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‘MTSU On the Record’ guest considers jazz’s effect on fashion, culture

The impact of avant-garde jazz on five decades of fashion was the subject of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Rick Cottle

Dr. Rick Cottle

Jazz greats Miles Davis, top left, and Wayne Shorter are dapper in suits and ties during a 1964 performance in Berlin, Germany, while jazz genius John Coltrane, top right, makes notes during the 1964 recording session for "A Love Supreme." Boxer and activist Muhammad Ali, center, smiles while visiting Zaire before his 1974 bout with George Foreman, and rappers Jay-Z, lower left, and Kanye West perform in Madison Square Garden in New York City in 2007. (Photos by JazzSign/Lebrecht Music & Arts/Corbis, Chuck Stewart, Howard L. Bingham, and Scott Gries/Getty Images)

Jazz greats Miles Davis, top left, and Wayne Shorter wear suits and ties during a 1964 performance in Berlin, Germany, while jazz genius John Coltrane, top right, makes notes sans tie during the 1964 recording session for “A Love Supreme.” Boxer and activist Muhammad Ali wears a dashiki in the center photo while visiting Zaire before his 1974 bout with George Foreman. In the third photo, hip-hop artist-entrepreneurs Jay-Z, left, and Kanye West perform in Madison Square Garden in New York City in 2007. (Photos by JazzSign/Lebrecht Music & Arts/Corbis, Chuck Stewart, Howard L. Bingham, and Scott Gries/Getty Images)

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Rick Cottle, an assistant professor of textiles, merchandising and design at MTSU, first aired July 11 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation below.

Cottle co-authored “From Suits to Robes,” an examination of avant-garde jazz music’s impact on fashion, for the academic journal “Fashion, Style and Popular Culture” with his son, Adam, of Savannah State University, and Dr. Thomas Bell of Kansas State University.

The authors maintain that the unique jazz stylings of artists such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane influenced more Afrocentric clothing styles in the 1960s and 1970s that corresponded with black liberation political movements of the period.

They further assert that these fashion statements also influence the hip-hop and rap music generation.

“Why, all of a sudden did (jazz musicians) go from dark suits, white shirts, black ties in the Fifties … to the dashikis … and African-inspired colors?” said Cottle.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

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