Not enough Europe

203

Nice to see Simon Adams’ review of Francesco Martinelli’s massive book on European jazz. As your reviewer says, it is surprising that we have had to wait so long for a book with the broad and deep coverage that this volume gives.

But I was surprised that the review gave so much space to worrying about the American tendency to think of jazz as entirely American (surely we know about that) and – more significantly – to a very detailed account of the chapter on Britain. Doesn’t this imply a parochialism much like the American one?

It would have been good to learn of highlights from chapters on continental European countries. Even if the book doesn’t give an overview of why jazz in Europe might have some distinctiveness it allows rich comparison of European jazz histories. Many readers will know plenty about UK jazz history. It would have been good to have much more on achievements elsewhere.

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Roger Cotterrell, London