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new-iconThe evolution of creativity and the creativity of evolution
Alfonso Montuori
California Institute of Integral Studies, Transformative Inquiry, Faculty Member

ABSTRACT: In the past 30 years our understanding of creativity has changed. New transdisciplinary perspectives are providing a more complex view of creativity that is not limited to individual genius. I explore some of the historical assumptions about creativity and the implications of an emerging view that sees creativity not as a marginal phenomenon but as the very heart of existence.

new-iconImprovisation: the emancipation of an ancient musical skill
Hans Fidom
VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Arts, Faculty Member

ABSTRACT: The skill of making music without a score has survived the centuries among organists. After the Second World War this was sufficient reason for the town council of Haarlem to hold an organ improvisation competition. The effect of this, in turn, was that attentive listening, as it had arisen in the concert hall, became coupled to the ancient skill of making music specially for a particular occasion. Through the years, a manner of improvisation has been manifest in Haarlem that can be described as modern conservative. Improvising organists in Haarlem followed rather than set the trend. The same applies not only to their colleagues in Paris but also to those in Vienna (where, in the hands of organists such as Anton Heiller and Peter Planyavsky, an organ improvisation culture arose closely related to that of Haarlem). This may be explained by the reference system in which these organists operated. Most of them experienced their musical upbringing in the church, while the reference system of many of their listeners was formed in the concert hall. Trend setting are the organ improvisers of the twenty-first century: the improvisations of Porter, Lutz, De Vries and others in Baroque style astonish connoisseurs and devotees of early music, while improvisations by organists like Lekkerkerker prove that the organ has lost nothing of its power to inspire musicians devoted to contemporary art.

The Ends of Improvisation
William Day     
Le Moyne College, Philosophy, Faculty Member

ABSTRACT:This essay attempts to address the question, “What makes an improvised jazz solo a maturation of the possibilities of this artform?” It begins by considering the significance of one distinguishable feature of an improvised jazz solo – how it ends – in light of Joseph Kerman’s seemingly parallel consideration of the historical development of how classical concertos end.

Knowing as Instancing: Jazz Improvisation and Moral Perfectionism
William Day
Le Moyne College, Philosophy, Faculty Member

ABSTRACT:This essay presents an approach to understanding improvised music, finding in the work of certain outstanding jazz musicians an emblem of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s notion of self-trust and of Stanley Cavell’s notion of moral perfectionism. The essay critiques standard efforts to interpret improvised solos as though they were composed, contrasting that approach to one that treats the procedures of improvisation as derived from our everyday actions.

Coalescing Learning around a Coltrane Classic
Shersten Johnson  
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, Music, Faculty Member

ABSTRACT: Teachers of music theory courses tend to have favorite pieces that they return to again and again for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we choose those key canonic pieces that we believe all students should encounter at some point in their training, and sometimes we choose a piece because it crystallizes a number of teaching points in explicit, sequenced, and even importantly problematized terms. One of my favorites in this latter category is Mongo Santamaria’s ” Afro Blue ” (1959) adapted by John Coltrane (1963) (Live at Birdland recording and The Real Book lead sheet.)

The Metaphysics of Music Illumines A Love Supreme
Jon Avery
Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Emeritus
This is the lecture portion of a multi-media presentation on the use of Schopenhauer’s philosophy of music to understand A Love Supreme.
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Was Bo Diddley a Buddha? – The New York Times.pdf
Stephen Asma
Columbia College Chicago, Philosophy, Faculty Member
ABSTRACT: Improvisation, according to Stephen Asma, is a primordial form of human cognition. In this essay Asma explores the embodied cognition of improvisation, using examples from music. He recounts his experience playing music with master improvisers like Bo Diddley.
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The End of Art and Jazz (from Philosophyofjazz.net)
Paulina Tendera

Jagiellonian University, Philosophy, Adjunct
Abstract:In the second half of the twentieth century, there was a great deal of talk about a phenomenon known in the art world as “the end of art.” This concept referred to significant, sometimes revolutionary changes in the perception of the work of art and changes in its manner of existence (its ontology). The very notion of the “end of art” was justified and inspired (though not entirely validly) by the philosophy of Georg Hegel. Art critics, wishing to exploit this idea, explained the incompatibility of their own comments with the original thought of Hegel in historical terms: Hegel had written…

STUDIES IN APPLIED NOMADOLOGY: JAZZ IMPROVISATION AND POST-CAPITALIST MARKETS
Eugene W Holland
Ohio State University, Comparative Studies, Faculty Member
Abstract:What follows is best understood as a kind of thought-experiment: “to think is to experiment,” Deleuze & Guattari maintain. Furthermore, this thought-experiment has a utopian strain, involving an intractable refusal of the present; it is the utopian impulse that “links philosophy with its own epoch,” Deleuze & Guattari insist, for “it is with utopia that philosophy becomes political and takes the criticism of its own time to the highest point”
The Transatlantic Blues: Django Reinhardt in France and the United States, 1920-1950
Melvin Backstrom  
McGill University, Music Research, Musicology Area, Graduate Student
Abstract: This paper discusses Django Reinhardt’s place in the history of jazz. His complicated position within jazz history points to its political and geographic dimensions as a music created through its Trans-Atlantic movements rather than the more common New Orleans to New York story. It also points to a connection between the so-called “gypsy jazz” that Reinhardt, together with Stéphane Grappeli, created, and the “newgrass” music of the 1970s and ’80s, especially David Grisman’s “dawg” music.

CONTINENTAL DRIFT: 50 years of jazz from Europe
Zack Moir
Edinburgh Napier University, Popular Music, Faculty Member
Edited conference proceedings, including papers from: William Bares Emma Webster Petter Frost Fadnes Chris Inglis Michael Kahr Renée Stefanie Matthias Heyman

new-iconCONTINENTAL DRIFT: 50 years of jazz from Europe – Conference Proceedings
Haftor Medboe
Edinburgh Napier University, Music, Faculty Member
Abstract: Following popular exposure in France to the proto-jazz of James Reese Europe and his 369th “Harlem Hellfighters” Infantry Regiment during the latter years of WW1, the jazz bug took hold and, in the period that followed, spread throughout Europe. This new mu- sic from the USA, drawing on the ethno-cultural melting pot of New Orleans, provided a soundtrack to the new order that was forged following the two world wars. Its spread marked the beginning of Europe’s complex relationship to jazz, a music associated vari- ously with exoticism, vice, youth, cultural decay, liberation, US imperialism,…

THE BLUE NOTE OF DEMOCRACY (JAZZ AND DEMOCRACY)
Ziga Vodovnik  
University of Ljubljana, Faculty for Social Sciences, Political Science, Faculty Member
Abstract: The article starts from the assumption that old criteria for analysing the state and perspectives of democracy – e.g. sovereign state, party pluralism, elections , representation, national identity, market economy etc. – are wholly obsolete categories that no longer have any connection to the current dynamics of democratic innovations. For these reasons, the article appropriates the jazz idiom as a convenient metaphor and discourse to highlight epistemological and methodologi-cal challenges entailed in understanding democracy. In the last part, the article indicates deeper and substantial…

The Early Performance of Jazz Music in Turkey
Yaprak Melike Uyar

Abstract: This article investigates the emergence of jazz music in Turkey and its early years of performance. The early years of jazz music in Turkey cover the time period between 1923 and 1941; the former represents the declaration of the Turkish Republic and the latter stands for the first performance of a ‘real’ jazz band, Swing Amatör, as stated by musicians and chroniclers of the period. This study is based on oral history interviews conducted with jazz musicians who experienced the 1930s and 40s.

Storytelling in Jazz Work as Retrospective Collaboration
Fumi Okiji
Northwestern University, Performance Studies, Post-Doc
Abstract: Storytelling has proved to be a useful metaphor in jazz commentary and analysis. Within such literature it is invariably solos, portrayed as discrete cultural articles, that “tell a story” through their adherence to internal coherence and logic. This prized autonomy is modeled on that which we find in the modern European tradition. Pathbreaking studies by scholars such as Ingrid Monson, Paul Berliner, and Keith Sawyer have redressed this hegemony in highlighting the importance of collaborative work in jazz.

Sound of the Break: Jazz and the Failures of Emancipation
Bridget R. Cooks, Graham Eng-Wilmot
Abstract:
This article analyzes four musical works written for the commemorative centennial year of the Emancipation Proclamation, 1963: We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite, featuring the vocalist Abbey Lincoln; Duke Ellington’s theatrical production My People; John Coltrane’s “Alabama”; and Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddam.” This diverse set of songs expresses the contradiction of Black life and death in America during the modern civil rights movement. Within the structure of each musical piece is a tension described as “the break” in which resistance to the disavowal of Black suffering and the demand for true freedom is performed. The analysis of such breaks helps explain the tenuous position of Black performers in this moment, the precipice they navigated onstage in 1963, as well as a larger tension that undergirded the Black freedom struggle: namely, the impulse to celebrate liberation against a cognizance of its failure to materialize in any substantive form.

The impact of (jazz) festivals: An Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded research report
Emma Webster
University of East Anglia
George McKay
University of East Anglia

Abstract: Festivals are an essential part of the jazz world, forming regularly occurring pivot points around which jazz musicians, audiences, and organizers plan their lives. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the purpose of this report is to chart and critically examine available writing about the impact of jazz festivals, drawing on both academic and ‘grey’/cultural policy literature in the field. The review presents research findings under the headings of economic impact; socio-political impact; temporal impact and intensification and transformation of experience; creative impact – music and musicians; discovery and audience development; place-making; the mediation of jazz festivals; and environmental impact. It concludes with a set of recommendations for future research, which identifies gaps in the field. To accompany the review, a 100-entry 40,000 word annotated bibliography has also been produced, which is accessible online.

Birth and Evolution of Jazz as Effects of Cultural Transfers
Stefano Zenni

Abstract: The mission of this essay, based on the book Storia del jazz. Una prospettiva globale [The History of jazz in a global perspective] by Stefano Zenni (Storia del jazz. Una prospettiva globale. Viterbo: Stampa Alternativa, 2012), is to treat cultural transfer in jazz as an example of complex influences caused through migration and forced migration. The paper will show how jazz evolved from such complex transfer, considering different layers of cultural interaction through geographical, economical and musical forces. This complex transfer is still in place in more recent developments of the music due to its productive nature. What interests us here is to understand how those forces one century ago produced a new music, which, moreover, was immediately perceived by contemporaries as something innovative, breaking the traditional rules of music.

“Do not fear mistakes – there are none”: The Mistake as Surprising Experience of Creativity in Jazz
Alessandro Bertinetto
Università degli Studi di Udine / University of Udine, Department of Humanities and the Cultural Heritage – DIUM, Faculty Member

Abstract: Like pianist Kenny Barron, who once said that, “if you do not make mistakes, you do not play jazz” (cf. Rüedi, 2001; p.53), Miles Davis claimed: “When they make records with all the mistakes in, as well as the rest, then they’ll really make jazz records. If the mistakes aren’t there, too, it ain’t none of you” (Walser, 1995; p.176). However, countless sources (including webpages and books) credit Miles with the following sentence as well: “Do not fear mistakes – there are none”. Both claims seem to be wrong. Moreover, they are jointly inconsistent.(…)

Improvisation and Jazz: Implications for International Practice-1995-International Journal of Music Education
David Elliott
New York University, Music and Performing Arts, Faculty Member

(Front Matter of DMA Dissertation) Developing Collective Musical Personae: A Toronto-Based Study of the Performance Practices of Stable Jazz Groups
Ian Sinclair
University of Toronto, Music, Graduate Student

Artistry in Jazz Education
An essay on Jazz Education and Stan Kenton’s involvement. From the Tantara CD, “Horns of Plenty, Volume 3”
Terry Vosbein
Washington and Lee University, Music, Faculty Member

“Birds of Ire? Structure, Texture, and Influence in the Music of the Mahavishnu Orchestra” (conference paper, 2001)
John Covach
University of Rochester, Institute for Popular Music, Faculty Member
This paper examines parallels between jazz-rock fusion of the late 1960s/early 1970s and well-established jazz practices in the 1950s and 60s, focusing especially on the music of John Coltrane and John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra.

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Jazz History Books & Articles

Soul Jazz
Bob Porter
Soul Jazz is a history of jazz and its reception in the black community in the period from the end of World War II until the end of the Vietnam War. Previous histories reflect the perspective of an integrated America, yet the United States was a segregated country in 1945. The black audience had a very different take on the music and that is the perception explored in Soul Jazz.

The Jazz Edge Orchestra…A Quarter Century of St. Louis Big Band Jazz, 1990-2015

The Jazz Edge Orchestra 1990-2015 History Book, recounts and celebrates the history of one of St. Louis’ premier “Big Bands”. This compilation of news articles, photos and memorabilia from the archives of George C. Davis, III and Dr. Don Cook, Sr., also includes interviews with the Orchestra’s music directors Robert Edwards, Prince Wells, III, Anthony Wiggins, and Thomas Moore about their lives as musicians, the nature of jazz, and their commitment to the St. Louis jazz scene.

The History of Jazz
Ted Gioia
A well-written, widely-researched, enjoyable read for both fans and scholars of jazz. Features descriptions of all the important players and places in jazz history. Begins with the earliest roots of jazz and concludes in the present. New to this Edition: Covers the leading jazz instrumentalists of the decade since the first edition’s publication. Explores how changes in technology and distribution have affected the music. Addresses in greater detail “Smooth Jazz,” jazz-oriented hip-hop and other controversial subgenres. Provides more insight into the economic underpinnings of jazz. Expands the focus on jazz outside of the United States

Jazz: America’s Gift: From Its Birth to George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue & Beyond
Richie Gerber (Author), Miguel Covarrubias (Illustrator)
In Jazz: America’s Gift, Gerber draws from his unique perspective as an accomplished musician, comedian, impresario, and George Gershwin scholar. Kirkus Reviews writes, “[Gerber] makes a strong, enthusiastic case for Gershwin’s contributions to jazz, something that many jazz historians, according to the author, don’t often acknowledge (“As far as George Gershwin goes—jazz can’t live with him and jazz can’t live without him!”).”

1920-1929
Jazz Age Culture
The Flapper Era & Harlem Renaissance

Billie Holiday
Timeline and Bio

Charlie Parker
Timeline and Bio

Tropical Riffs: Latin America and the Politics of Jazz
by Jason Borge

In Tropical Riffs Jason Borge traces how jazz helped forge modern identities and national imaginaries in Latin America during the mid-twentieth century. Across Latin America jazz functioned as a conduit through which debates about race, sexuality, nation, technology, and modernity raged in newspapers, magazines, literature, and film. For Latin American audiences, critics, and intellectuals—who often understood jazz to stem from social conditions similar to their own—the profound penetration into the fabric of everyday life of musicians like Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Parker represented the promises of modernity while simultaneously posing a threat to local and national identities. Brazilian antijazz rhetoric branded jazz as a problematic challenge to samba and emblematic of Americanization. In Argentina jazz catalyzed discussions about musical authenticity, race, and national culture, especially in relation to tango. And in Cuba, the widespread popularity of Chano Pozo and Dámaso Pérez Prado popularity challenged the United States’ monopoly on jazz. Outlining these hemispheric flows of ideas, bodies, and music, Borge elucidates how “America’s art form” was, and remains, a transnational project and a collective idea.

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Jazz Instruction Books

Speaking of Jazz: Essays and Attitudes
Ed Byrne, DMA
This ebook contains a lifetime of thinking about jazz and improvisation, from one of its premier practitioners and educators. From theory to practice, and everything in between, this one-of-a-kind 276-page book is a virtual encyclopedia of living and playing the jazz life. This book includes hundreds of musical examples, practicing tips, song analyses, theory, and exercises.

Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer
Dr. Bill Bruford PhD
What do expert drummers do? Why do they do it? Is there anything creative about it? If so, how might that creativity inform their practice and that of others in related artistic spheres? Applying ideas from cultural psychology to findings from research into the creative behaviors of a specific subset of popular music instrumentalists, Bill Bruford demonstrates the ways in which expert drummers experience creativity in performance and offers fresh insights into in-the-moment interactional processes in music. An expert practitioner himself, Dr. Bruford draws on a cohort of internationally renowned, peak-career professionals and his own experience to guide the reader through the many dimensions of creativity in drummer performance.

Fresh Music
Jon Damian
The book chronicles the many years, since the 1970’s, of the Creative Workshop Ensemble(CreW) at Berklee College of music and internationally. Bill Frisell and Joe Cohn were in the very first CreW at Berklee in 1978. The book is for musicians, artists, and teachers. I wrote the book in the form of a play with characters, the CreW members, including myself, and regular dialog with the readers, virtual CreW members. The book invites the reader to join in with CreW activities, into the bubbling stew of CreW ideas inspired by everything in the universe, from alphabets to zodiacs! Real ‘getting out of the box’ ideas!!

Vocal River The Skill and Spirit of Improvisation by RHIANNON
“Vocal River is a collection of my vocal improvisation exercises, stories from my life and work, and musings on the philosophy and power of improvisation both inside and outside the music realm. It will be sold including a set of 33 cards explaining a short-hand version of the exercises for use by teachers and singers. In these times, with so much in transition and moving quickly, the skills of improvisation are insightful everywhere. I want to name improvisation as one of the great life skills and put it in the hands of everyone who wants to learn more about their options in everyday situations -and get people singing!”

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Online courses / Instructional Videos

Walt Weiskopf (Understanding Chords & Scales)

Aldo Mazza (drumset)
Lessons available in person or long distance via video conference (Skype)

Wolf Jazz Academy
Webinars / Video courses

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Career Advice

How To Book Your Own Jazz Gigs
Matt Fripp / JazzFuel.com

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Miscellaneous

new-iconTranscription of Oscar Peterson’s When Summer Comes
Bernard O’Kane

American University in Cairo, Arab and Islamic Civilizations, Faculty Member

This is from the album The Very Tall Band: Live At The Blue Note, a recording from 1998. Oscar Peterson also composed this ballad which, unlike the daunting virtuosity required by most of his playing, is merely of moderate difficulty. The music with the transcription can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdbPOIOKPPE&frags=pl%2Cwn

new-icon” Miriam’s Place ” : South African jazz, conviviality and exile
Louise Bethlehem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Cultural Studies and English, Faculty Member

Michael Titlestad has suggested that jazz serves “to mediate, manage and contest” what he terms a “staggered, but also cruel and unusual South African modernity.” His volume Making the Changes (2004) uses the “pedestrian” as a chronotope to describe the “local peripatetic appropriations of global symbolic possibilities” that jazz affords there. This paper proposes a different “chronotope”: that of the train. This substitution facilitates the reading of jazz history in South Africa in tandem with histories of labour migration and other forms of displacement – including trajectories of exile that intersect my account elsewhere of the “global itinerary” of South African cultural formations under apartheid. The deterritorialisation of South African works of expressive culture and social actors associated with anti-apartheid resistance, I have argued, affords the cultural historian strong historiographic purchase over conjunctures outside of South Africa. The present discussion explores this claim in relation to Miriam Makeba’s memoir Makeba, My Story (1988), written during her stay in Guinea. Makeba’s life-writing shows the strategies of the black South African performer in exile to be embedded in the conviviality that shaped jazz performance culture during its emergence in urban South African. Conviviality can be shown to offer an implicit critique of nativist imaginaries in decolonising Africa – including in this instance, the doctrine of authenticité promulgated by Guinea’s controversial leader, Ahmed Sékou Touré.

Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics of Music Illumines A Love Supreme
Jon Avery
Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Emeritus
This is the lecture portion of a multi-media presentation on the use of Schopenhauer’s philosophy of music to understand A Love Supreme.

OLD FRIENDS ARE THE BEST FRIENDS
The Letters of John McKee and Mike Metheny
John McKee and Mike Metheny grew up in a Kansas City suburb called Lee’s Summit. As children of the l950s and ’60s, they, along with other members of a tightly knit group of friends, shared rites of passage and savored life in small-town Missouri.
As adults, John and Mike went their separate ways, Mike to Boston to pursue a career as a professional musician and teacher, John never leaving Lee’s Summit or the family lumber business but they remained in touch with a written correspondence that lasted over ten years. It was a dialogue that evolved into an open-ended forum for a wide range of thoughts and opinions, a conversation-by-mail about everything from impressions of different books, movies and pieces of music, to their opposing views about religion and politics.

Experiencing Jazz: A Listener’s Companion
by Michael Stephans
In Experiencing Jazz: A Listener’s Companion, writer, teacher, and renowned jazz drummer Michael Stephans offers a much-needed survey in the art of listening to and enjoying this dynamic, ever-changing art form. More than mere entertainment, jazz provides a pleasurable and sometimes dizzying listening experience with an extensive range in structure and form, from the syncopated swing of big bands to the musical experimentalism of small combos. As Stephans illustrates, listeners and jazz artists often experience the essence of the music together—an experience unique in the world of music.

It’s Gotta Swing The John Von Ohlen Story
by Jim Nunn

Other languages

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Cours de guitarre jazz en ligne


ro
Româneşte
Florin Raducanu
Jazz Fuga Blues pentru pian. Ghid practic de improvizatie pe forma de blues major (Grafoart 2016)