Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies

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Overview

Jackson Pollock dancing to the music as he painted; Romare Bearden's stage and costume designs for Alvin Ailey and Dianne McIntyre; Stanley Crouch stirring his high-powered essays in a room where a drumkit stands at the center: from the perspective of the new jazz studies, jazz is not only a music to define — it is a culture. Considering musicians and filmmakers, painters and poets, the intellectual improvisations in Uptown Conversation reevaluate, reimagine, and riff on the music that has for more than a century initiated a call and response across art forms, geographies, and cultures.

Building on Robert G. O'Meally's acclaimed Jazz Cadence of American Culture, these original essays offer new insights in jazz historiography, highlighting the political stakes in telling the story of the music and evaluating its cultural import in the United States and worldwide. Articles contemplating the music's experimental wing — such as Salim Washington's meditation on Charles Mingus and the avant-garde or George Lipsitz's polemical juxtaposition of Ken Burns's documentary Jazz and Horace Tapscott's autobiography Songs of the Unsung — share the stage with revisionary takes on familiar figures in the canon: Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Black Issues Book Review - Justin Adewale Collins
An intellectually stimulating discussion of jazz and its many variations.
Jazziz - Larry Blumenfeld
The focus and depth of these essays prove that this chorus can sing - and not just standards.
Jazz Notes - Anne Farnsworth
Uptown Conversation gives us that crystallized vision and is destined to become an important source of research and reflection for many years to come.
Current Musicology - Niko Higgins
Uptown Conversations... continue[s] this trajectory by moving away from jazz as a static object to be stylistically described, explained, and celebrated through the heroic and larger-than-life individual towards an understanding of jazz as a music in continual dialogue with the historical, social, political, racial, gendered process governing its creation.
Ellingtonia - Theodore R. Hudson
The international community of serious jazz enthusiasts who pick up the book will be impressed.
Choice
It is also a delightful, accessible, and provocative read—a book that how jazz studies can contribute to a host of other fields.
Choice

It is also a delightful, accessible, and provocative read--a book that how jazz studies can contribute to a host of other fields.

Black Issues Book Review
An intellectually stimulating discussion of jazz and its many variations.

— Justin Adewale Collins

Jazziz
The focus and depth of these essays prove that this chorus can sing - and not just standards.

— Larry Blumenfeld

Jazz Notes
Uptown Conversation gives us that crystallized vision and is destined to become an important source of research and reflection for many years to come.

— Anne Farnsworth

Current Musicology
Uptown Conversations... continue[s] this trajectory by moving away from jazz as a static object to be stylistically described, explained, and celebrated through the heroic and larger-than-life individual towards an understanding of jazz as a music in continual dialogue with the historical, social, political, racial, gendered process governing its creation.

— Niko Higgins

Ellingtonia
The international community of serious jazz enthusiasts who pick up the book will be impressed.

— Theodore R. Hudson

Jazz Times - John Murph
This collection of erudite essarys aptly captures the spirit of those conversations...This must-have tome ups the ante on jazz banter.
Jazz Times
This collection of erudite essarys aptly captures the spirit of those conversations...This must-have tome ups the ante on jazz banter.

— John Murph

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231123501
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 6/23/2004
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert G. O'Meally is Zora Neale Hurston Professor of American Literature at Columbia University. He is the author of numerous books, including The Jazz Cadence of American Culture and Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday.Brent Hayes Edwards is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University and the author of The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism.Farah Jasmine Griffin is a professor of English, comparative literature, and African American studies at Columbia University. She is the author of If You Can't Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Introductory notes 1
Songs of the unsung : the Darby Hicks history of jazz 9
"All the things you could be by now" : Charles Mingus presents Charles Mingus and the limits of Avant-Garde Jazz 27
Experimental music in black and white : the AACM in New York, 1970-1985 50
When Malindy sings : a meditation on black women's vocality 102
Hipsters, bluebloods, rebels, and hooligans : the cultural politics of the Newport jazz Festival, 1954-1960 126
Mainstreaming monk : the Ellington album 150
The man 166
The real ambassadors 189
Artistic othering in black diaspora musics : preliminary thoughts on time, culture, and politics 204
Notes on jazz in Senegal 224
Revisiting Romare Bearden's art of improvisation 249
Louis Armstrong, Bricolage, and the aesthetics of swing 256
Checking our balances : Louis Armstrong, Ralph Ellison, and Betty Boop 278
Paris blues : Ellington, Armstrong, and saying it with music 297
"How you sound??" : Amiri Baraka writes free jazz 312
The literary Ellington 326
"Always new and centuries old" : jazz, poetry and tradition as creative adaptation 357
A space we're all immigrants from : othering and communitas in Nathaniel Mackey's Bedouin Hornbook 374
Exploding the narrative in jazz improvisation 393
Beneath the underground : exploring new currents in "Jazz" 404
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