What Is This Thing Called Jazz?: African American Musicians as Artists, Critics and Activists
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

What Is This Thing Called Jazz?: African American Musicians as Artists, Critics and Activists

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  20 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Despite the plethora of writing about jazz, little attention has been paid to what musicians themselves wrote and said about their practice. An implicit division of labor has emerged where, for the most part, black artists invent and play music while white writers provide the commentary. Eric Porter overturns this tendency in his creative intellectual history of African Am...more
Paperback, 425 pages
Published January 31st 2002 by University of California Press
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 45)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Dont
Having recently watched Ken Burns's epic documentary on jazz recently, I wanted to gain a more in depth perspective on some of the claims made in the film. Notably, I was struck by what seemed to me rather doctrinaire positions taken by Wynton Marsalis and others in dismissing the entire post-1960 avant-garde current in jazz. I do not know much about jazz, but I know enough to be deeply suspicious of the wholesale rejection of free jazz. Turning to Eric Porter's study of the discourses of jazz,...more
Chris Q. Murphy
Aug 27, 2007 Chris Q. Murphy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those interested in jazz history from an afrocentric perspective
porter has created what is sure to be a standard text for any jazz course for the forseeable future, as he has combined exceptional scholarship with a solid (but never heavy-handed) theory on the origins and course of jazz in america. rooted in the belief that this music is a uniquely african-american cultural creation, he finds the time to give credence to both the amiri barakas and stanley crouches of this world, all the while spinning a fantastic yarn about the development of this music and t...more
Katherine Baber
Also helpful... the emphasis on musicians' thoughts on the music they make, on the performer/composer as intellectual, and the use of Gramsci's model of intellectualism are all appropo, I think. Similar take on bebop as what I take to LB.
Samuel Batista
Samuel Batista marked it as to-read
Jun 26, 2014
Eric
Eric marked it as to-read
Jan 19, 2014
Eric Riser
Eric Riser marked it as to-read
Jan 11, 2014
Maiamali
Maiamali marked it as to-read
Aug 22, 2013
Mă Dă
Mă Dă marked it as to-read
Aug 06, 2013
Alex
Alex marked it as to-read
Aug 02, 2013
Andrei Pogorilowski
Andrei Pogorilowski marked it as to-read
Jul 30, 2013
Martrece Ware-norris
Martrece Ware-norris marked it as to-read
Jul 17, 2013
Ben
Ben marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2013
Gloria
Gloria marked it as to-read
Mar 02, 2013
Finn Oliebollen
Finn Oliebollen marked it as to-read
May 14, 2012
Avid
Avid marked it as to-read
May 10, 2012
Korri
Korri marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2012
Simplysharon9
Simplysharon9 is currently reading it
May 30, 2012
Shandra
Shandra marked it as to-read
Nov 15, 2011
Cory Franz
Cory Franz marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2011
Erik
Erik marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2011
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
671643
Eric Porter is Professor of American Studies, History, and History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the author of What Is This Thing Called Jazz? (UC Press), winner of a 2003 American Book Award, and The Problem of the Future World.
More about Eric Porter...
The Problem of the Future World: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Race Concept at Midcentury What Is This Thing Called Jazz?: African American Musicians as Artists, Critics, and Activists The Problem of the Future World: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Race Concept at Midcentury What Is This Thing Called Jazz?: African American Musicians as Artists, Critics, and Activists Urban Water Infrastructure

Share This Book