The vast majority of the sound recordings in this set is made available for the first time. From African-Americans comes an aural kaleidoscope of entertainers and music from the last days of minstrelsy through ragtime and music hall artists to string bands, spirituals, and the early days of jazz in Europe, including the earliest examples of stride piano and rhythm scat singing, and some of the first records made anywhere of African-American folk music practices. Historians of jazz and blues have for the first time the opportunity to hear the complete output of the African-American string bands which recorded in London in the teens, the pioneering multi-racial recordings of Vorzanger’s Band and the Queens’ Dance Orchestra, and the complete Paris recordings of Mitchell’s Jazz Kings.
From Africans come ethnological and commercial recordings of African languages and folk tales, religious music on both African and European models, and recordings of the popular music of the 1920s. Also documented is the involvement of those born in Europe of African descent in the wider culture of the African diaspora. Each track is profusely documented in the discographical data that comes with each chapter.