Jazz Sells: Music, Marketing, and Meaning: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Jazz Sells: Music, Marketing, and Meaning

1st Edition

By Mark Laver


246 pages

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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.


"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

Table of Contents

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

About the Author

Mark Laver isan 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.

About the Series

Transnational Studies in Jazz

The field of New Jazz Studies has emerged out of traditional modes of musicological inquiry, with an increasing number of scholars examining jazz as a discursive cultural practice. Drawing on a range of disciplinary perspectives, New Jazz Studies has begun to promote a multiplicity of canons, exploring the overlapping and exchanges between different countries and cultural groups and challenging existing modes of understanding. Transnational Studies in Jazz presents cross-disciplinary and international perspectives on the relationship between jazz and its social, political, and cultural contexts.

While supporting ongoing research on American themes, artists and scenes, Transnational Studies in Jazz also seeks to develop understandings of jazz in different contexts, approaching the American influence - as well as the rejection of America - through analysis of international discourses and local scenes. Through US, UK and international contributors, jazz would be understood not only as a sonic form or subject of artistic expression and analysis but also as a key social and political agent in the development and exchange of culture.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General