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By Renato Rosaldo

Exposing the inadequacies of previous conceptions of static cultures and indifferent observers, the publication argues as a substitute for social technology to recognize and rejoice variety, narrative, emotion, and subjectivity.

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Extra resources for Culture & Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis

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Still, Louis Jordan’s name barely rates mention as a jazz player at all. The history texts by Frank Tirro, Mark Gridley, and Lewis Porter and Michael Ullman all cite Jordan’s name, but only in passing and only in blues or rhythm and blues contexts. 2 If others who have been credited as r&b forefathers merit attention by jazz historians, and if, as I show below, Louis Jordan’s influential bands attracted extraordinarily large audiences, swung furiously, and featured fine soloists, how can we explain historians’ reticence to also grant Jordan credit as a significant jazz musician?

That’s how you express your feelings in this music. ” 49 bechet and the blues The most notable means Bechet found to express his sense of identity musically was, significantly, through that very un-European musical form: the blues. 50 To be sure, there is a sense of revenge about the blues. The music and lyrics can function as an act of defiance toward the dominant values, laws, and rules that would keep a people exploited. And, by creating their own aesthetic precepts, many New Orleans musicians did, consciously or unconsciously, turn their backs on those practices that both white and Creole society deemed “cultured,” demonstrating as they did this that those in power are not necessarily the wisest, most creative, or most imaginative.

The fact that Bechet himself never relied on notation may contribute here. Rather than seeing discrete notes, Bechet necessarily approached playing more broadly in terms of sonorities, and these did not necessarily—in fact rarely—fit into centered, stable pitches. Similarly, his rhythmic conception in this performance seems less bound by equal subdivisions. 64 In fact, this loose aural /oral sense seems to inform the piece as a whole. As I’ve remarked, “Blue Horizon” lacks the sort of clearly stated head-solo-head arrangement that frames most jazz.

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Culture & Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis by Renato Rosaldo


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