In The Contradictions of Jazz, Paul Rinzler takes a new approach to jazz aesthetics and theory by exploring four pairs of opposites present in jazz: individualism and interconnectedness, assertion and openness, freedom and responsibility, and creativity and tradition. By themselves, these eight values speak volumes about the meaning of jazz and its significance. Understanding how these opposites coexist in jazz leads to an exploration of the connections linking jazz with the experiential and existential, which contrast with the connections between composition and science. Rinzler explains the various concepts, including either/or and dialectic thinking, and then examines the pairs of opposites individually, describing their position and presence in jazz. He then demonstrates how the larger meaning of these contradictory opposites depends on ideas from the philosophies of phenomenology and existentialism. Rinzler considers the opposites inherent in the product and process of jazz, as well as mistakes and the challenge of perfection, presenting these values in light of the contradictions inherent in jazz. With a full bibliography and an index, The Contradictions of Jazz is a fascinating read for fans and scholars of jazz history and aesthetics.
Contradictions of Jazz