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Keeping Time Readings In Jazz History
open our order pageRobert Walser (editor)
Oxford University Press, 1999
Paperback. 464pp
£12.99

Keeping TimeDrawing from contemporary journalism, reviews, programme notes, memoirs, interviews, and other sources, Keeping Time brings to life the controversies and critical issues that have accompanied every moment of jazz history. Highlighting the significance of jazz as a complex and consequential social practice as well as an art form, this book presents a multitude of ways in which people have understood and cared about jazz. It records a history not of style changes but of values, meanings, and sensibilities.

Featuring sixty-two thought-provoking chapters, this unique volume gives voice to a wide range of perspectives, stressing different reactions to and uses of jazz, both within and across communities. It offers contributions from well-known figures including Jelly Roll Morton, Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus, Wynton Marsalis, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis; from renowned writers such as Langston Hughes, Norman Mailer and Ralph Ellison; and from critics including Leonard Feather and Gunther Schuller. Walser has selected writings that capture the passionate reactions of people who have loved, hated, supported and argued about jazz.

Organised chronologically, Keeping Time covers nearly 100 years of jazz history. Filled with insightful writing, it aims to increase historical awareness, to provoke critical thinking, and to encourage lively classroom discussion as students relive the tangled and conflicted story of jazz. It enables readers to see that jazz is not just about names, dates and chords, but rather about issues and ideas, cultural activities, and experiences that have affected people deeply in a great variety of ways. Concise headnotes provide historical context for each selection and point out issues for thinking and discussion. An excellent text for a variety of jazz courses, Keeping Time can serve as supplementary reading in popular music, American Studies, African American studies, history, and sociology courses, and will also appeal to anyone interested in jazz.

ROBERT WALSER is Associate Professor and Chair of Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Running with the Devil: Power, Gender and Madness in Heavy Metal Music (1993) and editor of American Music.

CONTENTS:
FIRST ACCOUNTS
Sidney Bechet's Musical Philosophy - Sidney Bechet
Whence comes Jazz?- Walter Kingsley
The Location of "Jass" - New Orleans Times-Picaynne
A 'Serious' Musician takes Jazz Seriously - Ernest Ansermet
A Negro Explains Jazz - James Reese Europe
Jazzing Away Prejudice - Chicago Defender
The 'Inventor of Jazz' - Jelly Roll Morton
THE TWENTIES
Jazzing around the Globe - Burnet Hershey
Does Jazz Put the Sin in Syncopation? - Anne Shaw Faulkner
Jazz and African Music - Nicholas Ballania-Taylor
The Man who made a Lady out of Jazz (Paul Whiteman) - Hugh C. Ernst
The Jazz Problem - The Etude
The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain - Langston Hughes
A Black Journalist Criticises Jazz - Dave Peyton
The Caucasian of Storms Harlem - Rudolph Fish
The Appeal of Jazz Explained - R. W. S. Mendt
THE THIRTIES
What Is Swing? - Louis Armstrong
Looking Back at "The Jazz Age" - Alain Locke
Don Redman: Portrait of a Bandleader - Rot Ottley
Defining "Hot Jazz" - Robert Goffin
An Experience in Jazz History - John Hammond
On the Road with Count Basie - Billie Holiday
Jazz at Carnegie Hall - James Dugan and John Hammond
Duke Ellington Explains Swing - Duke Ellington
Jazz and Gender During the War Years - Down Beat
THE FORTIES
Red Music - Josef Skvorecky

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