James M. Cochran is an English PhD student in the English Department at Baylor University. His research centers on twentieth-century and contemporary American literature, culture, and religion. He can be found at https://baylor.academia.edu/JamesCochran.

Book Review: Sounding American: Hollywood, Opera, and Jazz by Jennifer Fleeger

According to Fleeger, during the 1920s, many composers, hoping to create and distribute truly American music, attempted to create jazz-operas, a genre that recalled America’s European roots, as well as its ethnic and racial diversity. Although not traditionally described as jazz-operas, Fleeger considers the how The Singing Fool and Yamekraw function as jazz-operas, specifically the ways in which they advertise the Vitaphone, a new synchronous sound system. Continue reading