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Ronald Radano:" Lying up a Nation: Race and Black Music"

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  • Franz Fuchs
    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/hfs.cgi/00/15804.ctl Radano, Ronald Lying up a Nation: Race and Black Music. 440 p., 2 halftones, 4 line drawings, 26
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 30, 2004
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      http://www.press.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/hfs.cgi/00/15804.ctl

      Radano, Ronald Lying up a Nation: Race and Black Music. 440 p., 2
      halftones, 4 line drawings, 26 musical examples. 2003

      Cloth $75.00tx 0-226-70197-2 Fall 2003
      Paper $27.50tx 0-226-70198-0 Fall 2003

      What is black music? For some it is a unique expression of the
      African-American experience, its soulful vocals and stirring rhythms
      forged in the fires of black resistance to centuries of oppression. But
      as Ronald Radano argues in this bracing work, the whole idea of black
      music has a much longer and more complicated history--one that speaks as
      much of musical and racial integration as it does of separation.

      Lying up a Nation traces the evolution of black music from the time of
      slavery to the modern era, showing how its history has always been
      dependent on the interplay of races. For Radano, the history of black
      music is one of profound sharing and exchange. Because of the power of
      racial belief, however, sharing inevitably gave way to expressions seen
      as culturally or racially pure. For instance, ragtime was one of the
      first modern genres said to embody a black rhythmic sensibility or
      groove. And yet this same genre would figure prominently in the marches
      of John Philip Sousa and provide the stylistic basis for jazz, a
      quintessentially interracial form of music still seen as a key marker of
      black culture.

      In the end, Radano's careful analysis reveals that the idea of black
      music has been used, by blacks and whites alike, to both advance and
      subvert various visions of what blackness means. Black music has become
      the conscience of the American experience, the sonic truth teller of
      race in all its complexities.

      Table of Contents
      Contents
      List of Illustrations
      Preface
      1. Telling Stories, Telling Lies Revisionist Listening and the Writing
      of Music History
      2. Resonances of Racial Absence Black Sounding Practices Prior to "Negro
      Music"
      3. First Truth, Second Hearing Audible Encounters in Antebellum Black
      and White
      4. Magical Writing The Iconic Wonders of the Slave Spiritual
      5. Of Bodies and Souls Feeling the Pulse of Modern Race Music
      Epilogue- A Nation's Gift
      Notes
      Index
    • Franz Fuchs
      http://www.sundayherald.com/43275 Here are the first and the last paragraphs of this 5/5 stars-review by David Keenan: Alongside pianist Cecil Taylor,
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 10, 2004
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        http://www.sundayherald.com/43275

        Here are the first and the last paragraphs of this 5/5 stars-review by
        David Keenan:

        "Alongside pianist Cecil Taylor, saxophonist Anthony Braxton remains the
        most consistently challenging musician to come out of the 1960s jazz
        revolution. Over the years his playing has lost none of its formal
        rigour and his monolithic back catalogue has long been a whole musical
        universe unto itself, operating according to its own elastic rules and
        giving birth to one of the most fabulously complex cosmologies ever to
        come out of jazz. Yet Braxton didn’t even merit a putdown in Ken Burns’s
        “definitive” Jazz documentary series."

        ...

        "Braxton’s latest release is 23 Standards, a four-CD set drawn from live
        performances of jazz classics, covering material like Thelonious Monk’s
        Round Midnight, Dave Brubeck’s It’s A Raggy Waltz (a particularly wild
        reading) and Cole Porter’s Why Shouldn’t I. It functions as a great
        riposte to reactionary critics everywhere, with Braxton’s phenomenal
        quartet – including Kevin O’Neil, guitar, Kevin Norton, percussion and
        Andy Eulau on bass – playing the hell out of these tunes, combining a
        swinging note- perfect feel from right inside the pocket with beautiful
        moments of flux that are way off any map. It’s jazz that feels
        ecstatically alive."

        Regards
        Franz Fuchs
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