eye, distinguished contributors ranging from Bertram Ashe to Steven C. Tracy explore the musical influence on such writers as Sterling Brown, J.J. Phillips,

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Overview

From the Harlem Renaissance to the present, African American writers have drawn on the rich heritage of jazz and blues, transforming musical forms into the written word. In this companion volume to The Hearing Eye, distinguished contributors ranging from Bertram Ashe to Steven C. Tracy explore the musical influence on such writers as Sterling Brown, J.J. Phillips, Paul Beatty, and Nathaniel Mackey. Here, too, are Graham Lock's engaging interviews with contemporary poets Michael S. Harper and Jayne Cortez, along with studies of the performing self, in Krin Gabbard's account of Miles Davis and John Gennari's investigation of fictional and factual versions of Charlie Parker. The book also looks at African Americans in and on film, from blackface minstrelsy to the efforts of Duke Ellington and John Lewis to rescue jazz from its stereotyping in Hollywood film scores as a signal for sleaze and criminality. Concluding with a proposal by Michael Jarrett for a new model of artistic influence, Thriving on a Riff makes the case for the seminal cross-cultural role of jazz and blues.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195337099
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
01/02/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
9.90(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Graham Lock is a freelance writer, Special Lecturer in American Music, University of Nottingham, and author, Forces in Motion: Anthony Braxton and the Meta-reality of Creative Music (Quartet, 1988), Chasing the Vibration: Meetings with Creative Musicians (Stride, 1994), and Blutopia: Visions of the Future and Revisions of the Past in the Work of Sun Ra, Duke Ellington and Anthony Braxton (Duke, 1999), and editor, Mixtery: A Festschrift for Anthony Braxton (Stride, 1995).

David Murray is Professor of American Studies, University of Nottingham, and author, Indian Giving: Economies of Power in Early Indian-White Exchanges (Massachusetts UP, 2000), Forked Tongues: Speech, Writing and Representation in North American Indian Texts (Indiana UP, 1992), and Matter, Magic and Spirit: Representing Indian and African American Belief (Pennsylvania UP, 2007).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction: You've Got to be Jazzistic
i. So Black and Blue: Music, Image, Identity
1. "You Ain't Got to Be Black to be Black": Music, Race, Consciousness, and Identity in The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man and Mojo Hand, Nick Heffernan
2. Blackface Minstelstry and Jazz Signification in Hollywood's Early Sound Era, Corin Willis
ii. Paging the Devil: Jazz and Blues Poetics
3. "Thanks, Jack, for That": The Strange Legacies of Sterling Brown, Steven C. Tracy
4. Phraseology: An Interview with Michael S. Harper
5. Paul Beatty's "White Boy Shuffle" Blues: Jazz Poetry, John Coltrane, and the Post-Soul Aesthetic, Bertram Ashe
6. Giving Voice: An Interview with Jayne Cortez
7. "Out of this World": Music and Spirit in the Writings of Nathaniel Macket and Amiri Baraka, David Murray
iii. Until the Real Thing: Biography, Autobiography, and Other Fictions
8. Blaxploitation Bird: Ross Russell's Pulp Addiction, John Gennari
9. How Many Miles? Alternate Takes on the Jazz Life, Krin Gabbard
iv. Second Balcony Jump: Unsettling the Score
10. "A Rebus of Democratic Slants and Angles": To Have and Have Not, Racial Representation and Musical Performance in a Democracy at War, Ian Brookes
11. "No Brotherly Love": Hollywood Jazz, Racial Prejudice and John Lewis's Score for Odds Against Tomorrow, David Butler
12. Anatomy of a Movie: Duke Ellington and 1950s Film Scoring, Mervyn Cooke
v. Criss Cross: Jazzisticologics
13. Jumping Tracks: The Path of Conduction, Michael Jarrett

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