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What Is This Thing Called Soul

Conversations on Black Culture and Jazz Education

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Damani Phillips

How does academic jazz education impact the Black cultural value of soulfulness and esthetic standards in contemporary jazz music? Through candid conversations with nine of the country’s most highly respected jazz practitioners and teachers, What Is This Thing Called Soul explores the potential consequences of forcing the Black musical style of jazz into an academic pedagogical system that is specifically designed to facilitate the practice and pedagogy of European classical music. This work tests the belief that the cultural, emotional and esthetic elements at the very core of jazz’s unique identity, along with the music’s overt connection to Black culture, are effectively being "lost in translation" in traversing the divide between academic and non-academic jazz spheres.

Each interviewee commands significant respect worldwide in the fields of jazz performance and jazz pedagogy. Noteworthy subjects include: Rufus Reid, Lewis Nash, Nicholas Payton and Wycliffe Gordon—along with the late jazz masters Marcus Belgrave and Phil Woods. Interviews are supplemented by original analysis of the nature and validity of these issues contributed by the author.

What Is This Thing Called Soul offers a candid and objective look into pressing issues of race, culture and ethnic value in relation to both jazz music and jazz education. Sensitivity, marginalization and even a fear of offending others has limited open discussion of how the soul of jazz music can be lost in technical boundaries. What Is This Thing Called Soul is the first attempt to directly address such culturally urgent issues in jazz music.

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Chapter 6. Self-Taught Through Emersion: Brad Goode Interview (1963–)

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·6·

Self-Taught Through Emersion

Brad Goode Interview (1963–)

Trumpeter Brad Goode is a unique and instantly recognizable force in jazz. Born and (primarily) raised in Chicago, Goode earned a Bachelor of Music degree in trumpet performance from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Music degree in bass performance from DePaul University. Primarily a self-taught jazz musician, Goode’s jazz pedigree was established through his apprenticeship with many legends of the music. As a youngster, he toured and recorded with Von Freeman, Red Rodney, Al Cohn, Eddie Harris, Ira Sullivan, Frank Morgan, Don Lanphere, Curtis Fuller, Jack DeJohnette, Ernie Krivda, Richie Cole, Rosemary Clooney, Barrett Deems and many others.

Highly active as an educator, Goode has served on the faculties of the American Conservatory of Music, New Trier H.S., Cuyahoga Community College, The University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, and The University of Colorado at Boulder, where he is currently an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies. He makes frequent appearances as a soloist and clinician at colleges and high schools throughout the U.S.

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