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  1. Anthony Purdy | Western University Canada - handgesniri.tk
  2. Full text issues
  3. ISBN 13: 9789042015951

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Anthony Purdy | Western University Canada - handgesniri.tk

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Titlestad cautions against the wholesale mapping of jazz improvisation onto other performance arts, such as poetry, but insists that there are relations among them on a particular level of the phrase and sequence. Titlestad suggests that music offers an alternative mode of expressing this exilic sense of belonging, which, while avoiding some potential pitfalls of linguistic codes, is still susceptible to myriad discursive analyses.

Aside from the reception of performances, the author suggests that performing together provided a meaningful outlet to cultivate belonging and a palliative to the distress of the exilic experience. This case study focuses on the ongoing process of identity formation for the saxophonist Moeketsi through the experiences of apartheid and exile. As previously mentioned, the subaltern exile can sometimes rely on fragments of alternate modernities from which to form a viable self-representation. This process of legitimization occurs through both spoken and written acts and through their recognition and affirmative reception by audiences.

Full text issues

In Chapters Five and Six, the author further expands his theoretical framework with applications in the African diaspora. Drawing on the literary work of Mongane Serote, pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, and others, Titlestad explores how diasporic connections aid South Africans in overcoming the strictures of the apartheid state. Inasmuch as this sense of history can comfort, in the sixth and final chapter of the book Titlestad explores possible connections between the improvising jazz musician and the traditional shamanic healer.


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Through the fiction of Njabulo Ndebele and the art of Lefifi Tladi, Titlestad shows how the pastiche of subaltern identity formation also includes an element of recovery, a process by which history and culture can be reclaimed from the apartheid state that sought to suppress them.

This recovery can also occur sonically, and Titlestad believes that jazz, as an expression of a lived cultural archive, can displace the acoustic regime of apartheid oppression. In spoken and written word, as well as musical phrase, Ibrahim reconstructs cultural memories that reach beyond individual, everyday experiences to shared cultural histories through re-composing fragments of alternate modernities.

However, with as much attention as Titlestad devotes to emphasizing the particularities of the subaltern experience, the representations of the forces against which he juxtaposes them—and the agents of those forces—lack similarly nuanced treatment. Whether discussing jazz music or the apartheid government of South Africa, Titlestad too easily elides individual acts into an amorphous center of power and authority and flattens out the time and space in which these acts ought to be contextualized.

The racialization of this elision is equally troubling, especially considering the connections Titlestad draws between the U. In an attempt to highlight commonalities between these two, Titlestad reifies the oversimplified racial binarization of U. Recent work by David Borgo and earlier work by Paul Berliner both demonstrate that internal structure and even teleological and narrative arcs can be present in all forms of improvisation, regardless of genre label.

His treatment of free improvisation follows thoroughly trodden canonical routes and reproduces dominant pathways more than it blazes new trails. His work further highlights the need for incisive musicological scholarship on South African jazz. The lack of definitive sources of this kind leaves the reader yearning for the particulars of the sonic markers to which Titlestad refers. One way in which Titlestad could have further grounded his discussion of performance practice would have been through emphasizing the implications of jazz in musical and discursive performance as both an act of labor and an economic commodity.

Furthermore, Titlestad too conveniently elides the economics of jazz within the purview of the aforementioned hegemonic powers.

He misses an opportunity to show how, through everyday acts within economic sectors, South African artists—and jazz musicians, in general—enact the very tactics of resistance and identity construction he champions throughout the text. In her scholarship on South African jazz, Carol Muller recognizes the importance of the marketplace in the formation of local jazz histories and has similarly called for more attention to the economy of jazz.

In its creative manipulation of an organically hewn network of theories, Making the Changes: Jazz in South African Literature and Reportage represents an innovative step in jazz scholarship.

ISBN 13: 9789042015951

However, an unfortunate by-product of multiple theoretical approaches is a saturation of terminology. This mode of writing could render this intricately orchestrated scholarship inaccessible to a wide range of potential readers. However, a concentrated, intensive read proves very instructive.