James Reese Europe and the Infancy of Jazz Criticism

Black Music Research Journal

Just after World War I, when proper jazz journalism did not yet exist, composer and orchestra leader James Reese Europe served as an articulate, even prophetic voice. Though not a writer, comments Europe made on jazz to the press helped cast it as a legitimate art form rather than a threat to society, as it was then sometimes seen. Welburn discusses Europe's comments on race, the origins of jazz, and idiomatic jazz performance techniques.

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Dixieland, early jazz, early jazz criticism, James Reese Europe, National Negro Orchestra, New Orleans, New York, ragtime