Session 13 – Transnationalism 1

Saturday 3 September – 14.30-15.45 (Blue Note)
Chair: Walter van de Leur

Panel Abstract

The consensus jazz historical narrative has always acknowledged migration and relocation as a key thematic but has mostly utilized them as a means of articulating dimensions of U.S. race relations. This panel seeks to resituate terms such as diaspora and displacement such that they speak to a broader array of socioeconomic factors and geographic locales. It assumes that place and identity continue to be important markers of jazz history and practice while insisting upon a richer global perspective and attention to the fluidity of modes and genres.

Andrew Dewar – Hot and Cool from Buenos Aires to Chicago The Argentine “Hot Dogs Band,” Guillermo Gregorio, and Transnational Jazz Aesthetics

“Dance under the stars to the music of 1924” reads the handbill – but it is not 1924, it is 1956 – and Buenos Aires, Argentina is not normally considered a bastion of Chicagostyle “hot” jazz. Nonetheless, the little-known Hot Dogs Band, which included composer and reedist Guillermo Gregorio, played their nostalgic take on this music, separated by time and geography, but drawn to a cosmopolitan aesthetic ideal. Engaging with the tropes of the “journeyman musician” and more broadly the “jazz journey,” this paper discusses two kinds of migration – the physical movements of Argentine-American composer, saxophonist and clarinettist Guillermo Gregorio, and aspects of the aesthetic migration of jazz as it relates to mid-1950s Buenos Aires. Gregorio’s story is compelling global journey from Buenos Aires to Vienna, Los Angeles and finally Chicago, often led by his individualized concept of the “cool.” By viewing Gregorio’s physical migrations as a movement toward his aesthetic ideals, we see a captivating manifestation of the transnational circulation of jazz.

John Gennari – Tenor Madness: Joe Lovano’s “Viva Caruso” and Italian Diasporic Cultural Influences in Jazz

“Move over Pavarotti; the greatest Italian tenor around today isn’t Luciano, but Lovano” – so says jazz critic Will Friedwald, in his liner note for saxophonist Joe Lovano’s 2002 recording “Viva Caruso, a largely overlooked recent jazz recording that channels the influence of classic tenor Enrico Caruso. By evoking Caruso’s voice, body, and musical world; suggesting connections between early New Orleans jazz and Mediterranean song forms and rhythms; and drawing attention to a masculine operatic idiom central to jazz since the pioneering work of Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and Coleman Hawkins, Lovano’s “Viva Caruso” fosters fresh ways of thinking about the vital presence of Italian culture in the jazz tradition. My paper will use this recording to anchor a discussion of jazz’s relationship to Italian cultural forms and practices.

James Hall – Ivo Perelman: Memory and Modern Practice

Contemporary tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman came to the United States from Brazil at age 25 in 1986. His prolific recording career has been marked distinctly by a kind of push and pull relationship with his Brazilian heritage and New York’s great abstract expressionist painting traditions. He has shaped a dynamic artistic practice that holds off folk nationalisms by a dizzying array of interventions that simultaneously mark the power of place and seek to undermine its permanent hold. This embrace of a constantly remembering displacement has also manifest itself as an unusual means of figuring economic viability for the constantly experimenting musician.

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