The Dissonant Image

Dr Nicolas Pillai – Jazz in Film and Television



Fagge, Roger & Pillai, Nicolas, eds. (2017), New Jazz Conceptions: History, Theory, Practice. New York: Routledge.

Pillai, Nicolas, Jazz as Visual Language: Film, Television and the Dissonant Image. London: I. B. Tauris.

Chapters in books

Wall, Tim and Pillai, Nicolas, ‘Screening popular music’s past: music documentary and biopics’ in Lauren Istvandity, Sarah Baker and Catherine Strong, eds. (2018), The Routledge Companion to Popular Music History and Heritage [forthcoming].

Pillai, Nicolas, ‘Jazz and comics’, in Gebhardt, Nicholas, Nicole Rustin-Paschall and Tony Whyton, eds. (2017) The Routledge Companion to Jazz Studies [forthcoming].

Pillai, Nicolas, ‘Brubeck betwixt and between: television, pop and the middlebrow’ in Roger Fagge and Nicolas Pillai, eds. (2017) New Jazz Conceptions: History, Theory, Practice. Routledge, pp. 90-110.

Pillai, Nicolas, ‘Watching men play: the erotics of the Hollywood jazz film’ in Wolfram Knauer, ed. (2016), Gender and Identity in Jazz. Jazzinstitut Darmstädt, pp. 292-301.

Pillai, Nicolas, ‘Asta: the screwball dog and the Hollywood crime film’ in Sebastian Manley and Kirsten Irving, eds. (2015), Lives Beyond Us: Poems and Essays on the Film Reality of Animals. Sidekick Books, pp. 187-196.

Pillai, Nicolas, ‘This World is Full of Danger: the hard-boiled Nick Cave’ in Sam Kinchin-Smith, ed. (2012), Read Write [Hand]: a Multi-Disciplinary Nick Cave Reader. Silkworms Ink, pp. 75-79.

Articles in refereed journals

Pillai, Nicolas & Priego, Ernesto, (2016). ‘Editorial: Brilliant Corners: Approaches to Jazz and Comics’. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship 6. DOI:

Pillai, Nicolas, ‘Among My Souvenirs: couples, conventions and the America to come in The Best Years Of Our Lives’. Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism 6 (2015), pp. 53-62.

Pillai, Nicolas, ‘Filming improvisation: jazz criticism’s neglect of film style’. The Soundtrack 6: 1&2 (2014), pp. 5-20.

Pillai, Nicolas, ‘What am I looking at, Mulder?: licensed comics and the freedoms of transmedia storytelling’. Science Fiction Film and Television 6: 1 (2013), pp. 101-117.


Bibliography: ‘Dashiell Hammett’ in Krin Gabbard, ed. (2016), Oxford Bibliographies in Cinema and Media Studies, Oxford University Press.

Entries: ‘Tom Ripley improvises’ and ‘X marks the spot’ in Michael Pigott, ed. (2013), World Film Locations: Venice. Intellect, pp. 76-77, 94-95.

Media Work

Interview on writing Jazz as Visual Language,

DVD booklet: ‘That Autumn in Paris’ (2016), Paris Blues Blu-ray and DVD. British Film Institute:

London Jazz Festival talk (Nov 2015):

Video – Darmstadt Jazzforum interview (Oct 2015):

CD review: Sidney Bechet – French Movies,

Gig review: Stacey Kent at the Royal Spa Centre,

Film review: Whiplash is a horror film – so jazz critics should stop worrying,

Podcast: Jazz 625 at the BBC (in conversation with Professor Tim Wall and Dr Richard Wallace), 22 May 2014:

CD review: GoGo Penguin: v2.0,

CD review: John Coltrane: Out of This World,

CD+DVD review: Oscar Peterson and Ben Webster: During This Time,

CD review: Joe Stilgoe: Songs on Film Live,

CD review: Chet Baker: Italian Movies,

CD review: Jazz on Film: French New Wave,

CD review: Jazz on Film: Beat, Square & Cool,

Article: ’The authentic jazz film’ in The Jazz Rag 122 (July 2012), pp. 10-11

Video – Lecture at Rollins College, Florida ‘Looking at jazz: music (inter)nationality and race’, 2012

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