In this piece of work, I have explored various aspects of the influence of jazz music upon fine art of the twentieth century. It would seem that the attraction of jazz for artists has largely been due to their desire to find positive alternatives to the classical tradition which appeared obsolete in the context of twentieth century life. Whether a ‘jazz aesthetic’ does represent a positive alternative or whether it simply reinforces the comment that Sir Herbert Read made in his ‘Concise History of Modern Painting’ (1), namely that metaphysical anxiety is no longer Germanic and northern, but now characterises the whole of the modern world, is for the individual to decide.
1. Read, H Concise History of Modern Painting. New York, 1959. p. 222