Technology and the Stylistic Evolution of the Jazz Bass: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Technology and the Stylistic Evolution of the Jazz Bass

1st Edition

By Peter Dowdall

Routledge

236 pages | 46 B/W Illus.

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Description

Technology and the Stylistic Evolution of the Jazz Bass traces the stylistic evolution of jazz from the bass player’s perspective. Historical works to date have tended to pursue a ‘top down’ reading, one that emphasizes the influence of the treble instruments on the melodic and harmonic trajectory of jazz. This book augments that reading by examining the music’s development from the bottom up. It re-contextualizes the bass and its role in the evolution of jazz (and by extension popular music in general) by situating it alongside emerging music technologies. The bass and its technological mediation are shown to have driven changes in jazz language and musical style, and even transformed creative hierarchies in ways that have been largely overlooked. The book’s narrative is also informed by investigations into more commercial musical styles such as blues and rock, in order to assess how, and the degree to which, technological advances first deployed in these areas gradually became incorporated into general jazz praxis. Technology and the Jazz Bass reconciles technology more thoroughly into jazz historiography by detailing and evaluating those that are intrinsic to the instrument (including its eventual electrification) and those extrinsic to it (most notably evolving recording and digital technologies). The author illustrates how the implementation of these technologies has transformed the role of the bass in jazz, and with that, jazz music as an art form.

Table of Contents

Introduction. 1. The Bass and the Early Mechanical Roots of Jazz (1915-1930) 2. The Bass, Technology and the Development of the Rhythm Section (1930-1945) 3. The Spoils of War and the Jazz Bass: Tape Recorders and Editing (1945-1960) 4. The Electrification of the Bass: Behold the Illegitimate Cousin (1954-1970) 5. The Jazz Bass, Multi-Track Recording Technology and Fusion (1970s) 6. Jaco Pastorius: The Electric Jazz Bass Attains Respectability (1976-1985) 7. The Young Lions and the Technological Backlash (1980-1990) 8. Pro Tools, Computers and the Bass (1990-2005) 9. The Future of the Jazz Bassist (2005-2012) Conclusion.

About the Author

Peter Dowdall is a former New York City bassist and recording engineer and is currently teaching at the University of Adelaide, Elder Conservatorium of Music.

About the Series

Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series

Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.

Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUS000000
MUSIC / General