Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

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G. Bergendal: New Music in Iceland (Reykjavík, 1991)

H. Helgason: Tónskáld og tónmenntir (Reykjavík, 1993), 122–6


Jooss, Kurt

(b Wasseralfingen, 12 Jan 1901; d Heilbronn, 22 May 1979). German dancer and choreographer. See Ballet, §4.

Joplin, Janis (Lyn)

(b Port Arthur, TX, 19 Jan 1943; d Hollywood, CA, 4 Oct 1970). American rock and blues singer and bandleader. Having performed in bars around Texas and California, she moved to San Francisco in 1966 and joined Big Brother and the Holding Company, with whom she recorded two albums. In 1968 she formed the Kozmic Blues Band and two years later the Full Tilt Boogie Band, making one album with each. Her stardom rested solely on her singing style, rather than on her abilities as a songwriter or guitar player like most of her male counterparts in the late 1960s. She clearly modelled her style after blues and rhythm and blues singers such as Bessie Smith and Otis Redding, unlike the more folk-influenced vocal approach favoured by other popular white female singers of the era. Joplin conveys an emotionalism more extreme than that of her models, giving the illusion of abandoning any vestiges of vocal control, especially in live performances. The idea of her performances as completely uninhibited was reinforced by her hard-living, hard-drinking image which she emphasized on stage and in interviews. Her four albums display increasing vocal refinement from the all-out, larynx-shattering performance of Ball and Chain (on Big Brother and the Holding Company's Cheap Thrills, Col., 1968; also captured in the film Monterey Pop, 1967), to the carefully nuanced build-up in her most commercially successful single Me and Bobby McGee (on Pearl, Col., 1971; recorded with the Full Tilt Boogie Band). Joplin's career was riddled with contradictions: she was labelled the first ‘hippy poster girl’, yet claimed by progressive writers as a proto-feminist for her assertive performing style, extrovert public persona and status as a bandleader. Another contradiction surfaces in the contrast between her ‘one of the boys’ image and that of Joplin as a ‘victim’, an image promoted by the tales of suffering outlined in many of her songs and by reports of her personal life.

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