This collective biography of four jazz musicians from Brooklyn, Ghana, and South Africa demonstrates how modern Africa reshaped jazz, how modern jazz helped form a new African identity, and how musical convergences and crossings altered the politics and culture of both continents.
African Rhythms is the autobiography of the important jazz pianist, composer and band leader Randy Weston. He tells of his childhood in Brooklyn, his six decades long musical career, his time living in Morocco, and his lifelong quest to learn about the musical and cultural traditions of Africa.
How did French musicians and critics interpret jazz—that quintessentially American music—in the mid-twentieth century? How far did players reshape what they learned from records and visitors into more local jazz forms, and how did the music figure in those angry debates that so often suffused French cultural and political life? After Django begins with the famous interwar triumphs of Josephine Baker and Django Reinhardt, but, for the first time, the focus here falls on the French jazz practices of the postwar era. The work of important but neglected French musicians such as André Hodeir and Barney Wilen is examined in depth, as are native responses to Americans such as Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk. The book provides an original intertwining of musical and historical narrative, supported by extensive archival work; in clear and compelling prose, Perchard describes the problematic efforts towards aesthetic assimilation and transformation made by those concerned with jazz in fact and in idea, listening to the music as it sounded in discourses around local identity, art, 1968 radicalism, social democracy, and post colonial politics.
When is an artistic work finished? When the copyeditor makes the final correction to a manuscript, when the composer writes the last note of a symphony, or when the painter puts the last brushstroke on the canvas? Perhaps it's even later, when someone reads the work, when an ensemble performs, or when the painting is hung on a gallery wall for viewing?
Art from Start to Finish gathers a unique group of contributors from the worlds of sociology, musicology, literature, and communications—many of them practicing artists in their own right—to discuss how artists from jazz musicians to painters work: how they coordinate their efforts, how they think, how they start, and, of course, how they finish their productions.
Specialists in the arts have much to say about the works themselves, which are often neglected by scholarsi n other fields. Art from Start to Finish takes a different tack by exploring the creative process itself and its social component. Any reader who makes art or has an interest in it will value this book.
Avant-Garde Jazz Musicians focuses on performers whose out styles, by definition, transcend traditional boundaries of jazz and most Western forms of music; some of these performers are well known, such as John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor, and others are not, including Daniel Carter, Billy Bang, and Jemeel Moondoc. David Such uses an interdisciplinary approach, ranging from philosophy to ethnomusicology to psychobiology, to examine how both cultural and personal factors have influenced the out musicians and their music and what the music symbolizes to listeners and to the musicians themselves.
Such strikes a balance between out music itself and the cultural domain as he explores the social contexts and economic pressures that affect out musical performance. Using material from extensive personal interviews, Such evaluates the impact of civil rights, postindustrialization, and urbanization on the beliefs and attitudes of out musicians.
By performing with many of the out musicians he interviews, Such is able to examine out music and the worldviews of out musicians in a uniquely comprehensive manner and to resolve some of the more controversial issues surrounding out jazz. In the process, he makes out music more understandable to jazz fans and scholars alike and clarifies its role in the overall development of jazz.