Bebop and Nothingness: Jazz and Pop at the End of the Century

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9780028704715: Bebop and Nothingness: Jazz and Pop at the End of the Century

Explores the bebop legacy. Styles covered in these essays range from old-style swing to avant-garde free jazz, from gospel to klezmer, rock to American pop standards.

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Review:

The author of two previous essay collections, Francis Davis claims to be going through a period of disenchantment with jazz. He decries the "commodification of youth," which has allowed a pack of young neo-bop players to shoulder aside many a deserving, middle-aged master. Despite this case of the blahs, Davis's prose is as shapely as ever, and his book is full of gems. There are standout essays on Mel Lewis, Don Byron, Charles Gayle, Roswell Rudd, and Tony Bennett, which resemble scaled-down short stories in their narrative ingenuity.

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Davis, Francis
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