Incorporation and Distinction in Jazz History and Jazz Historiography

Eric Porter

in Jazz/Not Jazz

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780520271036
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520951358 | DOI:
Incorporation and Distinction in Jazz History and Jazz Historiography

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This chapter confronts the notion of a jazz “essence,” showing how musicians' adoption or rejection of this concept can work as a strategy toward shifting musical identities and professional opportunities, and suggesting that jazz must be understood through its relationship to other vernacular and popular practices. Contending with the ways that musicians, fans, and critics alike have defined artistic projects by investing in or rejecting elements of jazz's assumed essence, at both musical and symbolic levels, gives us greater insight into the production of this music as a socially situated art. This challenge to jazz historiographical practices helps us to expand the parameters of jazz history and to rethink its ontology. Among the artists given close consideration are Don Byron, Charles Mingus, Dinah Washington, Caetano Veloso, and João Gilberto.

Keywords: jazz; historiography; Don Byron; Charles Mingus; Dinah Washington; Caetano Veloso; João Gilberto

Chapter.  7303 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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