One has to be a real cowboy, descended, at least in spirit, from the fellows of
long ago to say: "I just don't see any point in lyin' around in bed after 3:30 or
4:oo in the morning. There is still a grand world out there, and early morning is
the best time to see it." (p. 103).
In their brief monograph husband and wife author and photographer
achieved their stated purpose of reminding readers that modern cowboys still
pursue their age-old profession in the Clear Fork country of Northwest Texas.
James Ward Lee's introduction rightly suggests that the book will also be of
interest both historically and sociologically.
Tarrant County Junior College J'NELL L. PATE
Texan Jazz. By Dave Oliphant. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996. Pp.
ix+481. Photographs, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-292-76045-0. $50.00,
cloth. $24.95, paper.)
This book is about jazz made by Texans, as distinct from jazz in Texas.
Though the state has contributed many artists and stylistic elements to the
music, the major developments in the history of jazz have taken place in the
"crucible" centers of New Orleans, Chicago, New York, Kansas City, and Los
Angeles, and the important jazz musicians from Texas have pursued their
careers out of state. With those facts in mind, author Dave Oliphant presents this
first full-length study of the contributions of these Texans to jazz history and of
the regional cultural traditions embodied in their music. Oliphant expands here
on his previous essay on jazzman Eddie Durham and the Texas contribution to
jazz history, published in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly (April, 1993).
Texan Jazz covers a wide spectrum of styles over roughly a century of develop-
ment, from the prejazz ragtime compositions of East Texan Scott Joplin to the
contemporary "free jazz" explorations of Fort Worth's Ornette Coleman. The
narrative focuses on the role of key Texas musicians in the emergence of swing,
bebop, "third stream," and other forms of the American jazz idiom. This is a com-
mendable work on several fronts. It is a valuable compendium of biographical
and musical information on Texas artists, a predominant number of them
African Americans. The discussion of the music is based on the recorded legacy,
thus directing the reader to the key albums in the field. The detailed notes and
select bibliography reward the serious student in pursuit of jazz literature and
concepts. Finally, Oliphant suggests some ingredients of Texan and Southwestern
culture that Texas musicians carried into the currents of American jazz, including
East Texas blues, the brassy tradition of the "Texas tenor" saxophone, and a gen-
eral openness to innovation and creative experiment.
Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin JOHN WHEAT
Thomas Jefferson and the Changing West: From Conquest to Conservation. Edited by
James P. Ronda. (Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press, 1997. PP-
x+204. Illustrations, acknowledgments, introduction, contributors, index.
ISBN 0-8263-1801-0. $29.95, cloth. $16.95, paper.)
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117155/. Accessed March 4, 2015.