“Darren Mueller gives us a fresh take on jazz recordings that fundamentally transforms the way we think about jazz improvisation and the relationship between jazz musicians and recording technologies, as well as our assumptions about how gender, race, and music inform record production. A profound reconception of jazz historiography, At the Vanguard of Vinyl forces us to confront our deepest-held notions about jazz through close attention to the musicians and record-industry personnel who shaped the ways in which we hear and appreciate the music.”
-- Kevin Fellezs, author of Birds of Fire: Jazz, Rock, Funk, and the Creation of Fusion
“In this brilliantly researched and sophisticated work, Darren Mueller presents a genealogy of the jazz LP as it became canonized as the music’s familiar and durable mode of presentation on record. His advocacy for understanding recordings as fixed moments of culture and freedom work and, at the same time, as evolving points of relation in a still emergent Afro-modernity is most compelling. Offering a much-needed intervention in African American studies, jazz studies, music history, and sound studies, At the Vanguard of Vinyl is a game changer for anyone who considers recordings as a site for interrogating technological change and cultural politics.”
-- Charles F. McGovern, author of Sold American: Consumption and Citizenship, 1890–1945
"This excellent title embraces art, technology and economics. Its accessible scholarship changes our understanding of a familiar artefact. . . . Mueller's title is one of my jazz books of the year, for sure."
-- Andy Hamilton The Wire