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Chapter 2 - Fireworks

Jazz evolved by leaps and bounds in the '40s, going in exciting new directions and gaining increased respect as well as a great deal of attention; at the same time, its public become more widely (and often bitterly) divided than ever before.

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Leonard Feather credited Belgian music enthusiast Robert Goffin as being the impetus behind two important developments in the recognition of modern jazz and its most innovative artists. Goffin had the bright idea to create the first officially sponsored course on jazz history. It was given in February of 1942, at New York's New School for Social Research, at a cost of $1.10 per lecture. Guest speaker-performers included Louis Armstrong, Bobby Hackett, Benny Carter and Sidney Bechet. The course was a success, and was repeated in the fall.