[Dixielandjazz] State of Music Today!!!

Bigbuttbnd@aol.com Bigbuttbnd@aol.com
Tue, 27 Aug 2002 11:01:55 EDT

Randy, Randy, Randy... (using EVERY sense of the word, here)...

Ah... to be "paid in breasts"... why do you think all those early jazz 
musicians played at the Funky Butt club in New Orleans? For the high wages? 
For the 'love' of Jazz? Ha! No way (there were no high wages and they didn't 
know it WAS jazz at that time!) But jazz was a music you could shake and 
shimmy to... and it wasn't called the Funky Butt because anybody was sipping 
tea and sitting pollitely or dancing to some square quadrille. They were 
doing then what one Rap song calls for now, "Shake Yer Ass!" And when one 
part starts a shakin' it usually causes some shakin' all over.

Nothing has changed in the near 100 years since the Funky Butt club in New 
Orleans where Louis Armstrong, as a child, would peep through the window or 
look under the door and was so fascinated with the music and the dancers. 
That same sexual tension and display is just as prevelent today (although it 
seems to be more publicized in a media-heavy world, now). Armstrong even 
wrote or inspired "Shimmy Like My Sister Kate". Don't forget Jerry Lee Lewis' 
"Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On!" 50 years later, soon followed by the disco 
hit "Shake Your Booty", the movie "Dirty Dancin'" and the current rap hit 
"Shake Yer Ass" (mainstream enough now to be featured in the Hugh Grant movie 
"About A Boy").

Hot music, be it Early Jazz, Swing, Rock n'Roll, Disco or Hip Hop is all 
about dancin', shakin' your behind and showin' some flesh. Be glad of it... 
without it there would have been no jazz. This music was born on the wrong 
side of the tracks and not by accident. If you've read any of Steve Barbone's 
posts you know he has written about what many of us playing for the public 
(i.e. everybody out there, every age and ethnic background) have learned, as 
well... the sexual heat in this kind of music is unbelievable. If you want to 
play to appreciative YOUNG audiences you've got to go with a sexier show. 
(Just as it's been done for 100  years!)

Although many folks have moved Trad Jazz into the museum and play it with the 
reverence normally afforded classical music, I think that approach is 
completely mismatched. Jazz in a hot, smokey, crowded club where the 
audience's heat is rising, especially on the dance floor, is where it's at 
for me and my group. When we owned our own place we felt as if the evening 
wasn't a total success unless the whole place was dancing and several babes 
flashed the band!

Rocky Ball,  Banjo
Fanny Moon's Big Butt Band
Atlanta, Georgia