[Dixielandjazz] Eric Hobsbawm

Robert Greenwood robertgreenwood_54uk at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Feb 7 14:11:11 PST 2003

Last night I dug out one of my favourite quotes
concerning jazz. It’s by the Marxist historian Eric
Hobsbawm, who, as most of you will know, wrote jazz
criticism and reviews under the name Francis Newton
(borrowed, probably, from the trumpeter Frankie
Newton). It’s from his review of Count Basie’s book,
"Good Morning Blues". "For the professional musician
of Basie’s day
’playing music has never been work’. It
was more even than a way of having a good time. It
was, as sport is for the athlete, a continuous means
of asserting oneself as a human being, as an agent in
the world and not the subject of others’ actions, as a
discipline of the soul, a daily testing, an expression
of the value and sense of life, a way to perfection."
Robert Greenwood UK

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