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The Jazz Cadence of American Culture - Robert G. O'Meally

The Jazz Cadence of American Culture

By: Robert G. O'Meally (Editor)

Paperback

Published: 8th December 1998
For Ages: 22+ years old
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Taking to heart Ralph Ellison's remark that much in American life is "jazz-shaped," "The Jazz Cadence of American Culture" offers a wide range of eloquent statements about the influence of this art form. Robert G. O'Meally has gathered a comprehensive collection of important essays, speeches, and interviews on the impact of jazz on other arts, on politics, and on the rhythm of everyday life. Focusing mainly on American artistic expression from 1920 to 1970, O'Meally confronts a long era of political and artistic turbulence and change in which American art forms influenced one another in unexpected ways.

Organized thematically, these provocative pieces include an essay considering poet and novelist James Weldon Johnson as a cultural critic, an interview with Wynton Marsalis, a speech on the heroic image in jazz, and a newspaper review of a recent melding of jazz music and dance, "Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk." From Stanley Crouch to August Wilson to Jacqui Malone, the plurality of voices gathered here reflects the variety of expression within jazz.

The book's opening section sketches the overall place of jazz in America. Alan P. Merriam and Fradley H. Garner unpack the word "jazz" and its register, Albert Murray considers improvisation in music and life, Amiri Baraka argues that white critics misunderstand jazz, and Stanley Crouch cogently dissects the intersections of jazz and mainstream American democratic institutions. After this, the book takes an interdisciplinary approach, exploring jazz and the visual arts, dance, sports, history, memory, and literature. Ann Douglas writes on jazz's influence on the design and construction of skyscrapers in the 1920s and '30s, Zora Neale Hurston considers the significance of African-American dance, Michael Eric Dyson looks at the jazz of Michael Jordan's basketball game, and Hazel Carby takes on the sexual politics of Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith's blues.

"The Jazz Cadence" offers a wealth of insight and information for scholars, students, jazz aficionados, and any reader wishing to know more about this music form that has put its stamp on American culture more profoundly than any other in the twentieth century.

O'Meally's volume is the first to focus exclusively on the rich interdisciplinary commentary that jazz has inspired over the decades... Impressive and thoughtfully assembled. -- Mark Tucker Jazz Times An important resource for understanding how such hard-to-define aspects as 'hipness' and 'soulfulness' shape a culture and its most characteristic forms of artistic expression. -- Jerome Klinkowitz American Literary Scholarship An innovative approach to understanding jazz within a larger social context. Library Journal Both a celebration and an analysis of jazz, this massive omnibus of essays, interviews, riffs, reminiscences, lectures and meditations examines the impact of jazz on American culture from the 1920s Harlem Renaissance to the 1960s black arts revolution... Outstanding. Publishers Weekly There is much that is ducal among the 35 wide-ranging essays collected in The Jazz Cadence of American Culture. Billboard O'Meally has assembled an impressive anthology that achieves an almost synesthetic rendering of jazz...the best designed reference book on the topic to date. It should be in every library. Choice The Jazz Cadence of American Culture is a celebration of jazz that goes beyond the usual jazz history, carefully and informatively examining the impact of jazz on other arts, politics, and daily life. The Bookwatch A monument to a grand and vital intellectual tradition that we cannot afford to neglect as jazz enters its second century--and as that great interdisciplinary, interpretive synthesis of jazz scholarship finally gets written. Notes If race keeps us apart, jazz brings us together, as Ralph Ellison pointed out when he called American life 'jazz shaped.' The 35 essays in The Jazz Cadence of American Culture, edited by Robert G. O'Meally, testify that Ellison was on to something. The Washington Post Book World

Prefacep. IX
What is jazz?
Introductionp. 3
Jazz--The Wordp. 7
Forward Motion: An Interview with Benny Golsonp. 32
Repetition as a Figure of Black Culturep. 62
Black Music as an Art Formp. 82
Remembering Thelonious Monk: When the Music Was Happening Then He'd Get Up and Do His Little Dancep. 102
Improvisation and the Creative Processp. 111
One nation under a groove, or, the united states of jazzocracy
Introductionp. 117
What's "American" About Americap. 123
Jazz and the White Criticp. 137
Duke Ellington: "Music Like a Big Hot Pot of Good Gumbo"p. 143
Blues to Be Constitutional: A Long Look at the Wild Wherefores of Our Democratic Lives as Symbolized in the Making of Rhythm and Tunep. 154
The Ellington Programmep. 166
Jazz lines and colors: the sound i saw
Introductionp. 175
Art History and Black Memory: Toward a "Blues Aesthetic"p. 182
Skyscrapers, Airplanes, and Airmindedness: "The Necessary Angel"p. 196
Profiles: Putting Something Over Something Elsep. 224
Celebrationp. 243
Black Visual Intonationp. 264
Improvisation in Jazzp. 269
Jazz is a dance: jazz art in motion
Introductionp. 273
Jazz Music in Motion: Dancers and Big Bandsp. 278
Characteristics of Negro Expressionp. 298
African Art and Motionp. 311
Be Like Mike? Michael Jordan and the Pedagogy of Desirep. 372
"Noise" Taps a Historic Route to Joyp. 381
Tell the story: jazz, history, memory
Introductionp. 389
Pulp and Circumstance: The Story of Jazz in High Placesp. 393
Jazz and American Culturep. 431
The Golden Age, Time Pastp. 448
Double V, Double-Time: Bebop's Politics of Stylep. 457
It Jus Be's Dat Way Sometime: The Sexual Politics of Women's Bluesp. 469
Constructing the Jazz Traditionp. 483
Other: From Noun to Verbp. 513
Writing the blues, writing jazz
Introductionp. 535
The Blues as Folk Poetryp. 540
Richard Wright's Bluesp. 552
Preface to "Three Plays"p. 563
The Function of the Heroic Imagep. 569
The Seemingly Eclipsed Window of Form: James Weldon Johnson's Prefacesp. 580
Sound and Sentiment, Sound and Symbolp. 602
Sourcesp. 629
Indexp. 633
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780231104494
ISBN-10: 0231104499
Series: Film and Culture
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 576
Published: 8th December 1998
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Dimensions (cm): 25.2 x 18.0  x 3.6
Weight (kg): 1.18