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Keeping Time

Readings in Jazz History

Second Edition

Edited by Robert Walser

Publication Date - March 2014

ISBN: 9780199765775

456 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $89.99

Why jazz matters--a vibrant collection of readings on 100 years of jazz history


Featuring more than seventy thought-provoking selections drawn from contemporary journalism, reviews, program notes, memoirs, interviews, and other sources, Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History, Second Edition, brings to life the controversies and critical issues that have accompanied more than 100 years of jazz history. This unique volume gives voice to a wide range of perspectives which stress different reactions to and uses of jazz, both within and across communities, enabling readers to see that jazz is not just about names, dates, and chords, but rather about issues and ideas, cultural activities, and experiences that have affected people deeply in a great variety of ways. Selections include contributions from well-known figures such as Jelly Roll Morton, Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis; from renowned writers including Langston Hughes, Norman Mailer, and Ralph Ellison; and from critics and historians ranging from Gunther Schuller and Christopher Small to Sherrie Tucker and George Lipsitz. Filled with insightful writing, Keeping Time aims to increase historical awareness, to provoke critical thinking, and to encourage lively classroom discussion as students relive the intriguing story of jazz.

New to this Edition

  • Thirteen new selections concentrating on recent jazz scenes
  • Updated headnotes throughout, which provide historical context for each selection and point out issues for thinking and discussion
  • Updated bibliography and notes

About the Author(s)

Edited by Robert Walser, Professor of Music, Case Western Reserve University

Previous Publication Date(s)

January 1999


"No other source than Keeping Time gives such a rich choice of material relating to the social, cultural, historical, and economic conditions of jazz."--Peter Winkler, Stony Brook University

"The single most valuable jazz-history resource (print or otherwise) available today."--David Ake, University of Nevada, Reno

"Walser offers a much greater range of ideas and topics and a more solid critical approach [than other collections on jazz]."--Geoffrey Block, University of Puget Sound

Table of Contents

    First Accounts
    1. Sidney Bechet's Musical Philosophy
    2. "Whence Comes Jass?" Walter Kingsley
    3. The Location of "Jass," New Orleans Times-Picayune
    4. A "Serious" Musician Takes Jazz Seriously, Ernest Ansermet
    5. "A Negro Explains 'Jazz,'" James Reese Europe
    6. "Jazzing Away Prejudice," Chicago Defender
    7. Mister Jelly Roll, Jelly Roll Morton
    The Twenties
    8. Jazzing Around the Globe, Burnet Hershey
    9. "Does Jazz Put the Sin in Syncopation?" Anne Shaw Faulkner
    10. Jazz and African Music, Nicholas G.J. Ballanta-Taylor
    11. Sexual Politics of Women's Blues, Hazel B. Carby
    12. The Man Who Made a Lady Out of Jazz (Paul Whiteman), Hugh C. Ernst
    13. "The Jazz Problem," The Etude
    14. "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain," Langston Hughes
    15. A Black Journalist Criticizes Jazz, Dave Peyton
    16. "The Caucasian Storms Harlem," Rudolph Fisher
    17. The Appeal of Jazz Explained, R.W.S. Mendl
    The Thirties
    18. What Is Swing? Louis Armstrong
    19. Looking Back at "The Jazz Age," Alain Locke
    20. Defining "Hot Jazz," Robert Goffin
    21. Black Music in Our Culture, John Hammond
    22. Lady Sings the Blues, Billie Holiday and William F. Dufty
    23. Jazz at Carnegie Hall, James Dugan and John Hammond
    24. Duke Ellington Explains Swing
    25. Jazz and Gender During the War Years, Down Beat
    The Forties
    26. "Red Music," Josef Skvorecky
    27. "From Somewhere in France," Charles Delaunay
    28. "Upside Your Head!" Johnny Otis
    29. Jazz: A People's Music, Sidney Finkelstein
    30. "Bop is Nowhere," D. Leon Wolff and Louis Armstrong
    31. To Be or Not to Bop, Dizzy Gillespie
    32. The Golden Age, Times Past, Ralph Ellison
    33. The Professional Dance Musician and His Audience, Howard S. Becker
    The Fifties
    34. Perspectives in Jazz, Marshall Stearns
    35. Jazz: Its Evolution and Essence, Andre Hodeir
    36. Musings: The Musical Worlds of Gunther Schuller
    37. "Beneath the Underdog," Charles Mingus
    38. Psychoanalyzing Jazz, Miles D. Miller
    39. Vatican is Asked to Rule on Jazz, Paul Hofmann
    40. US Has Secret Weapon - Jazz, Felix Belair, Jr.
    41. "The White Negro," Norman Mailer
    42. Louis Armstrong on Music and Politics
    The Sixties
    43. "Free Jazz," Ornet Coleman
    44. "Jazz and the White Critic," LeRoi Jones
    45. The Playboy Panel: Jazz, Today and Tomorrow
    The Seventies
    46 . Jamey Aebersold, "The Scale Syllabus"
    47. What Jazz Means to Me, Max Roach
    48. Stomping the Blues, Albert Murray
    49. Notes (8 Pieces), Wadada Leo Smith
    50. Jazz Pop - A "Failed Art Music" Makes Good, Robert Palmer
    The Eighties
    51. Jazz: "America's Classical Music," William "Billy" Taylor
    52. "A Rare National Treasure," U.S. Congress
    53. Interview with Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock
    54. Music of the Common Tongue: Survival and Celebration in Afro-American Music, Christopher Small
    The Ninties
    55. Who Listens to Jazz?
    56. "Free Jazz" Revisited, Ornet Coleman
    57. Ring Shout! Samuel A. Floyd Jr.
    58. Ferociously Harmonizing with Reality, Keith Jarrett
    59. Constructing the Jazz Tradition, Scott DeVeaux
    60. "Local Jazz," James Lincoln Collier
    61. "Out of Notes": Signification, Interpretation, and the Problem of Miles Davis, Robert Walser
    62. "What Makes 'Jazz' the Revolutionary Music of the 20th Century, and Will It Be Revolutionary for the
    63. Improvised Music After 1950: Afrological and Eurological Perspectives, George E. Lewis
    64. "Resistance Is Futile!" Sarah Rodman
    65. "Music and Language," Brad Mehldau
    66. "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't in the History Books," Sherrie Tucker
    67. Three Polemics on the State of Jazz, Stanley Crouch
    68. The Jazz Left, Herman S. Gray
    69. Songs of the Unsung: The Darby Hicks History of Jazz, George Lipsitz
    70. Exploding the Narrative in Jazz Improvisation, Vijay Iyer
    71. Celebrating the Global: The Nordic Tone in Jazz, Stuart Nicholson
    72. "Who Listens to Jazz Now?" National Endowment for the Arts

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