Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History

ISBN 13: 9780195091724

Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History

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9780195091724: Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History
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Drawing from contemporary journalism, reviews, program notes, memoirs, interviews, and other sources, Keeping Time lets you experience, first hand, the controversies and critical issues that have accompanied jazz from its very birth.
Edited by Robert Walser, these sixty-two thought provoking pieces offer a wealth of insight into jazz. Some of the giants of jazz speak to us here, including Jelly Roll Morton, Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus and Wynton Marsalis. And there are pieces by writers such as Langston Hughes, Norman Mailer, and Ralph Ellison, and by critics such as Leonard Feather and Gunther Schuller. Readers will find Louis Armstrong on what makes swing, Dizzy Gillespie on bebop, and Miles Davis on jazz-rock fusion. Equally important, Walser has selected writings that capture the passionate reactions of people who have loved, hated, supported, and argued about jazz. One can read, for instance, a dismissive article written in 1918 that relegates jazz to the "servant's hall of music" along with "the clatter of the clogs, the click of Slavic heels." Or a debate between Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock over the merits of free jazz and electric instruments. Or Duke Ellington's claim that jazz is neither highbrow nor lowbrow, but "goes back to something just about as old--and as natural--as the circulation of the blood."
In the end, the focus here remains on how the music works and why people have cared about it. Filled with passionately felt, insightful writing, Keeping Time will increase one's historical awareness of jazz even as it provokes lively discussion among jazz aficionados, whether in clubs, concert halls or classrooms.

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About the Author:


Robert Walser is Associate Professor and Chair of Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles. The author of Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music, and editor of American Music, he lives in Los Angeles.

From Library Journal:

These two compilations take very different approaches to understanding jazz. Keeping Time is a fairly traditional documentary history, using newspaper and magazine articles, interviews, and excerpts from autobiographies and secondary accounts. After explaining the early years of the music, Walser, chair of musicology at UCLA, provides fascinating material dealing with the jazz age in the 1920s, swing in the Thirties, and bebop in the Forties. The book is less convincing on the hard-bop 1950s, provides very little information on the avant-garde in the next decade, and largely ignores Seventies fusion. It ends with an excellent outline of the Wynton Marsalis-led return to traditionalism in the 1980s and a more general, less satisfying examination of jazz today. The Jazz Cadence of America attempts to show the reciprocal effects of jazz and American culture on each other. After dealing with definitions of "jazz," O'Meally (American literature, Columbia; Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday, LJ 11/1/91) traces the place of jazz in American society; the influence of the music on painting, architecture, photography, film, and dance; jazz history from different perspectives; and the impact of jazz on literature. Some sections provide fascinating insights into the relationship of jazz to the other arts, especially painting and literature. However, the book seldom shows the connection between jazz and American society or the effect of other aspects of American culture on jazz. Despite obvious flaws, The Jazz Cadence offers an innovative approach to understanding jazz within a larger social context. Complementing each other with little overlap, these two compilations are recommended as classroom texts.?David P. Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780199765775: Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History

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ISBN 10:  0199765774 ISBN 13:  9780199765775
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2014
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9780195091731: Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History

Oxford..., 1998
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