Hotter Than That: The Trumpet, Jazz and American Culture

HTTcover127Hotter Than That is a cultural history of the trumpet from its origins in ancient Egypt to its role in royal courts and on battlefields, and ultimately to its stunning appropriation by great jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Wynton Marsalis. The book also looks at how trumpets have been manufactured over the centuries and at the price that artists have paid for devoting their bodies and souls to this most demanding of instruments. In the course of tracing the trumpet’s evolution both as an instrument and as the primary vehicle for jazz in America, Krin Gabbard also meditates on its importance for black male sexuality and its continuing reappropriation by white culture.


“The trumpet is the quintessentially all-American musical instrument–the one whose clarion tones proclaim our national character–and Krin Gabbard’s Hotter Than That, an engagingly written, admirably concise study of its place in American popular culture, goes a long way toward explaining why the trumpet and its best-known players have set down such deep roots in our collective imagination.” —Terry Teachout


“Krin Gabbard’s thoroughly absorbing and original account of the trumpet in jazz and American life–written with a disarmingly anecdotal ease that should be the envy of any writer–argues that this ancient brass instrument didn’t achieve its true potential until it was taken up by African American musicians in the early years of the twentieth century. His argument is as entertaining as it is unassailable. I learned something from every page.” —Gary Giddins


Black Magic: White Hollywood and African American Culture


Rutgers University Press (April 2004)
From Booklist:
“The cultural tendency of whites to simultaneously give a central role to black contributions to American culture and to marginalize black people is particularly evident in movies. Gabbard, a professor of comparative literature and collector of jazz music, explores ‘black magic’ in films, the use of those traits whites have long admired in black culture, such as passion and spontaneity, without acknowledging the connection to black culture or even featuring black characters.”



Jammin’ at the Margins: Jazz and the American Cinema

Jammin' at the Margins: Jazz and the American CinemaUniversity Of Chicago Press (May 15, 1996)
From Library Journal:
“Jazz, one of the few uniquely American musical forms, is thoroughly analyzed in this absorbing and thought-provoking work. Gabbard (comparative literature, SUNY, Stony Brook) examines the treatment of jazz music and musicians in the American cinema, with emphasis on Hollywood’s appalling annexation of jazz-related trappings and resultant perpetuation of racial and sexual stereotypes.”



Screening Genders

Screening Genders

Rutgers University Press (July 30, 2008)
From the Publisher:
Gender roles have been tested, challenged, and redefined everywhere during the past thirty years, but perhaps nowhere more dramatically than in film. Screening Genders is a lively and engaging introduction to the evolving representations of masculinity, femininity, and places once thought to be “in between.”


Psychiatry and the Cinema

Psychiatry and the Cinema

American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.; 2 edition (March 1999)
“The love-hate relationship between cinema and psychiatry and psychoanalysis continues unabated. For this second edition of Pyschiatry and the Cinema, published twelve years after the first, Glen and Krin Gabbard have added close to 150 films to their filmography. Lively and informative, the book sets out a feast in word and pictures for film buffs, mental health professionals and those of us who are both. If there was an academy award for a book on film, Psychiatry and the Cinema would be the winner, hands down.” — Arnold Richards, M.D., Editor, Journal of the American Psychoanalysis Association



Jazz Among the Discourses


Duke University Press (December 1995)
“A groundbreaking anthology.” — Down Beat
“Historians of American music are likely to find Jazz Among the Discourses a particularly useful volume, since it emphasizes historiographic issues and collects several important previously published works.” — American Music
“Important for studying the interconnections between music, culture, and society.” — American Book Review


Representing Jazz


Duke University Press (December 1995)
“The essays…seek to dismantle constricting definitions of jazz by exposing the music (as it has been played, imagined, and conceptualized) to interpretive methods in critical theory and cultural studies.” — Voice Literary Supplement

“Reading the volumes is rather like listening to a many-layered musical call and response between contributors.” — The Journal of American History