Spring 2009

Jazz History After 1945: Experimentalism, Pluralism, and Traditionalism

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-19  |  Music, as MUSI-25


Jason Robinson (Section 01)


(Also Black Studies 19.) One of two courses that trace the development of jazz from its emergence in early 20th-century New Orleans to its profound impact on American culture. Jazz History after 1945 explores the emergence of bebop in the 1940s, the shift of jazz's relationship with American popular culture after World War II, and the dramatic pluralization of jazz practice after the 1950s. We will also look at the emergence of fusion and the jazz avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s, and theorize the reformulation of "tradition" during the 1980s. Central to our examination will be the phenomenon of "neoclassicism" common in jazz discourse today, measuring that against the radical diversity of jazz practice around the world. Many figures central to the development of the varied post-bebop directions in jazz will be discussed: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Ornette Coleman, the New York Downtown scene, and many others. Two class meetings per week. Requisite: Music 11, 12, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Robinson.