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French concert music and jazz often enjoyed a special creative exchange across the period 1900–65. French modernist composers were particularly receptive to early African-American jazz during the interwar years, and American jazz musicians, especially those concerned with modal jazz in the 1950s and early 1960s, exhibited a distinct affinity with French musical impressionism. However, despite a general, if contested, interest in the cultural interplay of classical music and jazz, few writers have probed the specific French music-jazz relationship in depth. In this book, Deborah Mawer sets such musical interplay within its historical-cultural and critical-analytical contexts, offering a detailed yet accessible account of both French and American perspectives. Blending intertextuality with more precise borrowing techniques, Mawer presents case studies on the musical interactions of a wide range of composers and performers, including Debussy, Satie, Milhaud, Ravel, Jack Hylton, George Russell, Bill Evans and Dave Brubeck.Read more
- Explores interactions between French concert music and American jazz, from both perspectives, across the period 1900–65
- Presents detailed discussion of the musics, within their appropriate historical and sociocultural settings
- Provides accessible musical analyses and interpretations, which draw on a range of supporting theoretical and critical ideas
Reviews & endorsements
"This is the book for which jazz scholarship has long been waiting: at last, the hugely significant interactions between jazz and modern concert music have been unravelled with the insight, technical understanding and contextual awareness they deserve. Professor Mawer delves deeply into this two-way process in a series of fascinating case studies which celebrate some of the most exciting and far-reaching musical cross-fertilizations of the twentieth century."
Mervyn Cooke, Professor of Music, University of NottinghamSee more reviews
"At once an important survey of French music and jazz history, Mawer’s book also brilliantly draws attention to the compelling cross-references and interactions between these worlds. The theoretical sophistication of the academy seamlessly merges with the dynamism of a jazz club, and the resulting mix has the intellectual and musical power of both."
Michael Beckerman, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music, New York University
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- Date Published: October 2016
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781316633878
- length: 322 pages
- dimensions: 245 x 170 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.56kg
- contains: 3 b/w illus. 6 tables 54 music examples
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction. French music and jazz: cultural exchange
Part I. Locations and Relations:
1. A historical-cultural overview
2. Critical-analytical perspectives: intertextuality and borrowing
Part II. The Impact of Early Jazz upon French Music (1900–35):
3. Debussy and Satie: early French explorations of cakewalk and ragtime
4. Milhaud's understanding of jazz and blues: La Création du monde
5. Crossing borders: Ravel's theory and practice of jazz
Part III. The Impact of French Music upon Jazz (1925–65):
6. Hylton's interwar 'jazzed' arrangements of French classics
7. (Re)moving boundaries? Russell's Lydian jazz theory and its rethinking of Debussy and Ravel
8. Bill Evans's modal jazz and French music reconfigured
9. Milhaud and Brubeck: French classical teacher and American jazz student.
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