Criticism

Download Blowin' Hot and Cool: Jazz and Its Critics by John Gennari PDF

By John Gennari

Within the illustrious and richly documented background of yank jazz, no determine has been extra arguable than the jazz critic. Jazz critics should be respected or reviled—often both—but they need to no longer be neglected. And whereas the culture of jazz has been lined from doubtless each attitude, no one has ever became the pen again on itself to chronicle the numerous writers who've helped outline how we take heed to and the way we comprehend jazz. that's, after all, until eventually now.

In Blowin' scorching and Cool, John Gennari presents a definitive heritage of jazz feedback from the Twenties to the current. The song itself is in demand in his account, as are the musicians—from Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington to Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Roscoe Mitchell, and past. however the paintings takes its form from attention-grabbing tales of the tradition's key critics—Leonard Feather, Martin Williams, Whitney Balliett, Dan Morgenstern, Gary Giddins, and Stanley Crouch, between many others. Gennari is the 1st to teach the numerous methods those critics have mediated the connection among the musicians and the audience—not purely as writers, yet in lots of instances as manufacturers, broadcasters, live performance organizers, and public intellectuals as well.

For Gennari, the jazz culture isn't really lots a set of recordings and performances because it is a rancorous debate—the dissonant noise clamoring according to the sounds of jazz. opposed to the backdrop of racial strife, category and gender concerns, struggle, and protest that has outlined the earlier seventy-five years in the US, Blowin' sizzling and Cool brings to the fore jazz's most crucial critics and the position they've got performed not just in defining the historical past of jazz but additionally in shaping jazz's value in American tradition and life.

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He was also, along with Charles Edward Smith and other jazz proponents on the radical Left, in opposition to the Communist Party hierarchy’s doctrinaire view of jazz as a debased commercial mass culture and secular opiate of the masses. 40 While some on the “Not Only a New Art Form but a New Reason for Living” r 35 Communist Left—including many at the New Masses—continued to regard jazz as irredeemably bourgeois, the Popular Front opened up a space for jazz as a politically expedient tool of interracial coalition-building.

43 36 r Chapter 1 In his work as a record producer, Hammond helped validate the cultural authenticity of musical art that was being created in one of the major commercial communications industries and circulated to a mass public using the most sophisticated techniques of modern capitalism. 44 To doctrinaire 1930s Marxists, the sudden appearance of swing music and its jitterbugging audience looked suspiciously similar to the fad for chewing gum: both were read as cases of an all-powerful and venal culture industry imposing a false happiness on a mass of easily duped, passive consumers.

But he transmuted her Christian Science fervor into political and cultural activities that challenged his parents’ WASP loyalties. As an adolescent, he sneaked out of the family’s palatial mansion on East 91st Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side to head for the forbidden pleasures of Harlem’s burlesque houses and to shop for African American blues and jazz “race” records. Early on Hammond developed a ferocious distaste for the polite, peppy dance music of white “sweet” bands that played upscale hotel ballrooms, debutante balls, and other cocktail-swilling functions of the leisure class.

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