Jazz: The American Theme Song

James Lincoln Collier, Author Oxford University Press, USA $25 (336p) ISBN 978-0-19-507943-2
Collier, who has written biographies of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, is an engaging and often controversial critic. The essays collected here are centered on the notion that ``style or form in art gains adherence not simply from purely aesthetic considerations, but also from how well it appears to agree with fashionable social, philosophic, or even political considerations.'' Collier argues clearly and concisely that jazz was originally created by African Americans but has long been part of the cultural heritage of other races and classes; that jazz criticism is too deeply mired in adulation, not insight; and that race is not a criterion for appreciating jazz. Collier credits white college ``hot collectors'' of the 1930s with providing vital information for jazz scholarship and local jazz players for continuing interest in this profoundly American music. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993
Release date: 09/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-19-509635-4
Hardcover - 112 pages - 978-0-8050-4121-7
Open Ebook - 337 pages - 978-1-4294-0603-1
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