Early Years of Jazz

“Jazz music objectifies America. It is an art form that can give us a painless way of understanding ourselves,” says Wynton Marsalis at the beginning of Early Years of Jazz – Part 1. This film is a Florentine Films production about which I am trying to discover more. Part 6, which we have already seen, engages and to some extent, propagates certain cliches and stereotypes. This part does a lot more of that. The are rare photographs, the soundtrack and the display of stereotypes and prejudices make this a panoramic introduction to the old America and helps to contextualize the current one.


1 Comment

Filed under Songs

One response to “Early Years of Jazz

  1. You are right about seeing “cliches and stereotypes” in this piece, but there is surely much more to come – it has begun very well has it not? Beginning is a good place to start.

    For me it is all about how America copes so badly with the surprise of a talent that comes ‘out of nowhere’ as it were.

    And I come back to what I clumsily call, are the dual portraits: “creative” America as opposed to “destructive” America.

    Creative America has given the world so many amazing things, from science to the arts, and it dominates the world with its brilliance and genius.

    Yet it brings its brother Destructive America to every outing — un-socialisable and violent.

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