Cover

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Title Page, About the Series, Other Works in the Series, Copyright

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Contents

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Ethnomusicology Multimedia Series Preface

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pp. vii-xii

Each of the audio, video, or still image media examples listed below is associated with specific passages in this book, and each example has been assigned a unique Persistent Uniform Resource Locator, or PURL. The PURL identifies a specific audio, video, or still image media example on the Ethnomusicology Multimedia website...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xx

I moved to New York City to begin the research that eventually led to this book more than a decade ago. As time has accrued so have the colleagues, friends, and family who have contributed in material, personal, and professional ways to the endeavor. In the chapters that follow, some of their contributions are more visible than others, but they are impossible...

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Introduction: Radical Jewish Music in Manhattan

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pp. 1-33

This book began with a gift, casually bestowed by a friend who worked at our local record store. In those pre-Internet years, he had enviable access to all kinds of under-the-radar music, and I hardly knew what to make of this particular find: a CD entitled Jewish Alternative Movement: A Guide for the Perplexed (1998).1 I was dimly aware of the...

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1. Jewish Music: The Art of Getting It Wrong

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pp. 34-55

In his epilogue to the book Jewish Music and Modernity, ethnomusicologist Philip Bohlman describes several narratives by which musicians and observers frame the character of Jewish music in Central and Eastern Europe today. Each of Bohlman’s narratives functions as a conceptual lens one looks through to bring “Jewish music” into focus in...

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2. Breaking a Thick Silence: A Community Emerges

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pp. 56-85

In August–September 1992, the Munich Art Projekt came to the Gasteig, Munich’s grand arts center. The Projekt was two weeks of music with a rotating roster of curators; that year, they included John Cale, Ornette Coleman, Philip Glass, Paul Hillier, Gidon Kremer, Arto Lindsay, and John...

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3. From the Inexorable to the Ineffable: John Zorn’s Kristallnacht and the Masada Project

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pp. 86-144

Through his prolix creativity, his leadership and management skills, and a seemingly tireless dedication to his cause, saxophonist John Zorn played as decisive a role in shaping the RJC moment as he has on the downtown scene as a whole. In addition to commissioning a great deal of new work on the Tzadik label, Zorn, with...

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4. Rethinking Identity: G-d Is My Co-Pilot’s Queer Dada Judaism

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pp. 145-181

In 1994, journalist Roee Rosen published an article in the Jewish community newspaper the Forward, in which he shared his impressions of a musical performance he had heard at the Knitting Factory:

On the stage of a downtown Manhattan club, G - d Is My Co-Pilot, an aggressive, rough-edged hardcore band, is producing its trademark sound, a spasmodic...

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5. Shelley Hirsch and Anthony Coleman: Music and Memory from the “Nowhere Place”

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pp. 182-223

Radical Jewish Culture, embedded in its geographic locus and indebted to the people who lived and worked there, was also a function of a particular moment in history, one shaped by an ever easier access to music that crossed boundaries of genre, nation, and era. As the site for a creative scene that trafficked in pluralistic references and...

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Epilogue

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pp. 224-238

In 2009, I returned to New York City for a year. As ever, the city was in flux. Big changes had been building on the Lower East Side for decades, but New York’s densely settled neighborhoods reshape themselves on their own peculiar time, with old institutions and new arrivals rubbing shoulders, sometimes for years on end. I did the initial...

Notes

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pp. 239-270

Sources

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pp. 271-286

Index

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pp. 287-302

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About the Author

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Tamar Barzel is an ethnomusicologist whose research focuses on experimental music, with an emphasis on late twentieth-century jazz and the Jewish avant-garde. Drawing on both ethnographic and archival research, her work explores the convergence of cultural studies, creative identity, and musical...