Cross the Water Blues: African American Music in Europe

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Neil A. Wynn
Univ. Press of Mississippi, Feb 9, 2010 - Music - 289 pages
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This unique collection of essays examines the flow of African American music and musicians across the Atlantic to Europe from the time of slavery to the twentieth century. In a sweeping examination of different musical forms--spirituals, blues, jazz, skiffle, and orchestral music--the contributors consider the reception and influence of black music on a number of different European audiences, particularly in Britain, but also France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

The essayists approach the subject through diverse historical, musicological, and philosophical perspectives. A number of essays document little-known performances and recordings of African American musicians in Europe. Several pieces, including one by Paul Oliver, focus on the appeal of the blues to British listeners. At the same time, these considerations often reveal the ambiguous nature of European responses to black music and in so doing add to our knowledge of transatlantic race relations.

Contributions from Christopher G. Bakriges, Sean Creighton, Jeffrey Green, Leighton Grist, Bob Groom, Rainer E. Lotz, Paul Oliver, Catherine Parsonage, Iris Schmeisser, Roberta Freund Schwartz, Robert Springer, Rupert Till, Guido van Rijn, David Webster, Jen Wilson, and Neil A. Wynn

 

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Contents

AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE IN THE TRANSATLANTIC WORLD
3
2 Taking the Measure of the Blues
23
FEELING BAD FOR NO REASON
39
4 Spirituals to Nearly Swing 18731938
51
AMERICAN ORIGINS AND GERMAN PERSPECTIVES
66
RESPONSES TO EARLY JAZZ IN BRITAIN
89
JOSEPHINE BAKER AND THE PRIMITIVIST RECEPTION OF JAZZ IN PARIS IN THE 1920S
106
8 Paul Robesons British Journey
125
ORIGINALITY IN THE COMPOSITION OF BLUES AND BRITISH SKIFFLE
167
THE BLUES IN THE MUSIC OF THE BEATLES THE ROLLING STONES AND LED ZEPPELIN
183
THE BLUES MODERNITY AND THE BRITISH BLUES BOOM
202
THE RECEPTION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN BLUES AND GOSPEL MUSIC IN THE NETHERLANDS
218
14 The Blues in France
235
AFRICAN AMERICAN JAZZ MUSICIANS IN EUROPE FROM BECHET TO BRAXTON
250
CONTRIBUTORS
266
INDEX
271

BLUES EVANGELISTS IN BRITAIN
145

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About the author (2010)

Neil A. Wynn is professor of twentieth-century American history at the University of Gloucestershire. He is the author of Historical Dictionary from Great War to Great Depression, From Progressivism to Prosperity: American Society and the First World War, and The Afro-American and the Second World War.

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