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Louis Armstrong and Paul WhitemanTwo Kings of Jazz$
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Joshua Berrett

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300103847

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300103847.001.0001

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(p.xi) Introduction
Louis Armstrong and Paul Whiteman

Joshua Berrett

Yale University Press

This chapter begins with the answer to the elusive question of: what is jazz? Duke Ellington, in 1969, once said that jazz could mean—if it means anything at all—what it had once meant to musicians fifty years previously: freedom of expression. This chapter thus outlines goals and aims of the book and its process of revisiting the world of early jazz to see just how Paul Whiteman and Louis Armstrong dominated a period in jazz's history. The chapter analyzes the work of both artists, revealing a significant overlap and reciprocity. It notes the need to confront certain issues as well, such as race and class, and how these figured in the nature of jazz historiography.

Keywords:   jazz, Duke Ellington, freedom of expression, early jazz, Paul Whiteman, Louis Armstrong, jazz historiography

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