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Harlem in Montmartre: A Paris Jazz Story Between the Great Wars Hardcover – September 3, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0520225374 ISBN-10: 0520225376 Edition: First Edition

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Harlem in Montmartre: A Paris Jazz Story Between the Great Wars + Negrophilia: Avant-Garde Paris and Black Culture in the 1920s (Interplay) + Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition edition (September 3, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520225376
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520225374
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #680,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The late Shack (anthropology, Berkeley) here chose to write about a particularly fruitful time in jazz development. Between the Great Wars, a unique community of jazz musicians and fanciers arose in France, particularly in the Montmartre section of Paris. While never coming close to the vibrancy of Harlem, this community still allowed for the cross-fertilization of jazz with overt European influences. Black American musicians found the level of support inviting enough to move to Paris and often used the city as a base of operations while performing throughout Europe. Shack captures this cultural interaction in a short but powerful book that makes a valuable contribution to the publisher's "Music of the African Diaspora" series. Recommended for music and academic libraries and public libraries with strong music collections. William G. Kenz, Minnesota State Univ., Moorhead
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Paris was one of the first, and perhaps most important, foreign capitals swept by jazz in the early twentieth century. Shack, a late professor of anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, compactly illuminates the expatriate African American community of jazz musicians that thrived in the Montmartre district of Paris in the '20s and '30s and helped turn the "city of lights" into the major jazz capital it remains today. The catalyst for this transformation was James Reese Europe, leader of the "Harlem Hellfighters" troop regiment in the American Expeditionary Force in World War I. These musicians and soldiers, despite indignities inflicted by the U.S. military, impressed Europeans with their jazz concerts, and later the Hellfighters became the most decorated military unit in the American forces. After the war, many of them stayed in France, which lacked the segregationist laws and customs that plagued them at home. Shack profiles the leading figures in this community, including Josephine Baker, Ada "Bricktop" Smith, and Sidney Bechet. A brilliant account of an unsung chapter in American history. Ted Leventhal
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
William Shack, late professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, has done a terrific job in bringing to life the Parisian jazz scene between the Great Wars. At the end of the First World War black Americans in the US Expeditionary Force, most notably James Reese Europe's Hellfighters Band, essentially introduced jazz to France and, by staying in Paris or returning thereto after demobilization, they formed the condensing nucleus of the black American jazz community that flourished in Montmartre between the Wars. Contemporary to the Harlem Renaissance in New York, the "Harlem in Montmartre" community provided black jazz musicians, entertainers, and entrepeneurs, an exciting environment, largely free from the racial bigotry and Jim Crow policies common in the US. This book goes a long way to become the standard work on the matter, describing the principal individuals, the clubs, the shows, the music, all interwoven in a lively and fluent style that helps to revive these exciting and by now long gone decades. Wonderful!
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By Scott on August 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pulls together a huge variety of lives and stories and archives into one page-turning package.
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