Friends and Neighbors: The New York Loft Scene

Search for the New Land - American Jazz in the 1970s - Mark Racz

Mark Racz [+-]
Independent Scholar
Mark Racz is an American-born pianist, teacher and music educator. He studied at Rutgers University and the Manhattan School of Music and moved to Birmingham (UK) in 1980. As Vice Principal at Birmingham Conservatoire, he was responsible for the establishment of the highly successful BMus (Jazz) programme. He was appointed Deputy Principal and Dean of the Royal Academy of Music in 2008 and held this position until his retirement in 2019. Publications include the chapter ‘Jazz Criticism in America’ in The Cambridge History of Music Criticism (CUP 2019). He has been listening to jazz since 1969.


Search for the New Land is a ground-breaking survey of American jazz between 1969 and 1981, when jazz developed into the diverse and multifarious music it has remained to the present day. Considering in detail the work of the major artists of the period, it encompasses modal jazz, free jazz and fusion in the music of John Coltrane’s and Miles Davis’ sidemen and associates, the post-bop mainstream, the continuing development of the major figures of the 1950s and 1960s, including Cecil Taylor, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra as well as individualists and iconoclasts such as Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy, Joe McPhee and Carla Bley. Search for the New Land also examines the rise of jazz communities in New York, Chicago, Detroit, St Louis, Los Angeles and Hartford, Connecticut, where artists took control of their own careers through collectives, self-promotion and community education. It then considers the catalytic effect of the presence of American musicians on the development of distinctive jazz traditions in Europe and the mutually productive interactions with their European peers.

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Racz, Mark. Friends and Neighbors: The New York Loft Scene. Search for the New Land - American Jazz in the 1970s. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Sep 2026. ISBN 9780000000000. Date accessed: 21 Jul 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.42026. Sep 2026

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