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The Jazz Revolution: Twenties America and…
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The Jazz Revolution: Twenties America and the Meaning of Jazz (edition 1992)

by Kathy J. Ogren

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Member:Dmoorela
Title:The Jazz Revolution: Twenties America and the Meaning of Jazz
Authors:Kathy J. Ogren
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (1992), Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:20th Century History

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The Jazz Revolution: Twenties America and the Meaning of Jazz by Kathy J. Ogren

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I really enjoyed this book, it is everything which I expect from a social history.
It starts off tracing - or trying to trace, because nobody knows it for sure - the history of jazz, how and from what it was born, going back to African and slave music. How this changed to performance, how it became ragtime first, then jazz. What where the places where this kind of music was most frequently performed and since such places where often not too respectable (if not respectable at all), so it was that jazz. From the start, it gathered a very uncomplimentary reputation, one that over time turned into accusation of driving people crazy, breaking down all inhibitions.

The book traces the very beginning of the music in the marching bands in New Orleans, depicting a very vivid image of what it was like. Then moves to Chicago and New York (mostly) to show us the evolution of this music inside the Prohibition Era's clubs.
There are a lot of quotations from musicians who lived that era, and it's very enjoyable to read their memories. Sometimes it's like being there.

Then the author explores how jazz was perceived and lived by the black community as opposed to how it was perceived and lived by the white community. I particularly like the section devoted to jazz in Jazz Age films, because it not only explored the life of jazz in the movies, but also the changing perception of African American people and performers by viewers at large.

Really, every page is a discovery. I strongly recommend this to any lover of jazz, or, like me, fans of the Jazz Age ( )
  JazzFeathers | Jul 27, 2016 |
Very good history of early jazz in the 1920s - excellent tie into literature but essentially a sociological study. If you are a lover of all things jazz then you will enjoy this small volume.
  MitchChabraja | Apr 25, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195074793, Paperback)

Born of African rhythms, the spiritual "call and response," and other American musical traditions, jazz was by the 1920s the dominant influence on this country's popular music. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance (Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston) and the "Lost Generation" (Malcolm Cowley, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein), along with many other Americans celebrated it--both as an expression of black culture and as a symbol of rebellion against American society. But an equal number railed against it. Whites were shocked by its raw emotion and sexuality, and blacks considered it "devil's music" and criticized it for casting a negative light on the black community.
In this illuminating work, Kathy Ogren places this controversy in the social and cultural context of 1920s America and sheds new light on jazz's impact on the nation as she traces its dissemination from the honky-tonks of New Orleans, New York, and Chicago, to the clubs and cabarets of such places as Kansas City and Los Angeles, and further to the airwaves. Ogren argues that certain characteristics of jazz, notably the participatory nature of the music, its unusual rhythms and emphasis, gave it a special resonance for a society undergoing rapid change. Those who resisted the changes criticized the new music; those who accepted them embraced jazz. In the words of conductor Leopold Stowkowski, "Jazz [had] come to stay because it [was] an expression of the times, of the breathless, energetic, superactive times in which we [were] living, it [was] useless to fight against it."
Numerous other factors contributed to the growth of jazz as a popular music during the 1920s. The closing of the Storyville section of New Orleans in 1917 was a signal to many jazz greats to move north and west in search of new homes for their music. Ogren follows them to such places as Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, and, using the musicians' own words as often as possible, tells of their experiences in the clubs and cabarets. Prohibition, ushered in by the Volstead Act of 1919, sent people out in droves to gang-controlled speak-easies, many of which provided jazz entertainment. And the 1920s economic boom, which made music readily available through radio and the phonograph record, created an even larger audience for the new music. But Ogren maintains that jazz itself, through its syncopated beat, improvisation, and blue tonalities, spoke to millions.
Based on print media, secondary sources, biographies and autobiographies, and making extensive use of oral histories, The Jazz Revolution offers provocative insights into both early jazz and American culture.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:19 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Born of African rhythms, the spiritual "call and response," and other American musical traditions, jazz was by the 1920s the dominant influence on this country's popular music. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance (Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston) and the "Lost Generation" (Malcolm Cowley, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein), along with many other Americans celebrated it--both as an expression of black culture and as a symbol of rebellion against American society. But an equal number railed against it. Whites were shocked by its raw emotion and sexuality, and blacks conside.… (more)

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