In the Moment

In the Moment : Jazz in the Nineteen Eighties

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This book by an influential critic who has written for 'Rolling Stone' and 'Village Voice' celebrates the perseverance of jazz in a decade inhospitable to it. Each chapter focuses on one musician or group of musicians under forty years of age, who have made their reputations or are in the process of doing so, and carries biographical data, interview material, and a critical evaluation. Among the phenomena which these essays will examine are the rapprochement of jazz and classical music and between jazz and rock, neoconservatism, the growing importance of the composer, the emergence of important women and European jazz musicians, and the continuing polarization between the jazz main stream and avant more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 144.78 x 213.36 x 25.4mm | 476.27g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • 0195040902
  • 9780195040906

Review Text

A sound, opinionated look at contemporary goings-on in jazz and related music. This collection assembles articles written with a steady hand on several different occasions. There is an internal cohesiveness in these pieces which show great sympathy with musicians, and disdain towards public taste. A highlight is an extended portrait of composer Anthony Davis, who has succeeded in being both popular and artistically valid. Davis (no relation to the composer) makes the reader eager to hear the gifted composer's upcoming opera based on the career of Malcolm X. Among the more negative pieces are some in which trumpeter Wynton Marsalis is scolded for relentless conservatism. To him, "classical" music itself stopped in the 18th century; he has no interest in playing or commissioning new works for his instrument. Davis seems altogether more charmed by Wynton's older brother Branford, who reveals a fine wit in an interview here. Such pieces as an overview of Ornette Coleman's life are steeped in jazz history. Other articles offer insights into famous artists, like Don Cherry, and those of whom few have heard, like Sumi Tonooka, a Japanese-American pianist just beginning her career. The world portrayed here can seem at times too hermetic and self-referential; the only metaphors used are those of players and performance. If so, it is not the fault of the author, but rather the nature of jazz itself, an all-absorbing, all-consuming activity. A fine collection of observations on the current scene of jazz; a must for serious collectors and listeners. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

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