Orange Alert

James Gordon Williams Publishes New Book

James Gordon Williams

Posted on: March 26, 2021

Congratulations to Prof. James Gordon Williams, Assistant Professor of African American Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences, and a courtesy faculty member in our department, for publishing his book, “Crossing Bar Lines: The Politics and Practices of Black Musical Space” (The University Press of Mississippi, 2021).


In Crossing Bar Lines: The Politics and Practices of Black Musical Space James Gordon Williams reframes the nature and purpose of jazz improvisation to illuminate the cultural work being done by five creative musicians between 2005 and 2019. The political thought of five African American improvisers—trumpeters Terence Blanchard and Ambrose Akinmusire, drummers Billy Higgins and Terri Lyne Carrington, and pianist Andrew Hill—is documented through insightful, multilayered case studies that make explicit how these musicians articulate their positionality in broader society.