1st Edition

Jazz Sells: Music, Marketing, and Meaning

By Mark Laver Copyright 2015
    262 Pages
    by Routledge

    262 Pages
    by Routledge

    Jazz Sells: Music, Marketing, and Meaning examines the issues of jazz, consumption, and capitalism through advertising. On television, on the Internet, in radio, and in print, advertising is a critically important medium for the mass dissemination of music and musical meaning. This book is a study of the use of the jazz genre as a musical signifier in promotional efforts, exploring how the relationship between brand, jazz music, and jazz discourses come together to create meaning for the product and the consumer. At the same time, it examines how jazz offers an invaluable lens through which to examine the complex and often contradictory culture of consumption upon which capitalism is predicated.

    1. Introduction  2. Pimps, Rebels, and Volkswagens  3. Autoeroticism: Sex, Cars, and Jazz  4. The New Sound of Cola  5. "The Bank of Music"  6. Conclusion


    Mark Laver is an Assistant Professor of Music at Grinnell College, where he teaches classes on jazz and popular music. His work has been published in Popular Music and Society, Popular Music, Black Music Research Journal, and Critical Studies in Improvisation. Laver is also a busy saxophonist who has performed with Lee Konitz, William Parker, and Dong-Won Kim, among many other leading international artists.

    "Jazz Sells usefully furthers our understanding of how music has been used to sell goods, and entice people to buy them. This is a welcome addition to the small but fast-growing literature on music and consumer culture." – Timothy D. Taylor, author of The Sounds of Capitalism: Advertising, Music, and the Conquest of Culture

    "At once a study of the political economy of music in marketing and of jazz historiography, Jazz Sells encourages—indeed, requires—us to think in new and provocative ways about the many meanings jazz has had and continues to have. Engaging and witty, few studies match Laver’s in interdisciplinary relevance and significance to the discipline of jazz studies at once." – Gabriel Solis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

    "Mark Laver’s work offers jazz as a lens to scrutinize consumer capitalism, its mechanisms, and its cultural meanings. His clearly written, rich analysis points out the tensions between jazz’s images as 'countercultural' and 'sophisticated,' 'ageless' and 'vital,' improvisational and fixed. With its ethnographic grounding, this book adds materially to a small but growing focus on jazz in media studies, and on marketing in jazz studies. " – Steven F. Pond, author of Head Hunters: The Making of Jazz’s First Platinum Album