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Jazz/Not JazzThe Music and Its Boundaries$
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David Ake, Charles Hiroshi Garrett, and Daniel Goldmark

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520271036

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520271036.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2019

The Humor of Jazz

The Humor of Jazz

Chapter:
(p.49) CHAPTER 3 The Humor of Jazz
Source:
Jazz/Not Jazz
Author(s):

Charles Hiroshi Garrett

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520271036.003.0004

The virtual absence of critical attention to jazz humor is striking—especially for a music that delights in improvisation, unexpected turns of phrase, and rhythmic play. This chapter examines how taking humor seriously offers jazz scholars a set of analytical tools that not only help to identify its musical pleasure and creative ingenuity but also serve to deepen our understanding of its musical, political, and historical dimensions. Incorporating insights from the philosophy of humor and the history of American humor helps us to understand canonical figures and humor-laden artists underserved by jazz discourse, including Sarah Vaughan, Slim Gaillard, Cab Calloway, Dorothy Donegan, and Horace Silver.

Keywords:   jazz, humor, historiography, Sarah Vaughan, Slim Gaillard, Cab Calloway, Dorothy Donegan, Horace Silver

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