"IT TAKES MUCH ENTHUSIASTIC STUDY TO COME TO UNDERSTAND—OR, RATHER TO COME TO FEEL—SWING MUSIC IN THE WAY IT SHOULD BE FELT": FIRST EDITION OF HOT JAZZ: THE GUIDE TO SWING MUSIC, 1936
PANASSIE, Hugues. Hot Jazz. The Guide to Swing Music. New York: M. Witmark & Sons, (1936). Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket. $650.
First edition in English, "especially revised," of this essential guide to jazz from the African-American tradition.
"[I]n the 1920s, early jazz musicians were classified as 'hot' players according to the passion and drive of their playing. A 'hot' style involved occasional growls or smears and giving the impression of playing on top of or fractionally ahead of the underlying beat or pulse. The epithet 'hot' was applied directly to some of these individuals, including trumpeter Oran 'Hot Lips' Page, as well as to entire groups, such as Louis Armstrong's Hot Five or Hot Seven or 'Jelly Roll' Morton's Red Hot Peppers. Armstrong epitomized playing hot through his forceful syncopation, occasional use of vocal tone and his relentless rhythmic drive… Eventually, 'hot' jazz came to mean Dixieland or swing, defined by Hugues Panassié in his book Le Jazz Hot (1934) as jazz played 'with warmth or heat,' rather than 'played straight'" (Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World XI:149). Hugues Panassié was a French critic and music producer who founded the Hot Club de France, an influential French jazz organization devoted to promoting so-called "traditional" jazz—jazz rooted in the swing and blues tradition of African-American music. Panassié—who used subterfuge to avoid censors and keep jazz on the radio during the Nazi invasion—swiftly gained a reputation as a leading promoter of jazz. Yet Panassié proved a controversial figure due to his denigration of jazz outside the African-American tradition. Panassié even attacked Miles Davis, among others, as being a traitor to black music. This book is from the golden period of Panassié's career and reflects his exceptional knowledge of both the technical and emotional elements of jazz music. The first edition was published in 1934 in Paris; this first edition in English was published the same year as the first British edition.
Book with small tear to head of spine, dust jacket with wear to extremities and mild toning to spine. An extremely good copy.