In Loft Jazz: Improvising New York in the 1970s (UC Press, 2016), Michael Heller explores the complex history of the loft jazz scene. This past March, John Petrucelli conducted an expansive interview with Heller, examining the entangled archival, social, and historical dynamics explored in the book. Loft Jazz weaves a narrative arc that relies upon the shifting socio-economic, cultural, and racial discourses within New York City as well as the spirit of self-determination and experimentalism that drove transformations in the jazz scene. In Part I, “Histories,” Heller argues the period is best understood “not as a musical style or even a type of venue, but rather as an interrelated set of presentational practices” (60). This model provides a wide lens through which to examine the explosion of self-produced programming in 1970s New York. Part II, “Trajectories,” frames the discussion with an exploration of broad themes ranging from freedom and community to space and the archive.
Read our review of Heller’s book: https://avantmusicnews.com/2017/05/01/amn-reviews-michael-c-heller-loft-jazz-improvising-new-york-in-the-1970s-u-of-california-press/