The Impact of Black Nationalist Ideology on American Jazz Music of the 1960s and 1970s

Author: Baskerville, John D.
Year:2003
Pages:188
ISBN:0-7734-6646-0
978-0-7734-6646-3
Price:159.95
The purpose of this monograph is threefold: to explore the development of modern black nationalist thought of the 1960s and 1970s and locate it within the tradition of modern black nationalism and cultural revitalization that emerged during the early decades of the 20th century; to demonstrate how a group of musicians operating in the style of American jazz music referred to as the ‘New Black Music’ embraced the various tenets of modern black nationalism and attempted to put these ideas into practice in the production of their music; and to demonstrate how the study of music can be utilized effectively to enhance our understanding of cultural, political, and social phenomena in American society.

Reviews

"Jazz is too often perceived only as entertainment, its social history being involved with speakeasies, bordellos, and dance clubs, with the humor of Louis Armstrong or Dizzy Gillespie. Therein rests a problem with black culture, especially as advanced by the music industry: it is entertaining, but if it is evaluated only on the undeniable attraction of its surface, its real essence is ignored. Certainly by the time of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" (1939), jazz had overtly taken on the African heritage of social commentary. Baskerville (history, Univ. of Northern Iowa) responds to that history, not so much through his personal philosophical agenda as by scholarly documentation and interpretation. The author organizes the material carefully within the context of social issues, a process that explains the ebonization of all black music idioms--especially during the politically sensitive decades examined, not just in the US. This is a study of the meaning of jazz, not of its musical structure. The result is a document on aesthetics that will be thought-provoking, begging consultation certainly by musicians but not limited to them, as the bibliography indicates. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals." - CHOICE

“Historian, ethnomusicologist, bassist John Baskerville has written a text about history, oppression jazz, exploitation economics, segregation, cultural revolution, racism, and greed as manifest via hegemonic institutions created by a society vested in Western traditions….. The reader is meticulously guided through exemplary art forms and introduced to New Orleans’ intricate struggle with and location of jazz through historical, social, and economic analysis clearly revealing how black jazz innovations became ‘discoveries’ of white artists….In approaching his topic outside the traditional musical analysis box and integrating the interdisciplinary analysis, he has adeptly and effectively explicated the nationalistic undertones present in jazz, particularly the ‘New Black Music’ of the 1960s….Baskerville clearly demonstrates his ability to cull events both historically and on a contemporary basis. As you read, you will find much more than you bargained for and when you complete the reading, you will be oh so more informed.” – Dr. Scharron A. Clayton, Dept of Philosophy and Religion, The University of Northern Iowa

Table of Contents

Table of Contents (main headings):
Preface; Foreword; Introduction
1. The Colonized Black Nation: The Basis and Development of Black Nationalist Thought of the 1960s and 1970s (National Ideology; Assimilation/Integration; Revolution and the Decolonization Process; Revitalization and the Re-emergence of Black Nationalism; Varieties of Black Nationalism – cultural, educational, religious, revolutionary)
2. Culture, Jazz, and the New Black Music: Political Weapons (Revolution on the Cultural Front; Soul Music as Nationalist Expression; Pre-Nationalist Jazz; New Orleans – a case study; Imitators and the Commodification of Jazz; Black Nationalism in Jazz; The New Black Music – self-definition, self-assessment, economic self-reliance and control; unity and communication)
3. The Power to Elevate and Define One’s Own Identity, Consciousness, and the New Black Music (Black Cultural Revitalization; The New Negro – The Harlem Renaissance and Marcus Garvey; Black is Beautiful – Self-Identity and Black Aesthetics; “Jazz”; another Name for Nigger?)
4. The Power to Elevate and Define One’s Own: Cultural Revitalization and the Pursuit of a Black Aesthetic (African Liberation, Frantz Fanon, and Black Cultural Nationalism; Black Cultural Nationalism of the 1960s; Black Arts and the Black Aesthetic; The Black Aesthetic and the New Black Music; Poly-Rhythms, Texture, and Collective Improvisation; The Chicagoans, a case study)
5. “You Own It and We Make It”: Economic Black Nationalism and the New Black Music (Economic Colonization of Black Americans; Brief History of the Economics of Jazz; Musical Colonialism & New Black Music; Recording Industry; Jazz Clubs; From Commodity to Art – Economic and Artistic Control; Loft Movement; Collectives; Independent Record Companies and Labels)
6. Conclusion: the Impossible Revolution? Black Nationalism and the New Black Music (Decline of Black Nationalism; Black Nationalism and the New Black Music)
Appendix: The Tributaries of American Jazz Music – Piano and Ragtime Music; Syncopated Orchestras; Blues-Based Folk Music
Bibliography; Index