The Imperfect Art: Reflections on Jazz and Modern Culture

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Oxford University Press, 1990 - Music - 152 pages
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Taking a wide-ranging approach rare in jazz criticism, Ted Gioia's brilliant volume draws upon fields as disparate as literary criticism, art history, sociology, and aesthetic philosophy in order to place jazz within the turbulent cultural environment of the twentieth century. He argues that because improvisation--the essence of jazz--must often fail under the pressure of on-the-spot creativity, we should view jazz as an "imperfect art" and base our judgments of it on an "aesthetics of imperfection."

Incorporating the thought of such seminal thinkers as Walter Benjamin, Josť Ortega y Gasset, and Roland Barthes, The Imperfect Art offers vivid portraits of the giants of jazz and startling insights into this vital musical form and the interaction of society and art.
 

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Contents

1 Louis Armstrong and Furniture Music
1
2 Jazz and the Primitivist Myth
19
3 The Imperfect Art
51
4 Neoclassicism in Jazz
73
5 What Has Jazz to Do with Aesthetics?
99
6 Boredom and Jazz
113
7 Jazz as Song
133
Notes
147
About the Author
155
Index
157
Credits
163
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About the author (1990)


Ted Gioia teaches jazz history and performance at Stanford University and has recorded an album as a jazz pianist, The End of the Open Road, available from Quartet Records.

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