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Columbia University Press
Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies

Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies


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Jackson Pollock dancing to the music as he painted; Romare Bearden's stage and costume designs for Alvin Ailey and Dianne McIntyre; Stanley Crouch stirring his high-powered essays in a room where a drumkit stands at the center: from the perspective of the new jazz studies, jazz is not only a music to define—it is a culture. Considering musicians and filmmakers, painters and poets, the intellectual improvisations in Uptown Conversation reevaluate, reimagine, and riff on the music that has for more than a century initiated a call and response across art forms, geographies, and cultures.

Building on Robert G. O'Meally's acclaimed Jazz Cadence of American Culture, these original essays offer new insights in jazz historiography, highlighting the political stakes in telling the story of the music and evaluating its cultural import in the United States and worldwide. Articles contemplating the music's experimental wing—such as Salim Washington's meditation on Charles Mingus and the avant-garde or George Lipsitz's polemical juxtaposition of Ken Burns's documentary Jazz and Horace Tapscott's autobiography Songs of the Unsung—share the stage with revisionary takes on familiar figures in the canon: Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231123501
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 06/30/2004
Pages: 544
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Robert G. O'Meally is Zora Neale Hurston Professor of American Literature at Columbia University. He is the author of numerous books, including The Jazz Cadence of American Culture and Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday.Brent Hayes Edwards is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University and the author of The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism.Farah Jasmine Griffin is a professor of English, comparative literature, and African American studies at Columbia University. She is the author of If You Can't Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday.

Table of Contents

Introductory Notes, by Robert G. O'Meally, Brent Hayes Edwards, and Farah Jasmine GriffinSongs of the Unsung: The Darby Hicks History of Jazz, by George Lipsitz"All the Things You Could Be by Now": Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus and the Limits of Avant-Garde Jazz, by Salim WashingtonExperimental Music in Black and White: The AACM in New York, 1970-1985, by George LewisWhen Malindy Sings: A Meditation on Black Women's Vocality, by Farah Jasmine GriffinHipsters, Bluebloods, Rebels, and Hooligans: The Cultural Politics of the Newport Jazz Festival, 1954-1960, by John GennariMainstreaming Monk: The Ellington Album, by Mark TuckerThe Man, by John SzwedThe Real Ambassadors, by Penny M. Von EschenArtistic Othering in Black Diaspora Musics: Preliminary Thoughts on Time, Culture, and Politics, by Kevin GainesNotes on Jazz in Senegal, by Timothy R. ManginRevisiting Romare Bearden's Art of Improvisation, by Diedra Harris-KelleyLouis Armstrong, Bricolage, and the Aesthetics of Swing, by Jorge Daniel VenecianoChecking Our Balances: Louis Armstrong, Ralph Ellison, and Betty Boop, by Robert G. O'MeallyParis Blues: Ellington, Armstrong, and Saying It with Music, by Krin Gabbard"How You Sound??": Amiri Baraka Writes Free Jazz, by William J. HarrisThe Literary Ellington, by Brent Hayes Edwards"Always New and Centuries Old": Jazz, Poetry and Tradition as Creative Adaptation, by Travis JacksonA Space We're All Immigrants From: Othering and Communitas in Nathaniel Mackey's Bedouin Hornbook, by Herman BeaversExploding the Narrative in Jazz Improvisation, by Vijay IyerBeneath the Underground: Exploring New Currents in "Jazz", by Robin D. G. Kelley, by v

What People are Saying About This

Ann Douglas

Richly detailed, often inspired, Uptown Conversations is itself a jam session in which a wide array of distinguished writers, scholars, and artists repsond to each other as well as to the music which is their subject. A communal project, spanning multiple disciplines and forms, that brilliantly illuminates every aspect of America's greatest ongoing communal project--jazz.

Ann Douglas, Columbia University

Sherrie Tucker

Uptown Conversation allows us to eavesdrop on one of the most exciting intellectual jam sessions of our times, the dynamic dialogue bubbling out of Robert O'Meally's Jazz Study Group at Columbia. There is a sparky interconnectedness in this collection, stemming no doubt from the fact that the authors are not only grouped together on paper, but regularly gather off the page to exchange ideas. Uptown Conversation invites its readers to participate in a sustained and refreshingly diverse dialogue on such questions as 'How do we look at jazz in a global context?' and 'How should historians narrate the jazz past?' Let me off uptown! This is new jazz studies at its best.

Sherrie Tucker, University of Kansas

Ingrid Monson

The fruit of years of cutting edge interdisciplinary conversations under the leadership Columbia University's Jazz Study Group, these essays chart new territory, set new standards, and are essential reading for anyone seriously interested in the history and future of the music. Professors O'Meally, Griffin and Edwards have put together an intellectual jam session of the highest order.

Ingrid Monson, Harvard University

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