About the Author
Allen Lowe is a composer, musician, music historian, sound restoration specialist, and author. He plays alto saxophone, c-melody saxophone, and guitar, and has recorded with some of the major figures in Jazz, including Julius Hemphill, Marc Ribot, Roswell Rudd, Don Byron, Doc Cheatham, and David Murray among others. He has also produced a series of historical projects on American Popular Song, Jazz, and the Blues.
Anyone serious about understanding the history of American music has no choice but to engage Allen Lowe’s That Devilin’ Tune: A Jazz History, 1900-1950. I use the word ‘engage’ quite deliberately, for Lowe has gifted us with a text and a body of music whose breadth, depth, scope, and sophistication is unsurpassed. His narrative takes us on a journey that even jazz aficionados will find surprising, daring and original, and his experience as a leading performer/composer of creative music gives his discussions of music an astounding level of clarity. What jazz is or isn’t is still highly contested, the source of much acrimonious debate. I suggest you bypass the acrimony and dive right into That Devilin’ Tune. The blues will set you free.
—Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
In his follow up to American Pop, Allen Lowe forces us to rethink everything we ‘know’ about jazz its origins, its relationship to other forms of music, its social consequences, and the supposedly minor role played white musicians in its evolution. Passages on figures as famous as Louis Armstrong and as obscure as Tony Aless do what musical criticism ideally should: they send us back to the pertinent recordings to compare notes. –Francis Davis, author of The History of the Blues and Bebop and Nothingness
Allen Lowe’s study of jazz and the musics that contributed to it is well-researched.
—Gerald Early, Merle King Professor of Modern Letters, Washington University in St. Louis