Among the productions of America’s black woman Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, Jazz was initially not among the most appreciated-wrongly so-and this largely because of its mix of recognizable and apparently eccentric features as an urban text. These features makes it important in this study-which in turn will have the advantage of revealing the book’s undervalued riches. Surprisingly, its pain and beauty are enhanced by an unexpected but inescapable contrast with the visionary, flawed, even racist, legacy of Robert Moses in New York City. There is early on an allusion to Moses, or perhaps more precisely, to the novel’s immediately pre-Moses moment. More generally, the disconnect between the power of city planners and the lives of city dwellers is highlighted by the juxtaposition of Moses’ story and the corrective afforded by Jazz. “Corrective,” because Jazz liberates the voices of the poor and black, although in a historical perspective that remains threateningly ambiguous. Further, that perspective is inherent in Jazz as unusual historical novel, situated in the past yet eventuating in the present, indeed in the present reading of today’s readers.