I have called upon many people for help during the book's long gestation and I am pleased to acknowledge their generosity. I am grateful for the financial support for travel and other research expenses provided by a Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Fellowship, the Walter Burke Research Initiation Award at Dartmouth College, and UCLA Faculty Senate Grants. The staff at the Institute of Jazz Studiesat Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey at Newark, the Black Music Research Collection at Columbia College Chicago, and the William Ransom Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane Universitydid much to make my research trips pleasant and productive.
I owe a great deal to the labors of a series of smart, diligent, and creative research assistants: Adam Klipple and Luis Scheker at Dartmouth College, Chris Aschan at the Humanities Research Instituteat UC-Irvine, and Steve Baur, Dave Kopplin, Francesca Draughon, and David Ake at UCLA. In particular, Adam Klipple helped me work out the book's title, and David Ake's intimate knowledge of jazz, scrupulous scholarship, and enthusiasm for my project have greatly improved it.
For valuable advice, tips, support, and feedback, I am grateful to Kimasi Browne, James Lincoln Collier, Scott DeVeaux, Samuel A. Floyd,Jr., Krin Gabbard, Lawrence Kramer, Steven Ledbetter, Dominique-René de Lerma, George Lewis, George Lipsitz, Dan Morgenstern, Joel Pfister, Guthrie Ramsey, Nancy Schnog, Barry Shank, George Simon, Mark Tucker, Chris Waterman, and the anonymous reviewers for Oxford University Press. If I have not always taken their advice, I have always learned from it. I thank my editor, Maribeth Payne, for her patience and for choosing tough, helpful referees. Crucial challenges and encouragement came, as always, from my favorite person, Susan McClary.
This book grew from one stray seed, a 1924 copy of The Etudemagazine that I inherited from my grandfather. The son of a shopkeeper in St. Paul, Minnesota, Gottfried Anton Walser ( 1900-1979) dreamed of studying music at the University of Minnesotabut found himself transplanted to a farm in 1913 when his parents got caught up in a "back-to-nature" craze. The farmland turned out to be sand and my grandfather spent most of his life paying off his parents' debts, his musical opportunities limited to playing the piano at home and the organ at church. He hated the farm; his lifeline to another world was that piano, where he played Beethoven, Grieg, Debussy, and the musical "characteristic sketches" found in each issue of The Etude. He was a kind and learned man; he taught me "chopsticks" and encouraged my interests in music and science. I have been fortunate to have had the kind of career he should have had. I wish we had made music together more than we did.