[Dixielandjazz] Condon's lessons

Don Ingle dingle@baldwin-net.com
Sun, 18 Aug 2002 08:06:01 -0400

The old Jazz Ltd. house band varied from a pure Condon band style to New
Orleans style in its playing. That is why the rare but occasional get
together of the Jazz Ltd. Alumni Reunion band is so much fun. Cusack, Beebe
at first then Dan Williams on trombone, Wayne Jones, Dan Shapira, and Dave
Phelps and my own cornet contributions just plain fall onto place even if we
only do this reunion thing once every four to five years. No charts, a tune
called, a directive nod here and there, a suggestion to split choruses, a
flare to signal one more out chorus, a "Chicago break" that just happens
spontaneously, and a good tempo kick off and you have a Chicago jazz band
that Condon would have enjoyed playing with.
But Charlie is right -- you have to learn listen and have the good fortune
to find yourself on the stand with others who have learned and listened. It
can be done, but there's no shortcut to it.
Don Ingle
----- Original Message -----
From: "Charlie Hooks" <charliehooks@earthlink.net>
To: "DJML Dixieland Jazz" <dixielandjazz@ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Saturday, August 17, 2002 6:26 PM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Condon's lessons

> on 8/9/02 7:29 PM, Jim Denham at james@jiming.demon.co.uk wrote:
> >
> > Martino's lament is not unique to Brazil: here in the UK it is
> > difficult to assemble a band to play 'Condon-style'. It's a tightrope
you have
> > to tread: fall on one side and you're with bland "mainstream"; fall on
> > other and you've got 'trad'. It isn't just the repertoire (though it's
best to
> > avoid "Muskrat Ramble" and "The Saints"), it's the approach of the
> > players. I don't think this can be taught to a generation who have not
> > Pee Wee, Cutty, Wild Bill, Ed Hall or Vic D in person. All we can do is
> > encourage them to listen to the records, and then do their best. Not
> > but keeping to "the spirit".
>     Jim is absolutely correct,  not just in the UK but also in (of all
> places!) Chicago, Illinois, USA.   Now that Jim Beebe is no longer able to
> compete because of health problems, the band closest to Condon's is headed
> by trombonist Russ Phillips, with Kim Cusack on clarinet, and Bob Neighbor
> on cornet.
>     There are plenty of good players here, but few working with enough
> Condon-stylists to field a band.  As Denham says correctly, they
> fall off the wire, usually onto the heavy trad side.
> charliehooks@earthlink.net
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