Jay McShann and the Last of the Great Kansas City Bands

Kansas City Jazz - A Little Evil Will Do You Good - Con Chapman

Con Chapman [+-]
Music writer
Con Chapman has written about jazz since the mid-1970s and his work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor, Barron's and Reason among other publications. He is the author of Rabbit's Blues: The Life and Music of Jonny Hodges (Oxford University Press, 2019) which won the 2019 Book of the Year award from the Hot Club de France and a 2020 Certificate of Merit for Best Historical Research from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections.


The brand of jazz that developed in the Kansas City area in the period from the late 1920s to the late 1930s is recognised as both a distinct stylistic variation within the larger genre and a transitional stage between earlier forms of African-American music, such as ragtime and blues, and later, more modern forms, up to and including bebop. Kansas City's brand of jazz has been described as "the most straightforward and direct style which has been developed outside New Orleans," by Hughues Panassié and Madeleine Gautier in their Dictionary of Jazz. Kansas City jazz has inspired the creation of a museum and has been the subject of a feature-length film, Robert Altman's 1996 "Kansas City" and a sentimental rock song "Eternal Kansas City" by Van Morrison. For the first time this book summarizes the importance of Kansas City to the history of jazz, including profiles of individual musicians who developed very different styles within or beyond the framework of the sub-genre. Kansas City Jazz focuses on the broader themes and the stories of the major personalities whose individual talents came together to create the larger whole of Kansas City's distinctive brand of jazz.

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Chapman, Con. Jay McShann and the Last of the Great Kansas City Bands. Kansas City Jazz - A Little Evil Will Do You Good. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Oct 2024. ISBN 9781000000000. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=42629. Date accessed: 07 Dec 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.42629. Oct 2024

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