Thursday, January 08, 2009

Pg. 99: G. Lock and D. Murray's "Thriving on a Riff"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Thriving on a Riff: Jazz & Blues Influences in African American Literature and Film, edited by Graham Lock and David Murray.

About Thriving on a Riff, from the publisher:
From the Harlem Renaissance to the present, African American writers have drawn on the rich heritage of jazz and blues, transforming musical forms into the written word. In this companion volume to The Hearing Eye, distinguished contributors ranging from Bertram Ashe to Steven C. Tracy explore the musical influence on such writers as Sterling Brown, J.J. Phillips, Paul Beatty, and Nathaniel Mackey. Here, too, are Graham Lock's engaging interviews with contemporary poets Michael S. Harper and Jayne Cortez, along with studies of the performing self, in Krin Gabbard's account of Miles Davis and John Gennari's investigation of fictional and factual versions of Charlie Parker. The book also looks at African Americans in and on film, from blackface minstrelsy to the efforts of Duke Ellington and John Lewis to rescue jazz from its stereotyping in Hollywood film scores as a signal for sleaze and criminality. Concluding with a proposal by Michael Jarrett for a new model of artistic influence, Thriving on a Riff makes the case for the seminal cross-cultural role of jazz and blues.
Read more about Thriving on a Riff on the Oxford University Press web site.

An excerpt from the book, in which Krin Gabbard discusses Miles Davis’s autobiography, will appear in the February 2009 issue of the online magazine Point of Departure.

Graham Lock is a freelance writer, Special Lecturer in American Music, University of Nottingham, and author, Forces in Motion: Anthony Braxton and the Meta-reality of Creative Music, Chasing the Vibration: Meetings with Creative Musicians, and Blutopia: Visions of the Future and Revisions of the Past in the Work of Sun Ra, Duke Ellington and Anthony Braxton, and editor, Mixtery: A Festschrift for Anthony Braxton.

David Murray is Professor of American Studies, University of Nottingham, and author, Indian Giving: Economies of Power in Early Indian-White Exchanges, Forked Tongues: Speech, Writing and Representation in North American Indian Texts, and Matter, Magic and Spirit: Representing Indian and African American Belief.

The Page 99 Test: The Hearing Eye.

The Page 99 Test: Thriving on a Riff.

--Marshal Zeringue