This book is the result of a long and arduous journey I might never have
completed except for the many midwives, partners, and helpmates I found
among family members, friends, and colleagues. First among these have
been the members of my dissertation committee. My adviser, Angela Davis,
pushed me to clarify points and reconsider underlying assumptions in my
arguments, and her insights and intellectual rigor have proven essential to
my growth as a scholar. James Cliﬀord remains a profound influence, and
his painstaking probing of categories and perspectives informs my work.
Herman Gray continues to provide a foundational compass for my theoreti-
cal framings, shaping the scope and the stakes at play in my endeavors. Eric
Porter provided more than a model for my own work—his insightful read-
ings and warm collegiality remain sources of inspiration. I am deeply grate-
ful for the generous guidance and support of each of these people.
My University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at the
University of California, Berkeley, under the benevolent mentorship of
Jocelyne Guilbault has continued to prove invaluable. My two years there
were further rewarded by time spent with Bonnie Wade and Ben Brinner.
I was also fortunate to meet a number of engaged, and engaging, gradu-
ate students who were in residence at the time and would like to single out
some of them in particular: Marie Abé, Duncan Allard, Eliot Bates, Rebecca
Bodenheimer, Charles Ferris, Jeﬀ Packman, John- Carlos Perea, Matthew
Rahaim, and Francesca Rivera.
I would be extremely remiss if I did not mention the profound inspira-
tion and guidance that I received from Mary Scott, without whom I would
have never embarked on the academic travels that have led me to this book.
I was also deeply influenced by Cristina Ruotolo, my master’s thesis adviser,
whose thoughtful guidance motivated my initial investigation of fusion
music. I remain indebted to both of them in ways that I can never fully repay.
My qualifying exam writing partners—Karen DeVries, Michelle Erai, and