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New Musical Figurations : Anthony Braxton's Cultural Critique - Ronald M. Radano

New Musical Figurations

Anthony Braxton's Cultural Critique

Paperback Published: 1st January 1993
ISBN: 9780226701967
Number Of Pages: 336

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"New Musical Figurations" exemplifies a dramatically new
way of configuring jazz music and history. By relating
biography to the cultural and musical contours of contemporary
American life, Ronald M. Radano observes jazz practice as part
of the complex interweaving of postmodern culture--a
culture that has eroded conventional categories defining jazz
and the jazz musician. Radano accomplishes all this by
analyzing the creative life of Anthony Braxton, one of the
most emblematic figures of this cultural crisis.
Born in 1945, Braxton is not only a virtuoso jazz
saxophonist but an innovative theoretician and composer of
experimental art music. His refusal to conform to the
conventions of official musical culture has helped unhinge
the very ideologies on which definitions of "jazz,"
"black music," "popular music," and "art music" are founded.
"New Musical Figurations" gives the richest view
available of this many-sided artist. Radano examines
Braxton's early years on the South Side of Chicago, whose
vibrant black musical legacy inspired him to explore new
avenues of expression. Here is the first detailed history of
Braxton's central role in the Association for the Advancement
of Creative Musicians, the principal musician-run institution
of free jazz in the United States. After leaving Chicago,
Braxton was active in Paris and New York, collaborating with
Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewski, and other
composers affiliated with the experimental-music movement.
From 1974 to 1981, he gained renown as a popular jazz
performer and recording artist. Since then he has taught at
Mills College and Wesleyan University, given lectures on his
theoretical musical system, and written works for chamber
groups as well as large, opera-scale pieces.
The neglect of radical, challenging figures like Braxton
in standard histories of jazz, Radano argues, mutes the
innovative voice of the African-American musical tradition.
Refreshingly free of technical jargon, "New Musical Figurations"
is more than just another variation on the same jazz theme.
Rather, it is an exploratory work as rich in theoretical
vision as it is in historical detail.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments A Note on Sources and Methods
Introduction: A New Musical Balance
Chicago as Aesthetic Center
Musical Assertions of Black Identity
New Musical Convergences: Paris and New York
Defining a Black Vanguard Aesthetic
Black Experimentalism as Spectacle
Epilogue: Jazz Recast
Picture Titles of Compositions Cited
Recordings Cited/Anthony Braxton on Record
Music Index
General Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226701967
ISBN-10: 0226701964
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 1st January 1993
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.7  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.47
Edition Number: 2

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