"jass" < c. 1900 in today's NYT

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jan 24 01:24:12 UTC 2005

 From a polyreview of crime books by Marilyn Stasio in today's NYTBR.
Can we assume Fulmer's attribution of "jass" for the musical genre in
"turn of the 20th century" New Orleans is an anachronism?  Of course
we don't know from the review exactly how far (if at all) past the
actual turn of the century the story and word are set.

The New York Times
January 23, 2005 Sunday

  SECTION: Section 7; Column 1; Book Review Desk; CRIME; Pg. 21
  BYLINE: By Marilyn Stasio

  Music is the pulsating idiom of David Fulmer's hot-blooded JASS
(Harcourt, $23), the sequel to ''Chasing the Devil's Tail'' (2001)
and another voyeuristic tour of Storyville, New Orleans's red-light
district during its heyday at the turn of the 20th century. Valentin
St. Cyr, the private security agent for the underworld ''King of
Storyville,'' is still keeping the lid on violence in the fancy
bordellos and flashy gambling establishments of the district. But
when the young piano man who calls himself Jelly Roll Morton tips off
St. Cyr that someone is killing black musicians who are crossing
Basin Street to play the new ''jass'' music in white bands, he starts
making the rounds of the lowdown dives and dance halls where that raw
and raunchy music is being played. Fulmer's dialogue adds its lyric
voice to the gutbucket sounds and ragtime rhythms pouring out of the
bars and up from the streets.

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