The New Orleans Jazz Scene 1970-2000: A Personal Retrospective – Thomas W. Jacobsen (Book)


In stock


Release Year: 2014

Publisher: Louisiana State University Press

In 1966, journalist Charles Suhor wrote that New Orleans jazz was “ready for its new Golden Age.” Thomas W. Jacobsen’s The New Orleans Jazz Scene, 1970–2000 chronicles the resurgence of jazz music in the Crescent City in the years following Suhor’s prophetic claim. Jacobsen, a New Orleans resident and longtime jazz aficionado, offers a wide-ranging history of the New Orleans jazz renaissance in the last three decades of the twentieth century, weaving local musical developments into the larger context of the national jazz scene.
Jacobsen vividly evokes the changing face of the New Orleans jazz world at the close of the twentieth century. Drawing from an array of personal experiences and his own exhaustive research, he discusses leading musicians and bands, both traditionalists and modernists, as well as major performance venues and festivals. The city’s musical infrastructure does not go overlooked, as Jacobsen delves into New Orleans’s music business, its jazz media, and the evolution of jazz education at public schools and universities. With a trove of more than seventy photographs of key players and performances, The New Orleans Jazz Scene, 1970–2000 offers a vibrant and fascinating portrait of the musical genre that defines New Orleans.

©LSU Press


Reviewed In OffBeat

David Kunian (February 2015 Issue)

Thomas Jacobsen is well qualified to assess New Orleans jazz in the last third of the last century. He wrote many articles for magazines including The Mississippi Rag, The Clarinet, and others.

He interviewed many musicians, both traditional and modern, for his Traditional New Orleans Jazz: Conversations with the Men Who Make the Music.

His latest book is a short survey of jazz in the Crescent City divided up by decade. Each chapter is divided up to sections on live music clubs, festivals, education, brass bands and musical luminaries.

In the first pages, Jacobsen states that he is an historian, not a musicologist, and this dictates his approach. This leads to an informative, yet very dry, means of providing the information. There are lots of dates and names, but few descriptions of the music or of what makes the New Orleans jazz scene fun or unique.

This is comprehensive, but it needed more anecdotes of conversations and live music to show readers the energy and whimsical, anything-goes informality of much of New Orleans music.

Where he excels is the recalling of some histories that have been glossed over such as the early, controversial history of Jazz Fest, the lack of development of Rampart Street, or the saga of Clarence “Buckwater” Washington.

He also gives recognition to some of the unsung pieces and people of the New Orleans music puzzle like the Norwegian Seaman’s Church, Don Marquis, Shirley Trusty Corey and several others.

This is a great reference book, but there are still several books that need to be written about this important and transitional period in New Orleans music.

Additional information

Weight 10 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 2 in
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