Film noir showcased hard-boiled men and dangerous femmes fatales, rain-slicked city streets, pools of inky darkness cut by shards of light, and, occasionally, jazz. Jazz served as a shorthand for the seduction and risks of the mean streets in early film noir. As working jazz musicians began to compose the scores for and appear in noir films of the 1950s, black musicians found a unique way of asserting their right to participate fully in American life.
Jazz and Cocktails explores the use of jazz in film noir, from its early function as a signifier of danger, sexuality, and otherness to the complex role it plays in film scores in which jazz invites the spectator into the narrative while simultaneously transcending the film and reminding viewers of the world outside the movie theater. Jans B. Wager looks at the work of jazz composers such as Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, Chico Hamilton, and John Lewis as she analyzes films including Sweet Smell of Success, Elevator to the Gallows, Anatomy of a Murder, Odds Against Tomorrow, and considers the neonoir American Hustle. Wager demonstrates how the evolving role of jazz in film noir reflected cultural changes instigated by black social activism during and after World War II and altered Hollywood representations of race and music.
|Publisher:||University of Texas Press|
|Product dimensions:||7.70(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.60(d)|
About the Author
Jans Wager coordinates cinema studies and is a professor of English and literature at Utah Valley University. Her previous books are Dames in the Driver’s Seat: Rereading Film Noir and Dangerous Dames: Women and Representation in the Weimar Street Film and Film Noir.
Table of Contents
- Introduction: Nostalgia for the Lush Life
- Chapter 1: Pie Eye’s Juke Joint: Jazz and Its Interpretations
- Chapter 2: The Porters and Waiters Club: Jazz, Movies, and Ogden
- Chapter 3: Studio Jazz from Harlem to Acapulco
- Chapter 4: The Blue Gardenia, Club Pigalle, and Daniel’s: Charting the Alienation Effect in Film Noir
- Chapter 5: From Elysium to Robards, from Real to Reel
- Chapter 6: A Paris Bar where Miles Innovates
- Chapter 7: "All the Very Gay Places": Ellington and Strayhorn Swing in Northern Michigan
- Chapter 8: Cannoy’s Club: “All Men Are Evil”
- Chapter 9: “Jeep’s Blues” and Jazz Today
What People are Saying About This
"There is no other book like this one. It makes a strong contribution to film music studies but will also be of interest to specialists in jazz studies, cinema studies, and American studies. And because Jans Wager has an engaging prose style, it is ideal for buffs."