"Ellington uptown" : Duke Ellington, James P. Johnson, & the birth of concert jazz

by Howland, John, 1964-

Format: Print Book 2009
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction ML3518.H68 2009
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  ML3518.H68 2009

The story of the African American contributions to the symphonic jazz vogue of the 1920s through the 1940s.

During the early decades of the twentieth century symphonic jazz involved an expansive family of music that emulated, paralleled, and intersected the jazz tradition. Though now largely forgotten, symphonic jazz was both a popular music---arranging tradition and a repertory of hybrid concert works, both of which reveled in the mildly irreverent interbreeding of white and black and high and low music. While the roots of symphonic jazz can be traced to certain black ragtime orchestras of the teens, the idiom came to maturation in the music of 1920s white dance bands.

Through a close examination of the music of Duke Ellington and James P. Johnson, Ellington Uptown uncovers compositions that have usually fallen in the cracks between concert music, jazz, and popular music. It also places the concert works of these two iconic figures in context through an investigation both of related compositions by black and white peers and of symphonic jazz---style arrangements from a diverse number of early sound films, Broadway musicals, Harlem nightclub floor shows, and select interwar radio programs.

Both Ellington and Johnson were part of a close-knit community of several generations of Harlem musicians. Older figures like Will Marion Cook, Will Vodery, W. C. Handy, and James Reese Europe were the generation of black musicians that initially broke New York entertainment's racial barriers in the first two decades of the century. By the 1920s, Cook, Vodery, and Handy had become mentors to Harlem's younger musicians. This generational connection is a key for understanding Johnson's and Ellington's ambitions to use the success of Harlem's white-oriented entertainment trade as a springboard for establishing a black concert music tradition based on Harlem jazz and popular music.

John Howland is Assistant Professor of Music at Rutgers University and the cofounder and current editor-in-chief of the journal Jazz Perspectives . This work has been supported through several prestigious awards, including the Lloyd Hibberd Publication Endowment Fund of the American Musicological Society.

From Clorindy to Carnegie Hall : the Harlem entertainment community
Jazz rhapsodies in black and white : James P. Johnson's Yamekraw
"The blues get glorified" : Harlem entertainment, Negro nuances, and black symphonic jazz
Ellingtonian extended composition and the symphonic jazz model
"Harlem love song" : the symphonic aspirations of James P. Johnson, 1930-1945
"Carnegie blues" and the symphonic Ellington
Conclusion : the legacy of Harlem's concert jazz.

Additional Information
Series Jazz perspectives (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Subjects Ellington, Duke, -- 1899-1974 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Johnson, James P. -- (James Price), -- 1894-1955 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Big band music -- New York (State) -- New York -- History and criticism.
Jazz -- History and criticism.
Publisher Ann Arbor :University of Michigan Press,2009
Language English
Description x, 340 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, music ; 23 cm.
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 305-327) and index.
ISBN 9780472116058 (cloth : alk. paper)
0472116053 (cloth : alk. paper)
Other Classic View