The United States is not a nation of black and white people. Any fool can see that white people are not really white, and that black people are not black.
The blues is not the creation of a crushed-spirited people. It is the product of a forward-looking, upward-striving people.
I am not an African. I am an American.
When the Negro musician or dancer swings the blues, he is fulfilling the same fundamental existential requirement that determines the mission of the poet, the priest and the medicine man.
As any competent student of literary composition knows, the more natural and casual a voice sounds in print, the more likely it is to have been edited time and again.
Effective stream-of-consciousness narration is the product of verbal precision, not just of literal documentation. It is decidedly not a matter of unedited free-association.
If it is properly done, the ‘as told to’ autobiography represents how the subject wants his story told.
Now, one can often get away with playing music by ear when it is not being recorded, but writing is another matter; its mistakes are not forgotten because they are still there to confuse us.
Jazz music, as is also the case with the old down-home spirituals, gospel and jubilee songs, jumps, shouts and moans, is essentially an American vernacular or idiomatic modification of musical conventions imported from Europe, beginning back during the time of the early settlers of the original colonies.
A jazz tune, melody, or composition is usually based on either a traditional twelve-bar, eight-bar, or four-bar blues chorus or on the thirty-two-bar chorus of the American popular song.
The improvisational nature of jazz musicianship is such that a truly competent performer must be prepared to function as an on-the-spot composer who is expected to contribute to the orchestration in progress, not simply to execute the score as it is written and rehearsed.
The juke joint, the honky tonk, and the ballroom also represent one more thing, anthropologically speaking: a ceremonial context for the male-with-female-duet dance flirtation and embrace, upon which the zoological survival of the human species has always been predicated.