Making the Scene: Contemporary New York City Big Band Jazz PDF (Adobe DRM) download by Alex Stewart

Making the Scene: Contemporary New York City Big Band Jazz

University of California Press
Publication date: July 2007
ISBN: 9780520940161
Digital Book format: PDF (Adobe DRM)
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""Alex Stewart's excellent book tackles a subject which has been hidden in plain sight: the central importance of the big band, not as dead artifact of the Swing Era, but as a seminal and nurturing force through the entire history of jazz down to our own time. Through an attractive blend of ethnographic participant-observation, historiography, and formal analysis, Stewart puts the big band at the center of jazz, arguing for its indispensability as a locus of instrumental training and rehearsal, composition, legitimation, and professional networking. Informed and enriched by his own experience as a performer in those worlds as well by his ethnomusicological training, Stewart brings a multi-angled perspective to processes of music-making and career-building that are not often illuminated in scholarly or journalistic literature.""â¿¿John Gennari, author of Blowin' Hot and Cool: Jazz and Its Critics ""A superb book, combining first-class scholarship with the insights of a musician who was there.""â¿¿Bill Kirchner, jazz musician, historian, producer ""I finished the book, then ordered two copies to give to friends. It was fascinatingâ¿¿I knew everyone!""â¿¿Carla Bley, composer, pianist, bandleader ""Most of the analytical literature of jazz deals with small-group jazz. This book contributes to a new understanding of familiar material by arguing for the continuing relevance of the big band format to current debates about the definition of jazz, the future directions of the jazz tradition, and the relationship between improvisatory freedom and composed order.""â¿¿John Murphy, University of North Texas ""Alex Stewart has given us an account of the New York big band scene that combines a clear fondness for big band music, and the people who make it, with a razor-sharp analytical intelligence. His book makes the emphatic case that this music deserves serious attention; he has done us allâ¿¿writers, players and listenersâ¿¿a great service.""â¿¿Steve Swallow, bassist, composer ""This is an important contribution to jazz research dealing with a formerly under-explored area. Stewart provides exceptional insight, taking advantage of his insider status as jazz musician/scholar. Variations of big band performance practice and stylistic approaches are explored through a collection of interviews, ethnnographic study, and score analysis. This book greatly complements and enriches the field of music study at large.""â¿¿Christopher Washburne, Columbia University
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Stewart here informs us of a scene which cannot be mistaken for any other in terms of jazz: the revelation (to me) that in 1937 the swing industry brought in 80 million dollars illustrates what is perhaps obvious from another angle – that big band was big business. People liked to party and New York gave them what they want at that time. The author explores the ‘hot’ big band sound from the perspective of both the audience and band members: ‘Waiting for a turn to solo, surrounded by fifteen or so peers, is like sitting in a pressure cooker.’ He also examines the crushing effect of the rapid cooling off period of hot jazz, and how it accentuated the high times of the record employment levels of the period preceding it: ‘the golden age’. A nicely defined account of the swing era.
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