Review—Appel, Ellington, and the Modernist Canon

Part Of: Europe and Jazz

Appel's book views mid-20th century jazz through a modernist lens and finds it a worthy part of that "great tradition" in the arts. Lewis believes that this approach, while valid in its intent, overlooks the unique features of jazz that make it most compelling as art. He argues that European modernists and African-American jazz musicians had different understandings of apparently similar themes, such as a primitive African "utopia", or of techniques such as collage.

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Resource Type: 
Jazz by Geography: 
Additional Keywords: 
African American music, African art, Duke Ellington, jazz criticism, jazz history, jungle music, modernism, multiculturalism, primitivism, Romanticism, visual arts