john Petters jpettjazz@btinternet.com
Tue, 6 Aug 2002 19:19:10 +0100

I said
> > They have lost the plot.
> > They sound like basically 'modern' inclined musicians 'playing' at the
> > style without either affection or conviction.
To which Charlie, very wisely,  replied
>     John, I agree with you about this, but don't think (nor assume that
> think) that they do it on purpose.  Any time I hear swing music played by
> younger players who actually get the proper feel, I'm amazed; very few can
> do it.
I think that the problem is the difficulty of being economical. If you reach
a certain technical level, there is a temptation to use it all the time.
Also the early players had not heard Bird who upset everything.

Charlie then said
>  Born in 1929, I grew up
> with swing all around me, oozing in through my pores: eighths and
> are my natural way of thinking.  Boppers learned to play evenly divided
> lines (as I did in the 50s), and they have trouble thinking in eighths and
> sixteenths swing style, even if thy are aware of it and are trying to.
I think that is the truth of the matter

>Suppose I could apply this lesson to myself and wonder whether I
> ever get an early trad tune to sound as it should> Makes me wonder just
what the hell I'm leaving out of, say, "The Original
> Dixieland One-Step" or "Riverside Blues"!
The answer to that is that you cannot become Larry Shields or Johnny Dodds
same as I can't become Gene Krupa or Barrett Deems - but we can absorb that
early music if we want to, and some young players do. For many, I think, it
is the Blues that illudes them. You need to understand Blues to play the
older styles of jazz. How many of the Marsalis men for example would play a
Ma Rainey CD with a view to learning from it. Or Big Bill Broonzey.

Timing is all important and that is not easy to pick up. Interesting that
two active players (Charlie and Jim) in the USA which spawned jazz are more
in tune with my views than my two fellow countrymen Brian and Louis.

John Petters
Amateur Radio Station G3YPZ