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The creative impact of jazz music

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The notion of Joe and Violet Trace and the narrator of the story as all being improvisors.
  3. The narrator as one of the most central characters.
    1. The narrator's increasingly audacious subjective inferences in describing the characters.
    2. Do we believe that the voice we are listening to is worth interpreting.
    3. The voice of the book.
  4. The process of historical restoration within the black intellectual community.
  5. The moment of Joe and Violet's 'first conversation'.
  6. Violet's rejection of black women as a community.
  7. Morrison's point to provide the other side of the story.
  8. The ensemble nature of jazz music.
  9. The photograph of Dorcas.
  10. Conclusion.

Music frequently requires more than one performer to be created. Perhaps two or more musicians are required, each playing a ?part? ? without the presence of all the musicians, the song would be incomplete. Perhaps one musician will accompany a singer, each performing distinct but interdependent roles. Human relationships of love and friendship easily can be seen in a similar light. It takes two, as they say. Also similar to this musical analogy is the act of creating and reading literature. For each performer, there must be an audience, if the work is to be realized. Of course jazz could be used in this analogy. Jazz music has the same requirements for partnership and role-playing. However, jazz frequently builds upon the notion of improvisation. One or more of the performers must create the music as it is being played, and the other performers must react to those creations in real-time. Jazz then becomes a powerful analogy for relationships that exist in a rapidly changing environment. If circumstances change rapidly, the partners must improvise their roles.

[...] Thinking of them, their relationship, and even the narration of events from the perspective of the jazz analogy I have just discussed, we can see their migration holds the potential for successful adaptation, a success modeled after the formation of jazz music itself. All of this can be seen in Toni Morrison's novel Jazz. Jazz music, as it functions in the novel, becomes a social tool of empowerment via improvisational creation and interpersonal connection, unifying the community and providing an outlet to express its social and political needs. [...]


[...] The novel structurally unites these fragments of images and ideas into one larger work in the same way a person would link together individual notes of music to make a melody while creating contact between formerly un-reconciled ideas of interpretive possibility. It does so by showing that the often oppositional ideas don't necessarily struggle towards one singular point of meaning and resolution, but rather can merge into a complex three-dimensional sphere of coexistent yet separate resolution. The crossing of the paths of meaning does not disable one reading of the text from completing its aim, but rather gives it the empowerment to fertilize the other interpretive possibilities with added perspective, dimension, and resonance. [...]


[...] The politics of Jazz speak to the issues of the representation of black women's lives and make the novel worthy of its name while establishing a ?visceral relationship between writer and reader? (2094). In her interview with Tate, Morrison expresses her concern that ?relationships between women were always written about as though they were subordinate to some other roles they're playing? (Black Women Writers at Work118), continuing that the legitimacy of the relationships between black women and the function of such relationships in a socio-political context was overlooked, yet highly important to the black community. [...]

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