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Jazz Diasporas"Race, Music, and Migration in Post-World War II Paris"$
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Rashida K. Braggs

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520279346

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520279346.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Jazz at Home in France

Jazz at Home in France

French Jazz Musicians on the Warpath to “Authentic” Jazz

(p.60) 2. Jazz at Home in France
Jazz Diasporas

Rashida K. Braggs

University of California Press

This chapter illustrates the performance of authenticity in French jazz criticism and the perspectives of French jazz musicians. From the 1930s through the postwar era, French jazz discourse disseminated an authenticating narrative. At the end of World War II, Jean Paul Sartre still called French musicians “sad imitators” while a host of French jazz critics, with Hugues Panassié leading the charge, persisted in harshly critiquing French musicians for not playing “real” jazz. French musicians often internalized these narratives and felt insecure about their playing. However, the confidence and popularity of French musicians began to change through collaborations with African American jazz musicians. By the mid-1950s French musicians continued the legacy of their African American counterparts, creating their own French style and transporting the music beyond American and French borders. This jazz diaspora opens up its racial and national significations to white Europeans but not without much persistent resistance from authenticating narratives.

Keywords:   French jazz critics, French jazz musicians, Jean Paul Sartre, African American jazz musicians, Hugues Panassi, jazz diaspora

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