Marabi Nights: Jazz, 'Race' and Society in Early Apartheid South Africa, by Ballantine, Christopher
This is the updated and substantially expanded second edition of Christopher Ballantine's classic Marabi Nights, which offers a fascinating view of the triumphs and tragedies of South Africa's marabi-jazz tradition. Based on conversations with legendary figures in the world of music - as well as a perceptive reading of music, the socio-political history, and social meanings - this book is one of sensitive and impassioned curatorship. New chapters extend the book's in-depth account of the birth and development of South African urban-black popular music. They include a powerful story about gender relations and music in the context of forced migrant labor in the 1950s, a critical study of the legendary Manhattan Brothers that uniquely positions their music and words in relation to the apartheid system, and an account of the musical, political, and commercial strategies of the local record industry. A new afterword looks critically at the place of jazz and popular music in South Africa since the end of apartheid, and argues for the continued relevance of the robust, questioning spirit of the marabi tradition. The book includes an illustrative CD of historic sound recordings that the author has unearthed and saved from oblivion.
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