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Lonesome Roads and Streets of DreamsPlace, Mobility, and Race in Jazz of the 1930s and ’40s$
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Andrew S. Berish

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226044941

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226044965.001.0001

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Conclusion: Air Spaces

Conclusion: Air Spaces

(p.206) Conclusion: Air Spaces
Lonesome Roads and Streets of Dreams
University of Chicago Press

This chapter reports a brief coda that looks at an emerging spatial experience—flight—the notion of which was a significant trope in African American culture generally and jazz in particular. The Charlie Barnet Orchestra recorded “Wings over Manhattan,” one example of the many associations at the time between popular culture and the fascination with airplanes and air travel. “Flying Home” utilized the airplane and the idea of “flying” to demonstrate the perilous conditions of African American existence. Jimmie Lunceford's two-beat executed a style of mobility that takes on special meaning in the context of the leader's obsession with flight. Dance band jazz, later dubbed “swing,” was not the only popular music of the era, but it reached across class, race, and ethnic lines in ways strikingly different from the fractured musical-cultural landscape of today.

Keywords:   flight, dance band jazz, Charlie Barnet Orchestra, Wings over Manhattan, Flying Home, Jimmie Lunceford, swing

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