Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History

By Robert Walser | Go to book overview
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Editing Notes

Obvious typographical and spelling errors have been corrected without comment, and some minor changes in punctuation have been made to facilitate readability. In most cases, cuts have not been marked with ellipses, so that readers might not, as Weiss and Taruskin put it, find "a profusion of little dots a hindrance to their concentration."1 In one instance ( Howard Becker "The Professional Dance Musician and His Audience") I restored, with the author's encouragement, profanity that had been coyly bowdlerized in the original publication; Charles Mingus's idiosyncratic spelling of "schitt," on the other hand, was retained, since Sue Mingus told me it was typical of him and not evidence of a previous editor's intervention.

Musicians'names were misspelled seemingly more often than not in many of the sources; these have been corrected according to the authority of The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. In interviews, musicians' last names have been used to attribute speaking voices throughout ("Marsalis" replacing "Wynton," "Armstrong" replacing "Louis" in the original sources). A small number of minor slips have been righted, as when John Hammond (or the transcriber of his talk) rendered the Theater Owners' Booking Association as the "Theater Bookers' Offices Association." Besides the several footnotes I added to help the reader make sense of Burnet Hershey's arch account of his whirlwind tour, I changed "Tinpan" to "Tin Pan" Alley. I adjusted the grammar of Max Roach's opening sentence so as to preserve his characteristic dignity. The titles of operas and other musical compositions to which Jelly Roll Morton refers have been corrected, which seems particularly just since the spelling errors were not his but those of the person who transcribed and edited his interview tapes. Some bibliographic citations were changed to footnotes.

I made one other editorial change that was not marked earlier. R. W. S. Mendl, in his 1927 book on the appeal of jazz, uses the words "negroes," "blacks," and "niggers" interchangeably to refer to African Americans. He does so without apparent malice or knowledge of the very different meanings those words have actually carried. Three times in the excerpt included here, I have

Piero Weiss and Richard Taruskin, eds., Music in the Western World: A History in Documents ( New York: Schirmer, 1984), p. xiv.


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Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History


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