Appel, Ellington and the Modernist Canon

Eric Lewis


This review/article questions the function of cannon building by focusing on Appel's recent attempt to include, among others, Ellington into the cannon of great modernist artists. I demonstrate that his arguments are insensitive to what may be different about Ellington's relationship to (so-called) primitivism when comparted to Picasso and others. I also show that his "readings" of assorted Ellington works assume a version of Neo-Liberalism that may well be at odds with Ellington's own relationship to contemporary America.


Ellington, Appel, Modernism, Cannon Building

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Critical Studies in Improvisation / Études critiques en improvisation is generously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (through both its Major Collaborative Research Initiatives and Aid to Scholarly Journals programs) and by the University of Guelph Library.
ISSN: 1712-0624