Drawing on his background as an ethnomusicologist as well as years of experience as an accomplished jazz musician, Paul Austerlitz argues that jazz-and the world-view or consciousness that surrounds it-embodies an aesthetic of inclusiveness, reaching out from its African American base to embrace all of humanity. Fans and musicians have made this claim before, but Austerlitz is the first to provide a scholarly basis for it. He examines jazz in relation to race and national identity in the U.S. and then broadens his scope to consider jazz within the African diaspora and in very different transnational scenes, from the Dominican Republic to Finland. Based on extensive fieldwork, the book explores jazz in an extraordinary range of contexts. One of the central chapters is devoted to the history of the groundbreaking Latin jazz band of Machito and his Afro-Cubans, who were inspired by the dancing of both Harlemites and Jewish mamboniks, while the final chapter includes an extensive interview with the seminal drummer Milford Graves, one of Austerlitz's mentors, who holds that music profoundly influences our biorhythms and indeed shapes our thoughts.