Stanley Crouch
Stanley Crouch is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 music and cultural critic
A critic is anyone who expresses a value judgement. Informally, criticism is a common aspect of all human expression and need not necessarily imply skilled or accurate expressions of judgement. Critical judgements, good or bad, may be positive , negative , or balanced...

, syndicated columnist
A columnist is a journalist who writes for publication in a series, creating an article that usually offers commentary and opinions. Columns appear in newspapers, magazines and other publications, including blogs....

, and novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

ist, perhaps best known for his jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 criticism, and his novel Don't the Moon Look Lonesome?


During the early 1970s, Crouch moved from California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 to New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, where he shared a loft with tenor saxophonist David Murray
David Murray (jazz musician)
David Murray is an American jazz musician. Murray plays mainly tenor saxophone and sometimes bass clarinet. He has recorded prolifically for many record labels since the mid-1970s.-Biography:...

 above an East Village
East Village, Manhattan
The East Village is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, lying east of Greenwich Village, south of Gramercy and Stuyvesant Town, and north of the Lower East Side...

 club called the Tin Palace. While working as a drummer, Crouch conducted the booking for an avant-garde jazz
Avant-garde jazz
Avant-garde jazz is a style of music and improvisation that combines avant-garde art music and composition with jazz. Avant-jazz often sounds very similar to free jazz, but differs in that, despite its distinct departure from traditional harmony, it has a predetermined structure over which ...

 series at the club, as well as organizing occasional concert events at the Ladies' Fort.

In Ken Burns
Ken Burns
Kenneth Lauren "Ken" Burns is an American director and producer of documentary films, known for his style of using archival footage and photographs...

' 2005 television documentary Unforgivable Blackness, Crouch says that his father was a "criminal" and that he once met the boxer Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson (boxer)
John Arthur Johnson , nicknamed the “Galveston Giant,” was an American boxer. At the height of the Jim Crow era, Johnson became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion...


Since the early 1980s, Crouch has become critical of the more progressive forms of jazz and has been associated with the opinions of Albert Murray. Crouch was fired from JazzTimes
JazzTimes is a magazine that dates back to Radio Free Jazz, a publication founded in 1970 by Ira Sabin when he was operating a record store in Washington, DC. It was originally a newsletter designed to update shoppers on the latest jazz releases and provide jazz radio programmers with a means of...

following his controversial article "Putting the White Man in Charge" in which he stated that, since the '60s, "...white musicians who can play are too frequently elevated far beyond their abilities in order to allow white writers to make themselves feel more comfortable about being in the role of evaluating an art from which they feel substantially alienated."


Jazz critic Alex Henderson assesses Crouch as a "rigid jazz purist" and "a blistering critic of avant-garde jazz
Avant-garde jazz
Avant-garde jazz is a style of music and improvisation that combines avant-garde art music and composition with jazz. Avant-jazz often sounds very similar to free jazz, but differs in that, despite its distinct departure from traditional harmony, it has a predetermined structure over which ...

 and fusion
Jazz fusion
Jazz fusion is a musical fusion genre that developed from mixing funk and R&B rhythms and the amplification and electronic effects of rock, complex time signatures derived from non-Western music and extended, typically instrumental compositions with a jazz approach to lengthy group improvisations,...

..." Of fusion Crouch wrote, "We should laugh at those who make artistic claims for fusion." In The New Yorker
The New Yorker
The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

Robert Boynton wrote, "Enthusiastic, combative, and never averse to attention, Crouch has a virtually insatiable appetite for controversy." Boynton also noted "Few cultural critics have a vision as eclectic and intriguing as Stanley Crouch's. Fewer still actually fight to prove their points."

Crouch is also a fierce critic of gangsta rap
Gangsta rap
Gangsta Rap is a subgenre of hip hop music that evolved from hardcore hip hop and purports to reflect urban crime and the violent lifestyles of inner-city youths. Lyrics in gangsta rap have varied from accurate reflections to fictionalized accounts. Gangsta is a non-rhotic pronunciation of the word...

 music, asserting that it promotes violence, criminal lifestyles and degrading attitudes toward women. With this viewpoint, he has defended Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby
William Henry "Bill" Cosby, Jr. is an American comedian, actor, author, television producer, educator, musician and activist. A veteran stand-up performer, he got his start at various clubs, then landed a starring role in the 1960s action show, I Spy. He later starred in his own series, the...

's "Pound Cake Speech
Pound Cake Speech
The Pound Cake speech was given by Bill Cosby in May 2004 during an NAACP awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. In it, Cosby was highly critical of members of subsets of the black community in the United...

" and praised a women's group at Spelman College
Spelman College
Spelman College is a four-year liberal arts women's college located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The college is part of the Atlanta University Center academic consortium in Atlanta. Founded in 1881 as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, Spelman was the first historically black female...

 for speaking out against rap music.

In 2004 Crouch was invited to a panel of judges for the PEN/Newman's Own
PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award
The PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award was presented each spring to a U.S. resident who has fought courageously, despite adversity, to safeguard the First Amendment right to freedom of expression as it applies to the written word. Sponsored by PEN American Center and Newman's Own, a cash prize...

 Award, a $25,000 award designed to protect speech as it applies to the written word.

His syndicated column for the New York Daily News
New York Daily News
The Daily News of New York City is the fourth most widely circulated daily newspaper in the United States with a daily circulation of 605,677, as of November 1, 2011....

frequently challenges prominent members of the African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 community. Crouch has criticised, among others, author Alex Haley
Alex Haley
Alexander Murray Palmer Haley was an African-American writer. He is best known as the author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family and the coauthor of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.-Early life:...

, the author of The Autobiography of Malcolm X
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
The Autobiography of Malcolm X was published in 1965, the result of a collaboration between Malcolm X and journalist Alex Haley. Haley coauthored the autobiography based on a series of in-depth interviews he conducted between 1963 and Malcolm X's 1965 assassination...

and Roots: The Saga of an American Family
Roots: The Saga of an American Family
Roots: The Saga of an American Family is a novel written by Alex Haley and first published in 1976. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent and sold into slavery in the United States, and follows his life and the lives of his descendants in the U.S....

; community leader Al Sharpton
Al Sharpton
Alfred Charles "Al" Sharpton, Jr. is an American Baptist minister, civil rights activist, and television/radio talk show host. In 2004, he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidential election...

 ; filmmaker Spike Lee
Spike Lee
Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee is an American film director, producer, writer, and actor. His production company, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, has produced over 35 films since 1983....

 , scholar Cornel West
Cornel West
Cornel Ronald West is an American philosopher, author, critic, actor, civil rights activist and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America....

  playwright Amiri Baraka
Amiri Baraka
Amiri Baraka , formerly known as LeRoi Jones, is an American writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays, and music criticism...

 , as well as Tupac Shakur
Tupac Shakur
Tupac Amaru Shakur , known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. Shakur has sold over 75 million albums worldwide as of 2007, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world...

, in reference to whom he wrote "What dredged-up scum you are willing to pay for is what scum you get, on or off stage."

In 2005, he was selected as one of the inaugural fellows by the Fletcher Foundation
Fletcher Foundation
The Fletcher Foundation is a nonprofit foundation that supports civil rights and environmental education. It was created with a $50 million endowment in 2004 by New York financier and philanthropist Alphonse Fletcher, Jr....

, which awards annual fellowships to people working on issues of race and civil rights. The fellowship program is directed by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr., is an American literary critic, educator, scholar, writer, editor, and public intellectual. He was the first African American to receive the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship. He has received numerous honorary degrees and awards for his teaching, research, and...

 of Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...


Association With Wynton Marsalis

Famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Learson Marsalis is a trumpeter, composer, bandleader, music educator, and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Marsalis has promoted the appreciation of classical and jazz music often to young audiences...

 has called Crouch "my best friend in the world" and "mentor". The two met after Marsalis, at age 17, came to New York to attend the Juilliard School
Juilliard School
The Juilliard School, located at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, United States, is a performing arts conservatory which was established in 1905...

. The two have shared a close relationship ever since, Crouch having written liner notes
Liner notes
Liner notes are the writings found in booklets which come inserted into the compact disc jewel case or the equivalent packaging for vinyl records and cassettes.-Origin:...

 for Marsalis' albums since his debut album in 1982.

When Marsalis served as "Senior Creative Consultant" for Ken Burns
Ken Burns
Kenneth Lauren "Ken" Burns is an American director and producer of documentary films, known for his style of using archival footage and photographs...

' 2001 documentary Jazz, Crouch served on the film's advisory board and appears extensively. Some jazz critics and aficianados cited the participation of Marsalis and Crouch specifically as reasons for what they believed to be an undue focus on traditional
Trad jazz
Trad jazz - short for "traditional jazz" - refers to the Dixieland and Ragtime jazz styles of the early 20th century in contrast to any more modern style....

 and straight-ahead jazz
Straight-ahead jazz
Straight-ahead jazz is a term used to refer to a widely accepted style of jazz music playing that can be thought of as roughly encompassing the period between bebop and the 1960s styles of Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock...

. in the film.

After Jazz Crouch appearanced in other Burns films including the DVD for the 2002 remastered version of The Civil War as well as the 2004 documentary Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson is a documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Geoffrey C. Ward ....



Considering Genius: Writings on Jazz
The Artificial White Man: Essays on Authenticity
Kansas City Lightning: The Life and Times of Young Charlie Parker
The All-American Skin Game, or, The Decoy of Race: The Long and the Short of It, 1990-1994
Notes of a Hanging Judge: Essays and Reviews, 1979-1989
Reconsidering the Souls of Black Folk with Playthell G. Benjamin
Always in Pursuit: Fresh American Perspectives
In Defence of Taboos
One Shot Harris: The Photographs of Charles "Teenie" Harris


Don't the Moon Look Lonesome?
Ain't No Ambulances For No Nigguhs Tonight

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.