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Loft Jazz: Improvising New York in the 1970s

by Michael Heller University of California Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 272 pages
AU$52.99 NZ$56.51
Product Status: Available in Approx 5 days
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The New York loft jazz scene of the 1970s was a pivotal period for uncompromising, artist-produced work. Faced with a flagging jazz economy, a group of young avant-garde improvisers chose to eschew the commercial sphere and develop alternative venues in the abandoned factories and warehouses of lower Manhattan. Loft Jazz provides the first book-length study of this period, tracing its history amid a series of overlapping discourses surrounding collectivism, urban renewal, experimentalist aesthetics, underground archives, and the radical politics of self-determination.

List of Illustrations and Table

1. Fragmented Memories and Activist Archives

2. Influences, Antecedents, Early Engagements
3. The Jazz Loft Era


4. Freedom
5. Community
6. Space
7. Archive
8. Aftermaths and Legacies


"...Heller’s book is a much-needed reference for further studies into this fascinating subject."
Michael C. Heller is an ethnomusicologist, music historian, and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Pittsburgh.