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Jazz and Culture in a Global Age
Stuart Nicholson

2014 • 312 pp. 3 illus., 2 tables 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"
Jazz / Music History & Criticism / Social History

$29.95 Paperback, 978-1-55553-844-6
$28.99 Ebook, 978-1-55553-839-2

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“Where most books on jazz focus solely on the music or musicians, this volume explores the form as an influential commodity of culture. British jazz historian and biographer (Ella Fitzgerald... [continued in Reviews below]”—Library Journal

Explores the past, present, and future of jazz in a global context

Noted jazz scholar, biographer, and critic Stuart Nicholson has written an entertaining and enlightening consideration of the music’s global past, present, and future. Jazz’s emergence on the world scene coincided with America’s rise as a major global power. The uniqueness of jazz’s origins—America’s singularly original gift of art to the world, developed by African Americans—adds a level of complexity to any appreciation of jazz’s global presence. In this volume, Nicholson covers such diverse and controversial topics as jazz in the iPod musical economy, issues of globalization and authenticity, jazz and American exceptionalism, jazz as colonial tip of the sword, global interpretation, and the limits of jazz as a genre. Nicholson caps the volume with fascinating and anecdote-rich discussions of jazz as a form of “modernism” in the twentieth century, the history of jazz fads (such as the cakewalk) that elicited very different reactions among American and European audiences, and a hearty defense of Paul Whiteman and his efforts to legitimize jazz as art.

Stuart Nicholson has written a thought-provoking and opinionated work that should equally engage and enrage all manner of jazz lovers, scholars, and aficionados.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Where most books on jazz focus solely on the music or musicians, this volume explores the form as an influential commodity of culture. British jazz historian and biographer (Ella Fitzgerald; Jazz-Rock) Nicholson presents a very well-constructed study of the way in which this distinctly American art form not only spread throughout the world, but did so in such a way that it was inextricably linked with America and its changing status in the global landscape. From how jazz was adopted and integrated as it entered other countries to the many expansions of the form in the modernist period to the place jazz now holds in a world of single-song downloads, Nicholson treats his subject with a healthy balance of reverence and objective analysis. He also covers a wide array of artists and styles in his examples, painting a very full portrait of an evolving craft.”
Library Journal

“[A] milestone in the jazz genre. . . This is one of the most inspiring books about jazz I have ever read . . . a completely dazzling cultural survey.”—Orkester Journalen

“The writing is lively and [Nicholson] is great at summarising and making accessible cultural theory." —Jazz Guitar

"The British author Stuart Nicholson is one of the most astute observers and profound analysts of the international jazz development...His latest book, "Jazz and Culture in a Global Age," continues this train of thought…[and] the jazz debate, as animated by Stuart Nicholson, is as exciting as the jazz. —Jazzfacts

“Noted British jazz writer Nicholson first takes on the state of jazz around the world today, surveying a broad spectrum of international music... Along the way, he poses some interesting questions about how music is not only performed differently in different cultures but may in fact be heard or understood differently. He enlists some cogent psychological theorising about our comprehension of music.”Booklist

“[C]ompelling . . . sage-like.”Marlbank

“In today's world, rarely are there texts motivated by a well argued, healthy polemic. Jazz and Culture in a Global Age by Stuart Nicholson is one of those rare exceptions…it is  a book that goes beyond mere music criticism, focusing rather on multi-disciplinary analysis, with large eyes and ears, of its chosen subject.”Jazzit (Italy)

This book is exceptionally written…[and] is indeed a game-changing publication. It highlights much that often goes ignored and it dares to combat ideas that have since remained unchallenged…It is almost impossible to dispute Nicholson’s erudition. The way he combines the musical narrative with the cultural is admirable…[and] goes above and beyond the lofty goal he sets for himself as implied by his title, providing breadth of historical coverage on his topic that is more than substantial. One has to commend the breadth of Nicholson’s theory.Critical Voices: The University of Guelph Book Review Project

"Jazz and Culture in a Global Age is a valuable addition to jazz and cultural journalism which will be equally accessible and read by both jazz and non-jazz fans.”London Jazz News

STUART NICHOLSON is a highly regarded British jazz scholar. He is the author of Reminiscing in Tempo: A Portrait of Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday, among many others, and most recently, Is Jazz Dead? (Or Has It Moved to a New Address).

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:21:50 -0500