01 novembre 2014


Ha scelto la musica di Mike Westbrook per la sua tesi di dottorato presso la Durham University (Regno Unito), e così la introduce Gary Bayley: "This dissertation – the first on the life and work of Mike Westbrook – proposes that his unique conception of English modern jazz was inspired by early 1900s New Orleans culture, where live music was contemporary, culturally relevant, and had a social function. Initially intended as art for a new post-World War socialist Britain, his drawing on cultural, social, economic, and political constraints became an artistic credo. The thesis argues that jazz is primarily a cultural activity, not merely a style of music. While Westbrook has claimed that he was simply attempting to combine art and entertainment like Duke Ellington, this dissertation demonstrates how, as a trained painter, his jazz process is informed by Dada and Pop Art as well as by Bertolt Brecht’s Lehrstücke, lending his ensembles a social function as ‘mediating structures’. His central ‘brass band’ concept draws on English music-hall, circus and fairground, together with European cabaret, and his tendency towards theatrical performance was reinforced through his creative partnership with Kate Westbrook. The approach taken in this study is twofold: on the one hand field-work and extensive access to archival materials (much of it previously unavailable); and on the other hand cultural and historical interpretation. The thesis argues that Westbrook attempted a cultural revolution in broadening the terms of reference for jazz to construct a peculiarly English, polystylistic multi-media art. Accordingly, this dissertation locates Westbrook’s work in the larger cultural field of English contemporary artistic expression, rather than simply seeking to situate it stylistically within a narrower history of jazz."
The Music of Mike Westbrook è in http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/10712