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Sound CommitmentsAvant-Garde Music and the Sixties$
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Robert Adlington

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195336641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336641.001.0001

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After the October Revolution

After the October Revolution

The Jazz Avant‐garde in New York, 1964–65

(p.211) 10 After the October Revolution
Sound Commitments

Bernard Gendron

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the resurgence of the jazz avant‐garde in New York in the mid‐1960s, focusing in particular upon musicians' negotiation of competing aesthetic, social, and economic imperatives. Through a detailed investigation of shifting patterns of reception in the jazz press, attention is drawn to a complex of factors that lifted the jazz avant‐garde from near obscurity in the early years of the decade, to a canonised status by 1965. Prominent amongst these factors was the politically radical discourse promoted by figures associated with the Black Arts Movement such as Amiri Baraka and Larry Neal, which conceived black avant‐garde musicians as shaping the spiritual foundation for revolutionary change. The articulation of a radical social purpose thus assisted the process of canonisation, although this canonisation brought no parallel economic success.

Keywords:   avant‐garde, jazz, New York, 1960s, Black Arts Movement, Amiri Baraka, Larry Neal, canonisation

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