A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music

By George E. Lewis | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

This book presents a close reading of a particular, highly diversified, and widely influential musical network/movement, rather than an overview of a received genre, or of the life and work of an individual. I want to express my thanks to the University of Chicago Press, and in particular, my editor, Douglas Mitchell, for seeing the need for this kind of detailed research on post-1965 African American musical experimentalism. Since the turn of the new century, the study of post-1965 improvised music has slowly been gathering critical mass in anglophone scholarship, as with the work of Fred Moten, and there is Eric Porter's analysis of the writings of African American experimental musicians such as Anthony Braxton, Leo Smith, and Marion Brown, Canadian literary theorist Ajay Heble's set of critical essays, Landing on the Wrong Note, and ethnomusicologist Mike Heffley's book on post-1965 European improvisation, Northern Sun, Southern Moon: Europe's Reinvention of Jazz.1 Sociologist Herman Gray's work has focused on Steve Coleman and other younger-generation experimentalists, while ethnomusicologist Deborah Wong has extensively documented histories and practices in Asian American jazz and improvisation movements.2

Other recent and important studies are published in two notable anthologies: Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies, edited by Robert G. O'Meally, Brent Hayes Edwards, and Farah Jasmine

-xv-

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A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface - The AACM and American Experimentalism ix
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Introduction - An AACM Book: Origins, Antecedents, Objectives, Methods xxiii
  • Chapter Summaries xxxv
  • 1: Foundations and Prehistory 1
  • 2: New Music, New York 29
  • 3: The Development of the Experimental Band 55
  • 4: Founding the Collective 85
  • 5: First Fruits 115
  • 6: The AACM Takes Off 163
  • 7: Americans in Paris 215
  • 8: The AACM's Next Wave 259
  • 9: The AACM in New York 325
  • 10: The New Regime in Chicago 389
  • 11: Into the Third Decade 440
  • 12: Transition and Reflections 481
  • Afterword 497
  • Appendix A - Interviews Conducted by the Author 515
  • Appendix B - Selected AACM Recordings 519
  • Notes 525
  • Bibliography 601
  • Index 637
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