Is Jazz American?

Is Jazz American? from ABC Studios Singing Guitar and Bass Lessons

By: ABC Studios Singing Guitar and Bass Lessons  20-May-2012
Keywords: Jazz Music


A review of two texts: Jazz The Golden Era by Richard Evans and Richard Havers and A Bridge To Somewhere by Trevor Thwaites.

My lovely wife bought me a lovely book. She presented it to me knowing that I 'like Jazz' as she put it. Havers and Evans' book is a coffee-table text with shiny paper and lots of pictures. Great pictures they are too. Wiliam Gottlieb (1917 - 2006) was a superb photographer and, one of the authors tells us, he captured the essence of the performers. All well and good. His Speed Graphic camera produced beautiful images, particularly so in, for example, the 1946 shot of singer Sarah Vaughan or trumpeters Miles Davis and Howard McGhee in 1947. Then there is the text. Lists of people, some famous, some just there, all of them adding up to your knowledge folks, of Jazz Culture. Aspects of the historical writing are poignant for younger readers of the twenty-first century. Descriptions of prohibition and racism make some aspects of American culture sound more like the Taliban of Afghanistan. To be fair, Havers and Evans avoid the extravagant hyperbole sometimes found in jazz literature, although Ken Burns is quoted with such gems as, "Armstrong is to music what Einstein is to physics and the Wright brothers are to travel." More.. at

Keywords: Jazz Music

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