Some Hustling This! Taking Jazz to the World, 1914-1929

By Maloney, S. Timothy | Notes, March 2007 | Go to article overview

Some Hustling This! Taking Jazz to the World, 1914-1929


Maloney, S. Timothy, Notes


Some Hustling This! Taking Jazz to the World, 1914-1929. By Mark Miller. Toronto: The Mercury Press, 2005. [207 p. ISBN 1-55128-119-8. $19.95] Bibliography, index, photographs.

This is the latest in an impressive series of books by Mark Miller, the jazz critic for the Toronto Globe and Mail. His earlier monographs include The Miller Companion to Jazz in Canada and Canadians in Jazz (Toronto: Mercury Press, 2001), Such Melodious Racket: The Lost History of Jazz in Canada, 1914-1949 (Toronto: Mercury Press, 1997), and Cool Blues: Charlie Parker in Canada, 1953 (London, ON: Nightwood Editions, 1989), among others. Miller has also written for Down Beat, Coda, The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, and other publications.

Four years of research and writing went into this project, which Miller describes as "the product of a much longer interest in the lost, the forgotten and the overlooked in jazz history" (p. 9). As he explains,

The theoretical implications [of] early exposure to, and contact with, American jazz musicians [abroad] have become a popular subject for critical analysis, bringing together . . . the interrelated cultural and sociological themes of modernism, primitivism, exoticism, racism, identity and "otherness." . . . Missing from this body of writing, however, is a basic account of who went where, when, and did what. (p. 11)

Beginning with the first trip of singer-drummer Louis Mitchell to Europe in 1914 with the Southern Symphony Quintette (a ragtime ensemble), and closing with the precipitous demise of a night club Mitchell opened in Paris in 1929 and his subsequent return to the United States, Miller covers the intervening fifteen years, later known as the Jazz Age, during which many American musicians followed Mitchell abroad, bringing their talents and the nascent jazz genre to the far corners of the globe. This is an account of the sojourns by those musicians, only some of whose names are still widely recognized, including Sidney Bechet, Freddie Keppard, "Jelly Roll" Morton, and Willie "The Lion" Smith.

Meticulous research, incisive writing, and clear layout are hallmarks of all of Miller's books. For this project, in addition to checking the normal historical, biographical, and autobiographical print sources, Miller viewed microfilms of many newspapers from around the world, some long defunct. One wonders about the state of his eyes after four years of such research, but these sources proved invaluable. For example, many letters from the musicians them-selves were published in the Chicago Defender and other stateside newspapers, giving first-hand accounts and impressions of their experiences abroad. These provide a significant counterpoint to the reviews published in contemporary newspapers and periodicals.

Puzzled, even hostile, reactions to jazz were a common journalistic theme from the early years. The book's chapter headings cite numerous examples, such as "Fearsome means of discord" (p. 22), "Hellish disharmony" (p. 87), "Noisy antics" (p. 40), "Half a dozen cacophonists" (p. 105), and "Squirmy cerulean harmony" (p. 118). Another theme the book explores was the marketing of, and reporting about, "race artists" (p. 166), i.e., black musicians. The book's title derives from a laudatory 1917 review of Louis Mitchell's drumming with the second band he led in London, the Seven Spades. As Miller points out, the

racial inference [of the band's name] was direct, unlike the subtler geographic allusion, for example, of 'Southern Symphony Quintette.' . . . [F]ew black jazz bands working in Europe even in the 1920s announced their ethnicity so explicitly. At this early date, though, 'Seven Spades' may well have been chosen to celebrate the group's race as one of its defining attractions, (pp. 34-35)

Coverage of, for instance, the opening of the Five Jazzing Devils in Kristiana (later Oslo) in 1921, and of Thompson's Jazz Band in Copenhagen in 1923, was typical of that found in many foreign newspapers in its "pointedly racist rhetoric," including "simplistic allusions to . …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Some Hustling This! Taking Jazz to the World, 1914-1929
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.