Journals Higher Education
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Published: 27 October 1994

256 Pages

5-5/16 x 8 inches

ISBN: 9780195092608

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Bookseller Code (06)

Chicago Jazz

A Cultural History, 1904-1930

William Howland Kenney

The setting is the Royal Gardens Cafe. It's dark, smoky. The smell of gin permeates the room. People are leaning over the balcony, their drinks spilling on the customers below. On stage, King Oliver and Louis Armstrong roll on and on, piling up choruses, the rhythm section building the beat until tables, chairs, walls, people, move with the rhythm. The time is the 1920s. The place is South Side Chicago, a town of dance halls and cabarets, Prohibition and segregation, a town where jazz would flourish into the musical statement of an era.
In Chicago Jazz, William Howland Kenney offers a wide-ranging look at jazz in the Windy City, revealing how Chicago became the major center of jazz in the 1920s, one of the most vital periods in the history of the music. Kenney vividly describes the entire period from the migration of southern blacks to Chicago during and after World War I (which set the stage for the development of jazz in Chicago), through the evolution of white jazz, and how the nightclubs and cabarets catering to both black and white customers provided the social setting for jazz performances.
Focusing on all the Chicago greats such as King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, and Wild Bill Davison, this is a new interpretation of Chicago jazz which brings to life the hustle and bustle of the sounds and styles of musical entertainment in the famous toddlin' town.

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