Northern Sun, Southern Moon Europe's Reinvention of Jazz
Yale University Press, 2005
Hardback. 400pp. b&w illustrations
Until the 1960s American jazz, for all its improvisatory and rhythmic brilliance, remained rooted in formal Western conventions originating in ancient Greece and early Christian plainchant. At the same time European jazz continued to follow the American model. When the creators of so-called 'free jazz' - Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, Anthony Braxton and others - liberated American jazz from its Western ties. European musicians found their own distinctive voices and created a vital, innovative and independent jazz culture.
Northern Sun, Southern Moon examines this pan-Eurasian musical revolution. Author and musician Mike Heffley charts its development in Scandinavia, Holland, England, France, Italy and especially Germany. He then follows its spread to former eastern bloc countries. Heffley brings to life an evolving musical phenomenon, situating European jazz in its historical, social, political and cultural contexts, and adding valuable material to the still scant scholarship on improvisation. He reveals a Eurasian genealogy worthy of jazz's well-established African and American pedigrees, and proposes startling new implications for the histories of both Western music and jazz.
MIKE HEFFLEY is a writer, composer, and jazz scholar. He has a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University and is the author of The Music of Anthony Braxton.
read an interview with Michael Garrick
read an essay on Joe Harriott
subscribe to Avant magazine:-
AVANT is a magazine devoted exclusively to contemporary music. Avant is available on subscription or from newsagents.
Avant is chiefly about jazz, free improvised music, electronic, experimental and contemporary classical music, but essentially about anything that is genuinely new and challenging. 68 pages make it incredible value [and each issue includes a free FMR-records CD with every issue linked to the articles, reviews and interviews in the magazine].
10 Baddow Road
Essex CM2 0DG
tel: 01245 353878
fax: 01245 352490