Jazz has been around for over a hundred years but how much do we know about its history, and how much of what think we know is true? Beginning in the so called Jazz Age of the 1920's jazz history was recounted and interpreted by admiring authors and record collectors both in the United States and elsewhere. However, since the early 1990's some historians have come to doubt the validity of the conventional narrative of the story of jazz and some of its most hallowed traditions.
In Jazz Historiography: The Story of Jazz History Writing Daniel Hardie uncovers the course of jazz history writing from early Jazz Age American and French publications to Academic texts in the 2000's, and seeks answers to questions about the accuracy of those accounts and the influence they have had on our understanding of jazz history - even the impact they might have had on the course of jazz history itself. How much for example did the work of jazz historians influence the course of the New Orleans Revival? Was the appearance of bebop in the 1940's a revolutionary response to oppression experienced by Afro American musicians in a commercialized popular music industry, or was it an attempt to mirror the development of classical music of the time? How has the development of University jazz studies influenced the writing of jazz history?