Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Gabbard, Krin. Jammin' at the Margins: Jazz and the American Cinema. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Jazz in Hollywood films creates a context for the formation of a stylized representation of African-American culture, beginning with The Jazz Singer (1927). American myths regarding white ethnics and African-American sexuality are assimilated through the borrowing of African-American music, specifically jazz, as used in director Alan Crossland's The Jazz Singer (1927) and Paul Whiteman's King of Jazz (1930), and later in Alfred E. Green's The Jolson Story (1946) and Luis Valdez's La Bamba (1987). Spike Lee's Mo' Better Blues portrays the larger tradition in which the trumpet is a crucial signifier of masculinity, by borrowing from the music of Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis. In contemporary films, jazz has been configured to signify elegance and affluence as an art form through borrowings from Ellington, Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Carmichael.

Works: Charles Wolcott: score to Blackboard Jungle (9); Taj Mahal: score to Zebrahead (101); Alfred Newman: score to No Way Out (102); Hugo Friedhofer, Edward B. Powell, and Marvin Hatley: score to Topper (256); Franz Waxman and William Lava: score to To Have and Have Not (261).

Sources: Max C. Freedman and Jimmy DeKnight: Rock Around the Clock (9); John Coltrane: Say It Over and Over Again (102); Duke Ellington: In a Sentimental Mood,Sophisticated Lady (102); Nat King Cole: When I Fall in Love (247); Hoagy Carmichael: Old Man Moon (256), I Am Blue (261).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Film

Contributed by: Kathleen Widden

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