Space is the Place: Ethnomusicology of Jazz

Curated by Molly Jones

“She’s Not Just a Singer”: Voices, Instruments, and Musicality in Jazz

To begin, I invite you to watch this clip of Esperanza Spalding and Gretchen Parlato collaborating in recording Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Inútil Paisagem,” plucking strings, clapping, clicking tongues, improvising, singing with words in English and in Portuguese, vocalizing melodies, bass lines and counterpoints. 

Entropy of Jazz

Each month, Ethnomusicology Review partners with our friends at Echo: A Music-Centered Journal to bring you “Crossing Borders,” a series dedicated to featuring trans-disciplinary work involving music.

We Got the Jazz: Next Generation Jazz, Hip Hop and the Digital Scene

In 1991, American hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest released "Jazz (We've Got)" on their second album The Low End Theory, which featured a sample of Jimmy McGriff and Lucky Thompson’s live version of "Green Dolphin Street" from their album Friday the 1

Jazz Moments: Improvisation, Capitalism, and Time

Jazz improvisation is, or at least can be, a deeply resonant articulation of—and metaphor for—democratic human expression. This is axiomatic in the discourse. It is a theme that comes up again and again, virtually from jazz’s first public stirrings.

Interview with Dr. David DeMotta on the Music of Bud Powell

Dave DeMotta is a New York-based pianist, scholar, and adjunct assistant professor at Hunter College. He holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the CUNY Graduate Center, and M.M. and B.M. degrees in jazz performance from William Paterson University. I spoke with Dr. DeMotta on the topic of his recent dissertation, “The Contributions of Earl ‘Bud’ Powell to the Modern Jazz Style.”


Accounting for Meaning in Improvisation: Embracing New Research in Embodiment

Modern scholarly attempts to account for musical meaning in the academy are roughly divided among musicology, ethnomusicology, and systematic musicology.

Review | "Keep On Keepin' On," directed by Alan Hicks

Keep On Keepin' On. Directed by Alan Hicks. 86 minutes. Radius-TWC, 2014.

Reviewed by Ben Doleac

Doing it Backwards: My Unexpected Goldberg Variations (Part I)

As I look back over the last ten years, and the peculiar journey with J.S. Bach that the time represents for me, it’s sometimes hard to believe that I’m here, now, playing the Goldberg Variations in their entirety, from memory, for sometimes sizeable audiences, well enough apparently to get enthusiastic approval from the classical section of the New York Times.

Degrees of Freedom and the Semiotics of Improvisation

Not long ago, I was at a performance of some friends and acquaintances.* They are all masterful improvisers, each with a well-developed, innovative, singular musical approach. In the case of this specific performance, the musicians were paired with a handful of improvisers with whom they had never played.


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