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Jazz and European Sources, Dynamics, and Contexts

Edited by Luca Cerchiari, Laurent Cugny, and Franz Kerschbaumer

Publication Year: 2012

The critical role of Europe in the music, personalities, and analysis of jazz It is often said that jazz is America’s great gift to the world, but while true, this belies the surprising, often crucial role that Europe has played in the development and popularity of jazz throughout the world. Based on a series of symposia attracting leading scholars, critics, and musicians from throughout Europe and the United States, Eurojazzland first addresses the impact of European musical traditions and instruments on the formation and development of American jazz. Part two details the vital experiences of American musicians on European soil, from black minstrels to such jazz greats as Benny Carter and Duke Ellington, and deals with European jazzmen and their developments of American jazz styles. The final part chronicles the importance of European critics and musicologists in jazz criticism and offers essays on European contributions to jazz musicianship and production. Eurojazzland proves that jazz is simply too rich and varied for one country to claim, define, or contain. This groundbreaking collection will appeal to jazz aficionados, scholars, musicologists, and musicians.

Published by: Northeastern University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-xvii

It is curious that a comprehensive book on jazz in Europe still doesn’t exist. There are hundreds of titles dedicated to the history of jazz and African American music in the United States, but none to its European counterparts. Some recent jazz histories also deal with Europe (and others with Asia, Africa, and Oceania, in that jazz is correctly regarded as an international sonic...

Part I | Europe as a Source of Jazz

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1 | The Influence of Celtic Music on the Evolution of Jazz

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pp. 3-20

The author has undertaken structured listening to numerous recordings, primarily of traditional Scottish and Irish music but also including Swedish folk music, to explore the European origins of jazz and early North American folk music. This process, together with often untapped evidence from the literature,...

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2 | Beyond the ‘‘Spanish Tinge’’: Hispanics and Latinos in Early New Orleans Jazz

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pp. 21-46

Despite their relative absence as protagonists in most discussions of jazz origins, musicians of Hispanic and Latino heritage contributed to the early development of jazz in important ways. Their story is less about the transmission of European and African musical traits to the New World than it is...

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3 | Why Did Art Music Composers Pay Attention to ‘‘Jazz’’?: The Impact of ‘‘Jazz’’ on the French Musical Field, 1908–1924

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pp. 47-80

‘‘Jazz’’ first arrived in France during the 1910s and had its first halcyon days during the 1920s.1 The music corresponding to this term was mostly made of ragtimes, fox-trots, charlestons, and blues. Even if ragtime of 1908 is to be considered a pre-jazz genre, ‘‘jazz’’ will refer in this article to the kind of music that...

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4 | Violin and Bowed Strings in Jazz: A French School?

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pp. 81-97

The first aim of this article is to discuss how much the use of the violin in jazz has hitherto remained a typically European phenomenon. That means examining the close relationship between the violin—as well as bowed strings in general, as opposed to, say, brass or reed instruments—and the European...

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5 | Sacred, Country, and Urban Tunes: The European Songbook; ‘‘Greensleeves’’ to ‘‘Les feuilles mortes’’ (‘‘Autumn Leaves’’), ‘‘Gigolo’’ to ‘‘ ’O sole mio’’

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pp. 98-122

‘‘No Europe, no jazz,’’ Norman Granz used to say in the sixties. Of course, he was referring to a collective economy of concerts, festivals, and record sales. Granz’s roster of artists—from Ella Fitzgerald to Oscar Peterson, from Jazz at the Philharmonic to Stan Getz—used to have more success in...

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6 | Across Europe: Improvisation as a Real and Metaphorical Journey

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pp. 123-140

Since its beginning in the thirties of the last century, jazz has been experienced in Europe as a turning point, the ultimate exile, the conquest of a new ‘‘citizenship of the world,’’ as something searching for the instinct, spontaneity, and energy that are free at last and that stand as the symbol for...

Part II | Jazz Meets Europe

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7 | Cross-Cultural Links: Black Minstrels, Cakewalks, and Ragtime

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pp. 143-166

The prehistory of jazz dates back to the nineteenth century, and thus to a time when there were few documents of recorded sound and apparently little tangible evidence to support discussions on the origins and evolution of these musical developments. It is widely accepted that jazz has black roots. It...

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8 | Benny Carter in Britain, 1936–1937

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pp. 167-188

Benny Carter’s residency in Europe between 1935 and 1938 has been summarized in the seminal text on his life (Berger et al., 2002) and in an invaluable article by Howard Rye in the ‘‘Visiting Firemen’’ series for Storyville (Rye, 1981). Carter’s visit began with nine months in France as a...

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9 | ‘‘A New Reason for Living’’: Duke Ellington in France

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pp. 189-213

In the long and storied career of Duke Ellington, who was born in 1899 and died in 1974, no nation save his own played as significant role as did France. Ellington enjoyed a long and rich association with France, especially its City of Light, spanning forty years. He performed in Paris and twenty-six other...

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10 | Cool Jazz in Europe

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pp. 214-234

Cool jazz, which is strongly related aesthetically and in its sonic ideals to European art music, was welcomed, copied, and interpreted avidly in Europe itself—although the intensity of that interest varied from country to country. In general, the following characteristics emerged:...

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11 | Orchestral Thoughts: Jazz Composition in Europe and America (An Interview with Composer-Director Giorgio Gaslini)

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pp. 235-252

During the war (1940–45), a jazz big band close to the city of Lecco made me their conductor. I was twelve years old. While continuing to practice piano, I performed a few concerts with them in the area. It was my professional debut. I was later invited by the National Radio of Italy to broadcast a weekly concert of...

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12 | The New Orleans Revival in Britain and France

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pp. 253-274

At the end of the 1930s, a movement began in the United States that looked back fondly at the jazz of the 1920s and sought to revive it in various ways. On the one hand there were record producers, such as George Avakian, who set out, although he was still a sophomore at Yale, to produce discs...

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13 | The European Jazz Avant-Garde of the Late 1960s and Early 1970s: Where Did Emancipation Lead?

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pp. 275-297

Writing jazz history—as with any other kind of historiography—necessitates a reliance on documentation. What cannot be verified by written sources or recordings will either fall into oblivion or be consigned to mythology. Something recalled by a contemporary may be rather...

Part III | The Circulation of Eurojazzland

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14 | Did Europe ‘‘Discover’’ Jazz?

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pp. 301-341

One of the most commonly accepted notions about the relationship between Europe and jazz is that the Europeans had recognized jazz as an important music right at the outset, while the Americans had dismissed it as a minor form of entertainment, not worth taking seriously, let alone...

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15 | European Jazz Developments in Cross-Cultural Dialogue with the United States and Their Relationship to the Counterculture of the 1960s

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pp. 342-365

In 1979, the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik devoted a whole issue to European jazz. It was a way of reaching a wider public outside the jazz scene, drawing attention to developments since the 1960s, which were often encapsulated in the slogan ‘‘emancipation.’’ Joachim Ernst Berendt summed up this view in...

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16 | Europe and the New Jazz Studies

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pp. 366-380

In his 1988 article ‘‘Some Problems with Jazz Research,’’ Lewis Porter described the way in which jazz scholarship had, until that time, been largely an amateur pursuit. Porter suggested that the growth and development of jazz and black music studies in the United States would eventually transform the...

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17 | Revisioning History Lived: Four European Expats, Three Men and One Woman, Who Shaped One American Life in Two American Cultures

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pp. 381-406

My time in Europe doing interviews and research for my book Northern Sun, Southern Moon: Europe’s Reinvention of Jazz (Yale University Press, 2005) exposed me to many variations on the trope of American ‘‘expats’’— mostly African American musicians who lived and worked full time in...

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18 | Utopian Sounds: Mimesis and Identity in European Jazz Technologies

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pp. 407-430

Jazz music and modern music technologies, whether electric, electronic, or digital, have at least one thing in common: they both come to us from America. The United States still leads in these two sectors today and continues to produce both in industrial quantities. However, although the history...

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19 | Roots and Collage: Contemporary European Jazz in Postmodern Times

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pp. 431-446

Our time, often described as the ‘‘information age,’’ has put knowledge of nearly every aspect of the present, the past, and the possible future at our fingertips. Our civilization’s advanced information technology has put the furthest corners of the world within our reach and has suffused what were...


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pp. 447-448


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pp. 449-484

E-ISBN-13: 9781611682984
E-ISBN-10: 1611682983
Print-ISBN-13: 9781584658641
Print-ISBN-10: 1584658649

Page Count: 456
Illustrations: 28 illus., 12 tables.
Publication Year: 2012