What a cover design! The work of Peter de Francia, a left-wing artist who was professor of painting at the Royal College of Art. He died in 2012 a few days short of his 91st birthday.
The Jazz Scene was published by MacGibbon and Kee in 1959. And Francis Newton was the nom de plume of the Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm., who also died in 2012 aged 95. 1959 was the year that Hobsbawm published his first substantial book-length work of history, Primitive Rebels.
Hobsbawm wrote about jazz for the New Statesman and his pen name was derived from Frankie Newton, Billie Holiday's communist trumpet player.
The Jazz Scene begins: 'This book is about one of the most remarkable phenomena of our century ...'. Hobsbawm describes jazz as 'a music of protest and rebellion'.
Several of the accompanying photos are by Roger Mayne, who was such an important part of the new forms of cultural expression on the left at this time. Among other things, Mayne took the cover photo for the first edition of Colin MacInnes's Absolute Beginners. But that's another story ...
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