Jazz Meets Pop in the United Kingdom

Authored by: Catherine Tackley

The Routledge Companion to Jazz Studies

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138231160
eBook ISBN: 9781315315805
Adobe ISBN:


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Even in the “New Jazz Studies,” the popularity of jazz remains an “unpopular problem.” Moreover, the unpopularity of jazz receives even less frequent attention, and a spirit of advocacy threatens to overwhelm the objectivity of scholars. Recent history provides many examples of mainstream British pop artists performing jazz; in this chapter I focus on Robbie Williams’s Swings Both Ways (2013) and Annie Lennox’s Nostalgia (2014). I argue that jazz, rather than being at the cutting edge of musical development, can be readily positioned in the “middle of the road” and, rather than reflecting identities in a sophisticated way, can provide popular music that is commonly understood globally.

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