[Dixielandjazz] [australian-dance-bands] Scott Yanow's "The Jazz Singers" (press release)

Fred Spencer drjz at bealenet.com
Sat Jul 26 20:24:16 PDT 2008

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Whiteoak" <whiteoak at hotkey.net.au>
To: <australian-dance-bands at yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2008 12:14 AM
Subject: Re: [australian-dance-bands] Scott Yanow's "The Jazz Singers"
(press release)
Dear John,
Thank you for your comments, especially about Gary Giddins because he wrote 
this about jazz singing in the Introduction to his book, Riding On A 
BlueNote. Jazz and American Pop (Oxford University Press, 1981)--  
"...nowhere else is the generic incest between jazz and blues, rhythm and 
blues, gospel, rock and roll, and country music more apparent [than in jazz 
singing]." This "incestuous" union of jazz and any other form of popular 
music negates its honesty.
The Swing Era's popularity is unique because the danceable music was the 
only type readily available through personal appearances of the most 
polished big bands in dance halls and other locations, including one night 
stands, with the added attraction of hundreds of local bands. All this was 
commercially promoted by the burgeoning radio and recording industries. This 
is described in George Simon's "The Big Bands," (Oxford University Press, 
1981), and in Lon A. Gault's "Ballroom Echoes," (theauthor, 1622 Wadham 
Court,    Wheaton, IL, 60187, 1989), ane xcellent book about hundreds of big 
band venues. Cheers.


> Dear Fred
> If you go back a few years in our archive you will find an exhaustive
> debate on 'what is jazz' that, like all other debates led nowhere.  It
> seems that 'Jazz' is word that--depending on time place, context and
> cultural or racial politics--means just what people want it mean and no
> amount of arguing will convince them otherwise.  It's a bit like the 'what
> is improvisation debate'..  The only solution is to say exactly what sort
> of African-America inflected music you are talking about.  And how can you
> possible talk about jazz as separate from popular music.  Before rock it
> was popular music. I am just now reading Gary Giddin's fascinating book
> Bing Crosby A Pocketful of Dream: The Early Years which, among other
> things, highlights the impossibility of separating Jazz Age 'jazz' from
> 'popular music'.   Only a purist would want to do this and the result
> would be a very silly, narrow and distorted (one eyed).  There has already
> been enough of this sort of archaic and discredited wishful thinking in
> writing.  What we need now is more writers like Giddins who can place,
> expertly and musicologically, the various forms of what were called
> 'minstrely', 'rag-time',  'ragging' , 'jazz', 'jazzing' , 'crooning' ;
> 'blues' , 'blueing', 'swing' swinging, etc. etc. within the broader
> history of early popular music (and film and radio), globally,and not just
> in the U.S..   Stir.. stir...
> Good wishes
> John
>  From: Fred Spencer
>  To: australian-dance-bands at yahoogroups.com s
>  Cc: dixieland jazz mail list
>  Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2008 1:09 PM
>  Subject: Re: [australian-dance-bands] Scott Yanow's "The Jazz Singers"
> (press release)
>  Dear Denis,
>  What is a jazz singer? The answer is as varied as "What is Jazz?" Was the
>  Swing Era of the 1930s and 1940s the pinnacle of jazz singing--but for
> some
>  purists was swing music really jazz? There have always been vocalists who
>  were labeled as jazz singers from the "Smiths" of the 1920s to today's
> Abbey
>  Lincoln and Teri Thornton. Five of the 21 artists in Jazzwomen:
>  Conversations with Twenty-One Musicians (University of Indiana Press,
> 2004)
>  are listed as singers in the The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. Does their
>  selection automatically make them jazz singers? Books about jazz singing
>  often address this paradox by wandering into the world of popular music.
> Can
>  any book be written about an art that dedfies definition without
>  adulteration?
>  Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and a few other big band
> leaders
>  regarded singers as an annoying adornment to their music. As George Simon
>  wrote in his book The Feeling of Jazz (Simon and Schuster, 1961): "Look
> but
>  don't listen [to singers] because if you're like me and a hundred other
>  musicians I respect, you're not going to be able to take it." Have there
>  really been 521 "jazz" singers? Cheers.
>  Fred
>  ----- Original Message ----- 
>  From: "Denis King" <dcking01 at optusnet.com.au>
>  To: <australian-dance-bands at yahoogroups.com>
>  Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 5:00 PM
>  Subject: [australian-dance-bands] Scott Yanow's "The Jazz Singers" (press
>  release)
>  > --- In songbirds at yahoogroups.com, Songbirds moderator <peggyfan at ...>
>  > wrote:
>  >
>  > Scott Yanow Completes 'The Jazz Singers,' His Tenth Jazz Book
>  >
>  > Burbank, CA, July 24, 2008 -- Scott Yanow, a veteran jazz journalist
>  > who has written about all styles of jazz during the past 30 years,
>  > recently completed "The Jazz Singers." The huge book, which has
>  > profiles on the top 521 jazz singers of all time, is scheduled to be
>  > published and released by Hal Leonard in October 2008.
>  >
>  > "The Jazz Singers" covers every significant jazz vocalist from 1900-
>  > 2007, ranging from Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Mel Torme to
>  > Diana Krall and Jamie Cullum. It follows a long string of important
>  > and highly rated books by Yanow, including "Classic
>  > Jazz," "Swing," "Bebop," "Afro-Cuban Jazz," "Trumpet Kings," "Jazz on
>  > Film" and "Jazz on Record 1917-76." Yanow's vast knowledge of both
>  > jazz history and the current jazz scene has resulted in his work
>  > becoming definitive books that are widely read and consulted.
>  >
>  > In his career, Scott Yanow has contributed to virtually every
>  > important jazz magazine including Jazz Times, Jazziz, Downbeat,
>  > Cadence, Coda, The Mississippi Rag and the Los Angeles Jazz Scene
>  > plus the All Music Guide website. He was the jazz editor for Record
>  > Review, co-produced a series of reissue CDs for Allegro Imports, has
>  > contributed to several festival programs (most recently the Playboy
>  > Jazz Festival), has penned over 500 liner notes and was the editor of
>  > the 3rd edition of the "All Music Guide to Jazz." It is believed that
>  > he has written more jazz record reviews than anyone in history.
>  >
>  > Scott Yanow also writes liner notes, bios, press releases, and
>  > website content. Interested parties can contact him at 818-848-2866.
>  >
>  > Copies of his books can be acquired through his website
>  > http://www.scottyanow.com/
>  >
>  > --- End forwarded message ---
>  >
>  >
>  >
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