Jazz as a music of migration, a 'world music'

From Jazz to the World, from the World to Jazz - Duncan Heining

Duncan Heining [+-]
Duncan Heining writes about jazz, improvised music and 20th century composition. Since 1997 he has written for Avant Magazine, Record Collector, The Independent, The Independent On Sunday, Jazzwise, Jazz UK and the All About Jazz website. In 2010 Scarecrow Press published his biography of African-American composer and musical theorist George Russell, George Russell – An American Composer. He is also the author of Trad Dads, Dirty Boppers and Free Fusioneers: British Jazz, 1960-1975 (Equinox, 2012).


From Jazz to the World, from the World to Jazz examines jazz as a syncretic music drawing on a variety of musical sources in its creation, and argues that this gives it a degree of plasticity which allows it to continually absorb influences from other vernacular musics. Jazz is in every sense the original world music, shaped by migration, firstly, through the different migrant musical cultures that came together to form jazz; secondly, through internal migration within the USA; and thirdly, by an almost simultaneous migration to Europe and beyond. Musicians from Jelly Roll Morton to the pan-stylistic music of Don Cherry, George Russell, Peter Apfelbaum, Paul Winter, Colin Walcott, Steve Coleman, Kenny Graham, Loose Tubes, the Brotherhood of Breath, Garbarek and many others have drawn on other musical styles to expand the sonic landscape of jazz. The book also looks at how jazz has informed vernacular musics broadly described under the umbrella term 'world music' and been informed by it. It suggests that for jazz to develop and expand its audience it must take account of the audience for world music, and that world music is both a marketing category but also a 'badge of commitment' for many of its listeners, for whom the perceived value system of world music is understood and articulated by its fans. Finally, the book reviews the contributions by many artists from jazz and world music to pan-stylistic musics that draw upon both in significant measure. Chapter 1, on jazz as a music of migration, a 'world music', to outline what I see as its musical and non-musical values - illustrating this with reference to a number of artists.

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Heining, Duncan. Jazz as a music of migration, a 'world music'. From Jazz to the World, from the World to Jazz. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Nov 2022. ISBN 9781781792629. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=26684. Date accessed: 05 Oct 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.26684. Nov 2022

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