The kind face of classic jazz: Louis Armstrong and High Society (Charles Walters, 1956)

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This article studies the forms of representation of jazz as an African-American tradition. Specifically, it focuses on its socio-cultural and political implications, based on the figure of Louis Armstrong as a representative of the kind face of classic jazz. Jazz was a marginal musical genre in its early days, and it acquired a prominent mainstream presence through its integration into the cultural industries, raising questions about the ways in which it is represented. First, we address the multidimensional nature of music in relation to a dynamic notion of the imaginary. Furthermore, we investigate the politics of representation employed in popular music through classic jazz, considering ethnic or racial identity and the notions of pose and cut. Furthermore, we carry out a socio-semiotic analysis of High Society (Charles Walters, 1956), a Hollywood musical in which Armstrong plays himself.


Popular music, jazz, Louis Armstrong, High Society, politics of representation.

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