Under current restrictions, our shops are closed to the public, but we are still processing online, telephone and email orders as normal.

POLONSKIY, Artur Moiseevich

Dzhaz-Band: Foks-trot [Jazz Band: Fox Trot].

Moscow: Izdaniye Avtora [published by the author], 1926 Stock Code: 130876
£1,500.00
Reserve Ask us a question

First and only edition, print run of just 1,000 copies. Arthur Polonskiy (1899-1989), who studied at the Kiev Conservatory under the famed Ukrainian pianist, Grigoriy Beklemischev (1881-1935), himself a student of Busoni, was one of the first Soviet composers who attempted to work in the jazz genre. After demobilisation from the Red Army in 1922 he worked as an accompanist in cinemas in and around Kiev, before moving to Moscow in 1925. Polonskiy would have been there in time for the first performances of Shokoladnye Rebiata, Chocolate Kiddies, the African-American revue "that brought jazz to Europe and Russia" which ran from 16 March to 5 May 1926 at the State Circus Buildings in Moscow before transferring to Leningrad (Bjorn Englund, "Chocolate Kiddies", in Storyville 62, Dec.-Jan. 1975, p.44). He published his first experiments in jazz around this time while he was still finding scraps of work in cinemas and restaurants, self-publication was common practice for composers in Russia in the 20s. As Russia moved into the 30s and foreign influences were viewed with increasing suspicion, Polonskiy toed the line producing more patriotic material such as 1937's "We are the most free country" with lyrics by the popular novelist Andrey Irkutov.

Inkstamp verso of the Association of Moscow Authors, an organisation which was highly influential in the popularisation of jazz in the Soviet Union. Capitalising on the impression made by the band assembled by Sam Wooding for the Chocolate Kiddies revue - "a formidable ensemble" (p.56) - "The AMA Jazz Band (Amadhaz) was the brainchild of the Association of Moscow authors, a privately organised music publishing house. The idea was simple. The Association hoped to cash in on the jazz market and need a band to push its hits An eight-piece outfit, the band reigned supreme at the Hermitage Gardens in Moscow and, later, at the Casino Restaurant. The Soviet Union finally had acquired an authentic commercial jazz group dedicated to serving a market of dancers, drinkers, and listeners " (Starr, Red and Hot: The Fate of Jazz in the Soviet Union, 1917-1991, p. 56, pp.65-6). Led by the charismatic, and seemingly untouchable, pianist Alexander "Bob" Tsfasman, the organisation negotiated the potentially complications of Soviet cultural life; "Let the government introduce prison sentences for violators of labour discipline, as it did in January 1931, or threaten anyone absent from work for even a day with dismissal, as it did in December 1932. These jazzmen stood above it all, wild and free, as long as they survived. Tsfasman did more than survive " (pp.139-40).

Highly evocative piece from the earliest days of jazz in Russia.

Confused? Read our glossary

Description

Folio (312 x 233 mm). Sheet music bifolium with striking colour printed cover, illustration by Yevgeny Holstein/Evgeny Golstein, 2 pages of notation, last page blank.

Condition

Overall a little rubbed, soiled and lightly browned, but remains very good.

DELIVERY

With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details

 

ABOUT US

Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220


ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK TO SELL?
OR
CAN’T FIND THE BOOK YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?

Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book