From Jazz Beat - Winter/Spring 2004 - reviewer Paige Van Vorst.


"The Ancestry Of Jazz: A Musical Family History" 
BY DANIEL HARDIE (Lincoln NE: iUniverse Inc, 2004, 260pp paperbound)

          Daniel Hardie is an Australian writer and sometime clarinetist who has written extensively on the history of jazz; this is his third book.
         This volume takes a look at all the components that led to what we regard as New Orleans jazz. He traces the music back to its roots in Africa and the Scottish-Irish music brought to the US with its earliest settlers. It serves as a fairly complete history of popular music in the US, discussing what people were listening to at each juncture up until New Orleans jazz began to flower in the first part of the 20th Century.
           Like Ralph Collins, Hardie has looked at the Congo Square phenomenon and found it wanting - while the slaves no doubt beat their drums in New Orleans, they were long gone when Buddy Bolden developed his hot blues into what we commonly understand as jazz. Hardie places greater emphasis on the Holy Roller churches that were then dotting Uptown New Orleans, and they basically fall into a religious music tradition that goes all the way back to England and Dr. Watts' hymnals.
            The book is drawn from a variety of sources and is well-footnoted. Hardie is particularly good at explaining the history of American music to people that aren't from here, showing what was going on musically and elsewhere during various periods, though I think the Singing Brakeman was Jimmie and not Kenny Rodgers.
             I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a background in the prehistory of jazz - basically this brings you up to the point where the music we know and love began and identifies all the ancestors going all the way back to the Old World. The book also includes a very good listing of recordings enabling one to trace the music back to its origins by listening to surviving field recordings, etc. that document how the music got to where it was when jazz as we know it began.
             Available from the book trade, $20.95 list."

Jazz Beat is the Journal of the G.H Buck Foundation's Jazzology organisation you will find it at: http://www.jazzology.com
 
 

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