This book is a historical and interpretive study of the movement of jazz experimentalism in West and East Germany between the years 1950 and 1975. It complicates the narratives advanced by previous scholars by arguing that engagement with black musical methods, concepts, and practices remained significant for the emergence of the German jazz experimentalism movement. In a seemingly paradoxical fashion, this engagement with black musical knowledge enabled the formation of more self-reliant musical concepts and practices. Rather than viewing the German jazz experimentalism movement in terms of dissociation from their African American spiritual fathers, this book presents the movement as having decisively contributed to the decentering of still prevalent jazz historiographies in which the centrality of the US is usually presupposed. Going beyond both US-centric and Eurocentric perspectives, this study contributes to scholarship that accounts for jazz's global dimension and the transfer of ideas beyond nationally conceived spaces.
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