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Loft JazzImprovising New York in the 1970s$
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Michael C. Heller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285408

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285408.001.0001

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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: 19 September 2021

Influences, Antecedents, Early Engagements

Influences, Antecedents, Early Engagements

(p.19) 2 Influences, Antecedents, Early Engagements
Loft Jazz

Michael C. Heller

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the early motivations for the lofts, arguing that the movement emerged at a unique intersection between national discourses on musician empowerment and local urban ecologies specific to late 1960s New York. In 1960s New York, several initiatives began striving toward broader collectivist ideals. These initiatives include the short-lived Jazz Artists' Guild (JAG), the Jazz Composers' Guild (JCG), and the Triumvirate formed by John Coltrane, Babatunde Olatunji, and Yusef Lateef. These examples of 1960s New York collectivism were all rooted in guild and/or trade union strategies. In all three cases, artists envisioned temporarily removing themselves from the commercial market in order to enhance their negotiating leverage as members of a larger movement. Unfortunately, despite their success in generating attention for particular events, none of these groups managed to build an alliance large enough or long-lived enough to realized their principal goals.

Keywords:   collectivism, Jazz Artists' Guild, Jazz Composers' Guild, John Coltrane, Babatunde Olatunji, Yusef Lateef, guild strategies, trade union strategies

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