Blues, Up and Down: From the Mississippi Mud to the Avant-Garde. Olu Dara performs at the Studio Museum in Harlem, April 24, 2007.
William Lowe interviews Olu Dara at the Studio Museum in Harlem, April 24, 2007.
Gushee asks whether New Orleans deserves its central place in the story of jazz' origins. He argues that, although ragtime was being "faked" throughout the country by the beginning of the 20th century, it was New Orleans' version that had the most influence on Chicago jazz and early swing that followed in the 1920s. Drawing on a thorough and imaginative command of primary sources, Gushee focuses on New Orleans musicians' distinctive manner of accompanying contemporary dance music to make his point.
Monson counters the romantic notion of Monk as an apolitical aesthete or isolated genius by pointing to his support of and explicit opinions on civil rights at the peak of the movement in the early 1960s. She focuses on Monk's participation in a series of concerts benefiting leading Civil Rights organizations, such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
This essay explores the way New Orleans jazz was disseminated throughout the country, taking the Creole Band as a case study. This group included legendary jazz musicians Freddy Keppard and George Bacquet, was a popular vaudeville act, and traveled earlier and more widely than its New Orleans peers. Yet the Creole Band has had far less historical documentation and discussion. The authors address this gap by examining notice of the Creole Band in the white theatrical press.
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.
This article discusses the research methods and issues involved in investigating the musical migration from New Orleans to Chicago in the early 20th century and surveys research sources on this period of early jazz. Wang seeks to put several myths to rest, such as that of a musical exodus after the closing of Storyville, New Orleans' red light district, and of a rapid, unidirectional flow of talent between the two cities.
In his Introduction to the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, O'Meally explores whether the book might be a "blues novel," and whether this quality might be the root of its continuing resonance for us.
Three professors of English and experts in African-American studies, Jonathan Arac, Susan K. Harris, and David L. Smith, present their views on Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and on Robert O'Meally's interpretation of it in "Blues for Huckleberry," the Introduction to the Barnes and Noble Classics version of Twain's work.