Austral Jazz : The Localization of a Global Music Form in Sydney book cover
1st Edition

Austral Jazz
The Localization of a Global Music Form in Sydney

ISBN 9781138316027
Published July 15, 2019 by Routledge
184 Pages

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Book Description

Austral Jazz: The Localization of a Global Music Form in Sydney proposes a new theoretical framework for understanding local jazz communities as they develop outside the United States, demonstrating such processes in action by applying the framework to a significant period of the history of jazz in Sydney, Australia after 1973. This volume introduces the notion of ‘Austral Jazz,’ coined in order to reset the focus on supranational conceptions of jazz expressions in the southwestern Pacific. It makes the case for Austral Jazz chronologically across six chapters that discuss, interpret and critique major events and seminal recordings, tracing the development of the Austral shift from a pre-Austral period prior to 1973.

Austral Jazz presents a fresh approach to understanding the development of jazz communities, and while its focus is on the Sydney scene after 1973, the ‘Austral’ theory can be applied to creative communities globally. A creative shift took place in Sydney in the early 1970s, which led to the flourishing of a new kind of jazz-based expression, one that reflected Australia’s increasingly globalized and multicultural outlook. This study is timely, and it builds on the work of local jazz researchers. Historiographical understandings of global developments in jazz can be understood within a framework of four overarching narratives: The ‘birth and belonging’ narrative; the ‘spread and adaptation’ narrative; the ‘pluralization by localization’ narrative; and the ‘self-fashioning of the already local’ narrative.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

Series Foreword




Introduction to Austral Jazz 

Chapter 1. Jazz Australia: A Window into the Pre-Austral

Chapter 2. Chain Reaction: Jazz in the Classroom and Jazz After Dark

Chapter 3. Action, Re-action, and Interaction

Chapter 4. Doing It for Ourselves: Self-Fashioning of the Already Local

Chapter 5. The Continuing Reidentifications of Austral Jazz


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Andrew Robson teaches and researches Music Studies in The Department of Media, Music, Communications and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.


"Andrew Robson presents a detailed and fresh perspective on the already well-discussed concepts of what encapsulates critical people, moments and sounds in the development of Australian jazz music...Austral Jazz is an excellent contribution to the existing body of research on the development of Australian jazz, with Robson drawing attention to a selection of significant artists, performances and recordings created in Sydney over several decades."

Sean Foran, JMC Academy, Brisbane, Australia