[78-L] Jazz myths [was Christian question]

Julian Vein julianvein at blueyonder.co.uk
Fri Dec 20 10:55:10 PST 2013

On 20/12/13 18:25, Joe Scott wrote:
> More jazz myths:
> Blues music had moved from Mississippi to New Orleans before jazz began (blues music may have been in New Orleans some before it was in Mississippi at all, for all we know, and the earliest music worth calling jazz may not have been influenced by blues music per se yet; there wasn't much blues per se proportionally in Buddy Bolden's reported repertoire, e.g.)
> Folk blues music was a heavy influence on jazz early on (the wide variety of approaches to blues that folk musicians of 1905-1914 across the South apparently knew were never very well known to jazz musicians no matter how old, suggesting relatively little interest in folk blues among jazz musicians relative to e.g. sheet music, which shouldn't be too surprising given the class mentalities of the time)
> The first recordings with swing feel were by Chick Webb (there are 1929 recordings by Henry Red Allen and by Eddie Lang that have it more than Webb's 1929 recordings do), or by Bennie Moten in 1932 (lots before that)
> Don Redman invented jazz arranging (classical had trumpet sections etc. and Whiteman etc. brought that in before Redman to try to make N.O.-style jazz more "respectable" -- i.e. less jazz, in the context of the time, so essentialists celebrating it ought to think twice)
> The Basie band had a Kansas City sound (sort of, but Lester Young's main influence Trumbauer was from Philadelphia, Clayton was from Kansas and admired Pops, Earl Warren and Sweets were from Ohio, Herschel and Tate from Texas, Freddie Green from South Carolina...)
> Bebop was anti-swing (it was seen early on as yet another new creative type of swing)
> Joseph Scott
One I forgot. A myth that did the rounds for years was that the first 
jazz solo to incorporate double-time was Armstrong's on "Sweethearts On 
Parade" (1930) till some learned scholar discovered that Johnny Dunn had 
done this on his 1922 recordings of "Four O'Clock Blues" and "Hawaiian 
Blues". Wrong again! There's double-timing by the trumpet player on Jim 
Europe's 1919 "The Darktown Strutters' Ball". I remember when I first 
heard it I realised there was something different about it, then I 
cottoned on.

Actually, Louis had already included some double-timing, very 
effectively, in his 1928 scat vocal on "Squeeze Me".

      Julian Vein

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