|© Berndt Ostendorf., Amerika Institut, Munich
Cuts and Breaks
Jazz: A Modernist Quest for Liberation
Running Jazz through Historical Changes: 1900-1933
The history of the attraction of African American music in Europe begins before and then continues after the Great War. Minstrel Shows and Ragtime had been de rigueur at the Windsor, Wittelsbach, Habsburg and Hohenzollern courts, as were American novelty orchestras and the new dance styles they introduced. James Reese Europe's Hellfighters and Louis Mitchell’s Jazz Kings came as part of the American Expeditionary forces in WW I and toured all over France, a success that spilled over into England. These were jazz-inspired marching and dance orchestras, not jazz formations as we understand them today. Yet the new sounds they introduced into European dance halls and variety theatres were considered radical enough. Many conservative German critics believed that the Americanization of Europe in terms of class and gender would occur first in what was called “Girlkultur” introduced by the “new dancing woman.” 26)
Heinrich Baumgartner comments on the scene in Zürich: “Jazz was played for the opening of modern variety shows, jazz articulated the difference between old and new dances in the dance schools...”Jazz” in the twenties served as an opposite to 19th century folksy music.” 27)
The editor of a German avant-garde magazine greeted jazz in April 1925 as follows:
Since we, dear reader, have better things to do than dwell on “decorum” we will talk jazz. The editors note with satisfaction that, when our friends talk about jazz, they are rarely agreed except on one thing: that this evil jazz could mark the beginning of a revolution. And since our journal seeks to track, nay anticipate any obliteration of the conventional, we concur that jazz when played in some dive, or even when heard on a record, is more significant than half a dozen run-of-the-mill nights spent in the concert hall. And it is more serious.. For us jazz means – Americans. Rebellious atavistic instincts against a musical culture devoid of rhythm. Image of the times: chaos, machines, noise, highest pitch of intensity – triumph of the spirit that sparks with a new melody, a new color...It means combating hypocritical Biedermeier which often gets confused with romanticism : Deliver us from Gemütlichkeit. 28)
George Antheil, the self-declared Bad Boy of Music, writes that the impact of these black bands was had a similar effect on listening habits as the performance of Stravinsky’s “Sacre du Printemps” in Paris. 29)
Improvisation and new rhythms were the key differences in a world, where ”durchkomponierte Musik” (Antheil, 218) set the standard against which quality was measured. 30)
Classical conductor Ernest Ansermet marvelled in his article “Sur un orchestre Nègre” published in La Revue romande about the “étonnante perfection, le haut goût” of improvising Black musicians. In particular he praised Sidney Bechet for his “pitiless execution” that reminded him of the rigor of the second Brandenburg Concerto. 31)
Clearly Sam Woodings Orchestra or the bands of Louis Mitchell and of Jack Hylton that were features of the cabaret and dance scene in Weimar Germany did not deserve such effusive praise.
Indeed in Weimar Germany there was little exposure to real jazz before 1925. One reason for the relative paucity of jazz performances was hyperinflation. American jazz musicians could not expect to make the sort of money in Berlin that they received in England or France. Yet, this did not diminish the hunger for novelty music. It was Ernst Krenek’s opera Jonny spielt auf that did more to spread an enthusiasm for jazz, although his music and particularly the hit single “Jonnys Blues” had little to do with the original article. Instead Krenek's approximations of jazz helped to establish a certain Weimar jazz surrogate that Adorno would find so offensive later on. As J. Bradford Robinson puts it, the Weimar jazz age was a creation not so much of the sophisticated audience, but of the media and political class who raised the spectre of Americanisation to whip up emotions. (Robinson, 107).
Professional agents, American and European, moved into the Weimar music market after the middle twenties to introduce this music to hungry audiences. Josephine Baker and Paul Whiteman became fixtures of the entertainment scene. But also less well-known “converts” to jazz such as Lud Gluskin played a key role. After 1925 records began to change the mode of jazz reception. Gluskin was a classical percussionist who hired first-rate American musicians and made a great number of records in Germany; so did the Italo-American Michael Danzi in Berlin. Of all white ethnics the Italo-Americans and Jewish Americans were most instrumental in translating black music into a white structure of feeling. Though few of these recorded groups mastered the central elements of “jazz” and of Afro-American musical performance that Ansermet had admired in Sidney Bechet’s playing, they brought approximations of black music making to Europe. 32)
And all of them tried to meet a desire for “new sounds” which characterized Europe at the break of modernism.
Rather than attempt to describe the complex process of individual musical borrowing and adaptation in a historiographical narrative of clear sequences and genealogies—which would falsify the record—let me try to analyze the question: what made jazz, or whatever passed for jazz, so attractive to Europeans. This relates to questions of codes, of semiotics, of conventions. It touches on the nature of symbolic exchanges based on complex systems of signs and on conventions of organizing musical messages.
Jazz was perceived as quintessentially American precisely by virtue of its incorporation of the African musical idiom. The African part of it, most of all rhythm and improvisation, made it so different from well-tempered European traditions. In a much quoted article for Modern Music in1927 Aaron Copland named the essential contribution of jazz the “metamorphosis of rhythm from ragtime to jazz” culminating in the handling of polyrhythms. 33)
Secondly jazz filled the emblem of the age that Ezra Pound defined as “Make IT New” with instant meaning. It is more than just accidental that Ezra Pound and the Vorticists emphasized the centrality of “biorhythms” for a regeneration of poetry which they, like the Futurists before them, tried to free from all previous encrustations. 34)
Both movements used images of rhythm and dance as metaphors for the renewal of poetic energies. Jazz could be used as a strategic instrument to mark the “rhythmic” secession from the older European culture. It fit the futurist notion of “anti-passatismo” and answered Marinetti’s call: “who will deliver us from Greece or Rome?” with a resounding “America.”
J.A. Rogers in his article “Jazz at home” for The New Negro (1925) quotes classical conductor Leopold Stokowski to the effect that:
The Negro Musicians of America are playing a great part in this change. They have an open mind, and unbiased outlook. They are not hampered by conventions or traditions, and with their new ideas, their constant experiment, they are causing new blood to flow in the veins of music. The jazz players make their instruments do entirely new things, things finished musicians are taught to avoid. They are pathfinders into new realms.
Jazz gave a popular and vernacular frisson to the feeling of crisis and secession. It heralded a new relationship to reality and it lampooned the pretension of the European bourgeois world in that it was decidedly anti-status quo. Rather than invoke the “Nightmare of History” (Eliot) in semi-tragic tones, it ignored it. When Yeats said “the center does not hold,” jazz urged to throw it away and do the shimmy. And most of all it was an anti-representative art. It was also an avantgardist gesture in that it projected not only a music but a new way of living. For jazz, this is a consensus of musicians and fans, involves not only a musical genre, but a new approach to lived culture. It was a multi-ethnic hybrid, an antidote to any kind of cultural nationalism and chauvinism, and therefore it was never an exclusive music with limited access. Hence its political undertow was antithetical to what made the older Europe tick. Whereas the latter was set on social hierarchies, national cultures and the maintenance of boundaries of class and gender, jazz defied any such constraints. In the emerging metropolitan culture it was the ideal vehicle for breaking conventions and going slumming with style. No wonder the Cunards, Vanderbilts and the new urban working class fell for it, all at the same time.
What was the artistic and ideological meaning of jazz in the modernist German and French avant-gardes? The reception of “Amerikanismus” that traveled under the auspices of “modernization” included Henry Ford’s cars next to jazz and emancipated, dancing flappers. It fit into the general dynamism of the period. Though New Orleans jazz was in good measure based on the rural music of recent migrants it matured as an urban and cosmopolitan music providing entertainment for the emerging metropolis. The new music from America seemed to answer the call of futurist Luigi Russolo, the inventor of noise machines, for “street noises, atonality and irregular rhythms.” This is Russolo's revolutionary manifesto “The Art of Noises” of 1913:
If we go through a great modern capital with our ears more alert than our eyes, we can delight in distinguishing the murmur of water, air and gas in metal pipes, the mutter of motors, breathing and pulsing like animals, the throbbing of valves, the thudding of pistons, the screeching of mechanical saws, the jolting of a tram on its trails, the cracking of whips, the flapping of curtains and flags. 35)
The urban structure of feeling and carnivalesque sentiment of jazz was not alien to the formerly rural and now urban folk carving out a new life in American and European cities. For it was structurally an open form with a penchant for innovation and incorporation of the other. Hence over time jazz, by absorbing and nostrifying local musical traditions, mutated into a wide spectrum of variants; there is New Orleans style, Dixieland, Swing, Bebop and Free Jazz and there are Italian, French, Gypsy, Klezmer, Indian, Japanese, and North African Jazz variants. It fraternized with Dada and Surrealism which sought out the unconscious and the Other. Not surprisingly many of the surrealists were avid jazz fans. 36).
It was a fitting music for the industrialized world, a fact noticed by Hektor Rottweiler (alias Th. Adorno in 1936), though he then went on to call jazz proto-fascist, one of the most egregious misjudgements in the history of music. 37)
Jazz both in its instruments of choice and modes of reproduction used modern technology, but never succumbed to a taylorisation of rhythm. Its motto was make it new, but not quite on the beat; hence Adorno's allegations of taylorisation misses a central point of jazz. At its avant-garde spear-head it had a built-in resistance against such commodification. Yet, it allowed participation on many levels of increasing or decreasing sophistication since it reached out both downward to its folk roots and upward to the avant-garde. It loved to go slumming, but it aimed high in creative standards. Now wonder then that many composers within the classical avant-garde took it seriously. Yet, it fit into the New Urban Capitalism since it was part of the new leisure and entertainment industry. It used ready-made and collage as a principle of composition. It sat well with the new anthropology of primitivism since it included non-Western elements so popular among artists at the time. 38)
It encouraged the new internationalism of artistic cohorts which networked all principal cities from New York to Moscow to Zürich to Munich to Paris to London and Berlin. In short, jazz was a traveling, networking, urban music of the first order, hence mirroring and anticipating patterns of modern migration and secession.
Its evolutionary trajectory from New Orleans to Bebop sedimented after 1945 into a sociomusical stratification model which reached from so-called mouldy figs of traditional jazz to hepcats of Bebop. On all levels of reception it was a social music since it encouraged certain forms of urban sociability comprising not only music, but dress and language. It was an urban lingua franca ready to be used and adopted by anyone. It lacked barriers against any cultural appropriation by film, variety or dance hall. Indeed there was a dual affinity between jazz and the avant-garde: both exhibit and pursue a hermeneutics of depth that tries bringing up repressed feelings, striking through hypocritical masks, and evoking the primitive. Yet both love surfaces with a penchant for Kitsch and trash, with appeals to populist modernism and modern marketing strategies. The second affinity ties in with its habitus of liberation concerning gender and race. A rhetoric and gesture of freedom characterize both jazz and the avant-garde. Emancipated “American girls” and jazz went hand in hand. To befriend black musicians implied a gesture of anti-colonialism. Secondly it meant a liberation of western hegemonic forms of representation and it invited a pluralism of styles as a reflection of a new international anthropology. Indeed it would be interesting to investigate the triangulation of jazz, surrealism and anthropology in the academic agendas of the French avant-garde of the twenties and thirties. Jazz was also seen as part of a new interest in African art and so-called primitve art. It was in Schiller's term a “naive” expression, straight from the heart, unreflected and “automatic” as in the experimental “automatic writing,” an oral tradition based on the art of improvisation. The Harlem Renaissance had called for the “New Negro,” a cause taken up in Europe by highly placed individuals such as Nancy Cunard the black sheep of a dynasty who edited one of the most important anthologies of Black arts with several important articles on black music translated by Samuel Becket. 39)
Last but not least was the hope for a (largely projected) liberation of the senses which was mirrored in the above-mentioned anxiety of the establishment that jazz through its transmission by emancipated dancing “girls” would lead to sexual libertinism. 40)
Weimar of course did and could not keep up the frenzied energy of the late twenties. When Hitler came to power the market for jazz had already gone into decline. Though the Nazis were secretly addicted to the glamour of modern, industrializing America there was no room the universe of Adolf Hitler for the liberating modernism of jazz.
1). Alan P. Merriam & Fradley H. Garner, “Jazz-The Word,” in: Robert O'Meally, ed., The Jazz Cadence of American Culture (New York: Columbia University Press 1998); Paul Oliver. “Jazz is Where you Find it: the European experience of jazz.” In Chris Bigsby, ed. Superculture. (Bowling Green: University Popular Press 1975.) For a fine overview of the aesthetics and meaning of jazz see Stefan Richter. Zu einer Ästhetik des Jazz. (Frankfurt: Peter Lang) 1995. Eric Hobsbawm explains how “Jazz Comes to Europe,” in Uncommon People. (New York: New Press 1998) 265-273. Among classical critics Henry Pleasants and William Austin deserve credit for calling attention to the leading role of jazz as a modernist avantgarde. Henry Pleasants Serious Music – and All That Jazz. New York: Simon & Schuster 1969 and William Austin Music in the 20th Century New York: Norton, 1966.
2). Paul Berliner. Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Improvisation. (Chicago: U. Chicago 1994)
3). Art Hodes. Selections from the Gutter. Berkeley: Univ. Of California Press 1977. Ann Douglass. „Ragging and Slanging“. Terrible Honesty. Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920s. New York: Giroux, Farrar & Strauss 1995.
4). Berndt Ostendorf. «What Makes American Popular Culture so Popular : A View from Europe. Amerikastudien in print. See also Henry Pleasants « Introduction » Serious Music -. And All That Jazz.
5). But then the waltz was accused by reactionary circles at the time of the Vienna congress for having caused the French revolution. Fritz Giese. « Das tanzende Amerika » Velhagen & Klasings Monatshefte 41, 11 (July 1927), 542-48. Also his Girlkultur. Vergleiche zwischen amerikanischem und europäischem Rhythmus und Lebensgefuehl. Munich 1925.
6). Guenter Berghaus. « Girlkultur-Feminism, Americanism and Popular Entertainment in Weimar Germany. » Journal of Design History. Vol 1. Nos.3-4, 193-219. Siegfried Krakauer became an eloquent commentator of the new urban culture.
7). Berndt Ostendorf, “Bebop und die Beat Generation: Avantgarden oder Subkulturen,” Amerikastudien/American Studies, Jg. 30, 4 (1985):509-535.
8). Jazz and Americanism were related to a new « body feeling ». Rudolf Kayser writes in Vossische Zeitung: « To it corresponds the new appearance of the European : beardless, with sharp profile, determined gaze, narrow, steeled body, and of the new type of women : boyish, linear, lively in gesture and gait. In general, the method of Americanism strongly expresses itself in physical terms, in the body-soul. » See also Paul F. Berliner. « Jazz as a Way of Life. » Thinking in Jazz. The Infinite Art of Improvisation. Chicago. U. Chicago Press 1994.
9). Mezz Mezzrow describes it so in Really the Blues. Cf. my review of Jeffrey Melnick, A Right to Sing the Blues. African Americans. Jews, and American Popular Song (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press 1999) 275 S. Jon Parish. The Color of Jazz. Race and Representation in Postwar American Culture (Jackson: University of Mississippi, 1997) 165 S, Jahrbuch für Volksliedforschung, forthcoming.
10). Neil Leonard, “The Reactions to Ragtime,” in John Edward Hasse, ed., Ragtime. Its History, Composers, and Music (New York: Schirmer, 1985).
11). On the role of German-Americans in trying to elevate American musical taste in the late 19th century and to stave off the native American influence see my “The Diluted Second Generation: German-Americans in Music 1870-1920,” in German Worker's Culture in the US: 1850-1920, Hg. Hartmut Keil (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1988) 261-287.
12). “Demoralizing Ragtime Music,” Musical Courier 66 (21 May 1913): 22-23.
13). Quoted in Kenneth Aaron Kanter, The Jews on Tin Pan Alley (New York: Ktav Publishing House, 1982). See my review in Popular Music, vol.4, (Cambridge University Press 1984), 323-327. More on the theme of Jewish-Yankee opposition in music in McDonald Smith Moore, Yankee Blues: Musical Culture and American Identity, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985). See my review in Popular Music vol. 6, no. 3, October 1987. In that context the music of Henry Franklin Belknap Gilbert (1868-1928) is of interest. Gilbert, a classical composer, wrote a number of pieces with a ragtime inflection: "Comedy Overture on Negro Themes" (1905) and "Dance in Place Congo," (1906-8) which was rejected by Karl Muck as "niggah music" unfit for the concert hall. He then rewrote it as a ballet score with a premiere at the Metropolitan Opera in 1918. By this time the shock of hearing negro inflections in classical music had worn off, and reviews of his earlier works were quite favorable, but Gilbert withdrew from what he called his "Negro phase". Charles Hamm. Music in the New World. (New York: The Norton Company 1983), 419-20.
14) A bestseller of the time, Otto Weininger's Geschlecht und Charakter which saw 17 editions between 1904 and 1928 and which was read by all modernists spells out the oriental temptation. Most classical composers of the time were dismissive of jazz. See Henry Pleasants “American Music and the Musical Establishment.” In: Serious Music... op. cit. 112ff.
15). It is no accident that E.L. Doctorow’s chose the title Ragtime for his novel that pivots on the modernizing shock of the new. The traditional American world is represented by father, orthodox Europe by Jewish Tateh before his conversion; the “liberated” modern and popular world is consummated in the marriage of Tateh, the film tycoon, and mother, who in that encounter discovers her own sleeping beauty. And all of these conversions are energized by the musical color line. See my "The Musical World of Doctorow`s Ragtime," American Quarterly Vol. 43, No. 4 (December 1991), 579-601. Cf also my ”Some Contradictions in the Americanization-of-Germany Debate,” in Elliott Shore and Frank Trommler, ed. Being Present in the Other Culture. New York: Berghahn Books 2001
16). See my "Anthropology, Modernism, and Jazz" in: Harold Bloom (Hg.). Ralph Ellison. (New York: Chelsea House, 1986), 145-172 for a fuller statement.
17). “The Charlie Christian Story,” Shadow and Act. New York: New American Library 1966, 229. More about the jazz aesthetic in Albert Murray and John Callahan, eds. Trading Twelves: The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray. (New York: Modern Library 2000). Reviewed by Darryl Pinckney “Riffs,” New York Review of Books, (January 11, 2001) p. 19-23.
18). « The Negro on the Spiral or A Method of Negro Music » in Nancy Cunard, ed. Negro--An Anthology. (1933) New York : Frederick Ungar 1970.
19). The ideal of spontaneous composition was formulated by the Futurist spokesman Marinetti as a central goal for the renewal of the arts as early as 1912 in his Teoria e invenzione futurista. It sounds surprisingly similar to the Bill Evans quote (footnote 18), even in the choice of the brain-hand analogy: "The creative spirit liberates itself suddenly from the weight of all obstacles and becomes, somehow, prey of a strange spontaneity in conception and execution. The hand that writes seems to detach itself from the body, extend itself freely and stays far away from the brain. Then, the head also begins to detach itself from the body and becomes light, looking from above onto the unexpected sentences that flow from the pen." Quoted in Guenter Berghaus, "Futurism, Dada, and Surrealism: Some Cross-Fertilisations Among the Historical Avantgardes." in Berghaus ed. International Futurism in Arts and Literature. Berlin, New York, Walter de Gruyter 2000, 297. Gerald L. Bruns defines improvisation aptly: "It is deliberate but undeliberated." Inventions: Writing, Textuality and Understanding in Literary History. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press 1982, 145.
20). Literary modernism emphasised rhythm as the central structuring force in poetry. Ezra Pound and the Vorticists considered dance rhythms the most genuine creative energy. Cf. Hubertus Gaessner. « Der Vortex – Intensität als Entschleunigung. « Karin Orchard, ed. Vortizismus – Die erste Avantgarde in England 1914-18. Berlin and Hannover. Ars Nicolai 1996.
21). This remarkable session is described by Ashley Kahn. A Kind of Blue : the Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece. London : Granta 2001.
22). Stanley Crouch. "Blues to be Constitutional..." in: O'Meally, ed. The Jazz Cadence of American Culture, 154-165.
23). Benny Golson and Jim Merod. « Forward Motion. » in : O'Meally, ed. The Jazz Cadence of American Culture, 32-61.
24). The locus classicus of such discomfort caught in the logic of a binary killer opposition is Frantz Fanon's Black Skins, White Masks. (London: Weidenfeld 1968) where on page 124 he summarizes the primitive ascription of the imperial gaze: "Eyah! The tom-tom chatters out the cosmic message. Only the Negro has the capacity to convey it, to decipher its meaning, its import...Black Magic primitive mentality, animism, animal eroticism, it all floods over me...Yes, we are – we Negroes – backward, simple, free in our behavior."
25). Berndt Ostendorf. "Rhythm, Riots and Revolution: Political Paranoia, Cultural Fundamentalism and African American Music." In Ragnhild Fiebig-von Hase and Ursual Lehmkuhl, eds. Enemy Images in American History. (New York, Berghan Books 1998), 159-182.
26). Manuela Thurner, « Girls, Girls, Girls –The American Girl inherits Old Europe through Dance », Girlkultur and Kulturfeminismus. Gender and Americanism in Weimar Germany 1918-1933. Ph.D. Diss. Yale Univ. Dec. 1999. Thurner shows convincingly how « gendered » the jazz reception was in Germany. A conservative critic introduced his guide to a happy marriage with the words : « Marriage is no jazz », 184.
27). Heinrich Baumgartner. 'Jazz' in den zwanziger Jahren in Zürich. (Zürich : Hug & Co 1989), 36.
28). Paul Stefan "Jazz " , Musikblätter des Anbruch 7.4 (April 1925)1.
29) James Snead submits the explanation that Stravinsky's Petrushka and Sacre du printemps "resemble black musical forms not just in their relentless "foregrounding" of rhythmic elements and their use of the "cut" but also in being primarly designed for use in conjunction with dancers." "Repetition as a figure of Black Culture." In R. O'Meally The Jazz Cadence of American Culture (New York: Columbia 1998.)
30) "The Negro on the Spiral or A Method of Negro Music." In: Nancy Cunard, ed. Negro: An Anthology (1933) (repr. New York: Frederick Ungar 1970). One of the best short analyses of jazz in Weimar is J. Bradford Robinson. "Jazz Reception in Weimar Germany: in search of a shimmy figure", in: Bryan Gilliam, ed. Music and performance during the Weimar Republic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 107-34. The book by Paul Bernhard. Jazz. Eine musikalische Zeitfrage. (München : Delphin Verlag 1927) represents an early and impassioned plea for the acceptance of jazz. Rumor has it that it was written by the musicologist Bernhard Diebold. He predicts: "The characteristic sound of the European orchestra will have to change. The primacy of rhythm looms large." He concludes his book: If any form of creativity is capable of healing the European soul, then it would be jazz-inspired music. It has the force to unify the world across social and ethnic differences (110). For Jazz in Weimar see also Bernd Hoffmann, "Alptraum der Freiheit oder: Die Zeitfrage Jazz." In: Rösing, Hellmut, ed. "Es liegt in der Luft was Idiotisches..." Populäre Musik zur Zeit der Weimarer Republik. Baden-Baden 1995, 69-81.William Austin places jazz next to Stravinsky and Schönberg in terms of importance for the music of the 20th century in Music in the 20th Centur.
31). E.Ansermet, "Sur un orchestre Nègre", La Revue Romande. IIIe serie, No. 10. 15 Octobre 1919,10-13. Reprinted in Anette Hauber, Ekkehard Jost, Klaus Wolbert. Hg. That's Jazz. Der Sound des 20. Jahrhunderts. Catalogue of the Jazz exhibition. (Matildenhöhe, Darmstadt, May 29-August 28, 1988.) "
32). Recorded examples on : Jazz in Deutschland I & II. Munich, Historia H 630-631.
33) Aaron Copland. The New Music 1900-1960. New York: Norton 1968,64.
34). Hubertus Gassner, « DerVortex – Intensität als Entschleunigung » in : Karin Orchard, ed. Vortizismus – Die erste Avantgarde in England 1914-1918. Berlin & Hannover : Ars Nicolai 1996, 24-26.
35). Luigi Russolo "The Art of Noises" in : Pontus Hulten, ed. Futurismo, Futurismi. Milan: Bompiani 1986, 561. George Gershwin would incorporate those urban noises in the introduction to his An American in Paris. It is interesting that the initial title for « Fascinating Rhythm » was « Syncopated City ».Antonio Gramsci recognized the revolutionary character of Futurist prophecies: « [The futurists] have grasped sharply and clearly that our age, the age of big industry, of the large proletarian city and of intense and tumultuous life, was in need of new forms of art, philosophu, behavior and language....In their field, the field of culture, the Futurists are revolutionaries. » "Marinetti the Revolutionary." in Selections from Cultural Writings, ed. David Forgacs and Geoffrey Nowell-Smith. Cambridge: Harvard University 1985, 51.
36). Robert Goffin in his essay "Hot Jazz" (translated by Samuel Becket) points to the affinities between surrealism and jazz. Negro: An Anthology, p. 239.
37). It is interesting to speculate on the music Adorno understood as jazz. Little of what he could have heard on the Frankfurt radio station would be considered jazz today. Adorno's dismissal of the music that he actually heard was well-founded, but he was not talking about jazz, but about popular dance music.
38). Eric Hobsbawm makes a valid point: the difference between England and the Continent. In England jazz remained primarily a working class music whereas on the continent it was the accepted music of avantgardes and secessions. "On the Reception of Jazz in Europe." in: Theo Mäusli (ed.) Jazz und Sozialgeschichte (Zurich, 1994).
39). Negro: An Anthology. 1934.
40). On America as a source of libertinism : Berndt Ostendorf, " `America is a Mistake, a Gigantic Mistake':Patterns of Ethnocentrism in German Attitudes Toward America," In Their Own Words Vol. III. N.2. 1986, 19-47 and "Deutsch-amerikanische Kulturbeziehungen", in Gert Richter und Dieter Lang (Hgg). Deutschland, Europa und die Welt, (Gütersloh, Bertelsmann Lexikothek Verl. 1986), 227-235.
41). In That's Jazz. Der Sound des 20. Jahrhunderts, 296-7.
42). Ibid., p. 384.
43). Mike Zwerin. La Tristesse de Saint Louis : Jazz Under the Nazis. (New York : Beech Tree Books, 1985).
44) An excellent summary of the contradictions between the political "Cold" and cultural "Cool" War is Reinhold Wagnleitner's "The Empire of the Fun, or Talkin' Soviet Union Blues." Diplomatic History, 23.3. Summer 1999, 499-524.
45). Carl Gustav Jung noticed that difference as early as 1930: "Your Negroid and Indian Behavior." Forum XXIII/4 (New York 1930, 193-199).
46). Ralph Willett. "Jazz: The Sound of Democracy", in The Americanization of Germany 1945-1949. (London Routledge 1989). Hans Globke wrote the legal commentary for the Nuremberg laws, yet was hired by Konrad Adenauer to head the Chancellary.
State to the in jazz of and its by was against Miles 519.
48) In: Dave Brubeck. Vocal Encounters. Columbia CK 61551
49). Ralph Willett. "Jazz: The Sound of Democracy", in The Americanization of Germany 1945-1949. (London Routledge 1989). Hans Globke wrote the legal commentary for the Nuremberg laws, yet was hired by Konrad Adenauer to head the Chancellary.
50). Rainer Lotz in That's Jazz. See my review in Popular Music 9/2 April 1990, 245-248
Jazz entered Europe in two waves after the First and Second World Wars. Both times the mood was divided between profound hostility and intense appreciation. This paper will argue that the introduction of jazz involved a radical break concerning the rules of performance and habits of reception in Western musical culture. It was not just another case of selective borrowing; it had more to do with a paradigm change in music as described in Ishmael Reed's Mumbo Jumbo, a confrontation of antithetical musical cultures that would continue to have far-reaching repercussions. Although a child of the gutter jazz satisfied more of the high cultural prophecies of Futurism and more of the avantgarde and transgressive desires of modernism than any single one of the traditional arts. The new music spoke to the agendas of surrealism, primitivism, radical democracy, multiculturalism, post-colonialism and urban cosmopolitanism. It promised to modernize, to liberate, to innovate and ushered in a new way of being in the world-- all at once. But it gave to these high cultural, modernist desires a decidedly vernacular spin, a cultural camouflage which allowed it to subvert European cultural habits "from below."