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Jazz Religion, the Second Line, and Black New Orleans by Richard Brent Turner

Richard Brent Turner has written a remarkably accurate, entertaining, and poignant account of what is known as jazz religion, the second line, and Black New Orleans. This is an interesting book, a book that is hard to put down once the reader gets into the chapters.

Following a lively preface and introduction, the author takes the reader into the first two chapters. Chapter one is about the Haiti-New Orleans Voodoo Connections, and Zora Neale Hurston as an initiate observer. The second chapter is about Mardi Gras Indians and second lines, sequin artists, Rara bands, Street Festivals, and the performances in Haiti and New Orleans.

Chapter three covers the healing arts of African diasporic religion, the New Orleans jazz funerals, and African diaspora. There is much of interest, and this material will fascinate the reader. A well-illustrated book, the photographs add further to the text and serve as additional reference.

The epilogue is a touching, literate commentary on the effects and affects of Hurricane Katrina on the culture, community, art, and music. The reader will be moved by what is expressed by the author on this topic.

The notes follow, and in this book, these notes are as engrossing and educational as the book itself. The notes cover close to sixty pages and are well worth the readers time. The book concludes with a bibliography and index. The index is concise and useful.

If you are interested in New Orleans jazz Voodoo Haiti and what underlies these important topics this is definitely the book to have on hand for frequent reference. The author has done a splendid job and the reader will find this book a helpful treasure of reading material.

Refreshingly original. Highly recommended.

Additional Info

  • Book Title: Jazz Religion, the Second Line, and Black New Orleans
  • Author: Richard Brent Turner
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Year Published: 2009
  • Book Type:: Non-Fiction
  • ISBN: 9780253221209
  • Rating: Four Stars
  • Number of Pages: 182
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