Music: Swing Pundit

Five years ago, before the cry of the jitterbug was heard in the land, a boyish, exuberant Frenchman was busy filling a medieval French castle with hot phonograph records by U.S. jazz players. The Frenchman, Hugues Panassié, had never seen a U.S. jazz orchestra in the flesh. But what he heard on records convinced him: 1) that jazz was a very important type of music, 2) that the difference between good and bad jazz was worth serious critical consideration, 3) that this difference depended not on how jazz was written but on how it was played. To drive his points home,...

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