Jazz Crossover at Musicon12

The timing of our discussion of jazz crossover in the 1960s couldn’t be better. This last weekend at the joint meeting of the American Musicological Society, Society for Music Theory, and the Society for Ethnomusicology (also known as musicon12), there were numerous presentations that specifically addressed the issues associated with this period. In particular, panels and papers on Soul and presentations from the roundtable, “Fifty Years of Bossa Nova in the United States,” specifically addressed the complexities of teasing apart pop, jazz and rock sensibilities during this period. From a soul music / soul jazz perspective, scholars such as David Brackett, of McGill University, delved into how the music industry used “soul” in descriptions and reviews of records in the early to mid-1960s. “Soul” was associated with “soul jazz” first in such examples as Soul Summit by Sonny Stitt and Gene Ammons in 1963.

Charles Kronengold, of Stanford University, discussed how the orchestral and rhythmic approach of bossa nova (especially its tresillo pattern) were translated into easy listening and other “not rock” genres of the mid-1960s, including Dione Warwick. Do you hear the traces of bossa nova and/or jazz in this recording?

All of this just shows how the knowledge about the topics we are covering this week are very much at the cutting edge of the disciplines of music scholarship.


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