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By Nicolas Pillai

The hot phenomenon of jazz track took the realm by way of typhoon within the Twenties and Thirties. This publication presents a well timed research of the connection among jazz and recording and broadcast applied sciences within the early 20th century. Jazz histories have commonly privileged traits akin to authenticity, naturalness and spontaneity, yet to take action overlooks jazz's prestige as a modernist, mechanised artwork shape that developed along the relocating picture and visible cultures. Jazz as visible Language exhibits that the relocating snapshot is important to our realizing of what the materiality of jazz relatively is. targeting Len Lye's direct animation, Gjon Mili's experimental photos of musicians acting and the BBC's Jazz 625 sequence, this e-book areas emphasis on movie and tv that conveys the 'sound of shock' via formal innovation, instead of narrative constitution. Nicolas Pillai seeks to refine a serious vocabulary of jazz and visible tradition while arguing that jazz used to be by no means only a new sound; it used to be additionally a brand new method of seeing the area.

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Additional info for Jazz as Visual Language: Film, Television and the Dissonant Image

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In these accounts of televisual jazz, the technical proficiency of the broadcast is seen to permit emotional revelation. As Tim Wall and Paul Long note, The Sound of Jazz was one of a series of CBS arts programmes themed around the title The Seven Lively Arts, drawing on the Gilbert Seldes book of 1924 which had placed popular and ‘high’ art in parallel. 37 The sensitivity with which the programme was conceived can be attributed to the expertise of those involved in its production. Noted jazz writers Whitney Balliett and Nat Hentoff served as music consultants, while its producer Robert Herridge had previ­ ously created the experimental arts series Camera Three for CBS in 1953.

Other constructed elements speak to the socio-​political circum­ stances under which the film was created; famously, the white gui­ tarist Barney Kessel’s hands were stained with berry juice to falsify the impression that the band is all black, a concession to prevalent racism.

The selection of Jennings’ Spare Time is also signifi­ cant here; an oddity amongst GPO films in that its depiction of the working-​class focused not on their need for elevation but instead on their leisure pursuits. 105 Given this context, in which the Post Office was reposition­ ing itself as a private entity and relocating branches as franchises within newsagents and convenience stores, the mobilisation of nos­ talgia for an idealist 1930s GPO is telling. One is struck, though, on handling the stamp set, at the oddity of confining the motion of A Colour Box to one (silent) image.

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