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Creating Jazz CounterpointNew Orleans, Barbershop Harmony, and the Blues$
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Vic Hobson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781617039911

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617039911.001.0001

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(p.3) 1 Jazzmen
Creating Jazz Counterpoint

Vic Hobson

University Press of Mississippi

Jazzmen (1939) was the first book to place New Orleans at the origin of jazz. Written by Frederic Ramsey Jr., Bill Russell, and Charles Edward Smith, the book relied heavily on what jazz musicians themselves said. La Nouvelle-Orléans Capital du Jazz, by Robert Goffin was published only in French in 1946. Goffin also interviewed New Orleans jazz musicians. This book has been less widely discussed, but contains valuable insights into the early years of jazz. Wilder Hobson, in American Jazz Music 1939, questioned how jazz counterpoint functioned. This issue is still unresolved. This chapter introduces the argument that jazz counterpoint is the product of the application of the principles of barbershop harmony as applied to the instrumentation of a jazz band.

Keywords:   Frederic Ramsey Jr., Charles Edward Smith, Jazzmen, Counterpoint, Wilder Hobson

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