[Dixielandjazz] Dixieland was George Lewis

Burt Wilson futurecon@earthlink.net
Tue, 10 Sep 2002 15:15:44 -0700

I think that Jim Beebe is right--it's all Dixieland, but there are two styles
of Dixieland whether you like it or not. The two are: ensemble and solo.

All Jazz in the early days was ensemble jazz with each musician contributing
to the whole in a definite, cooperative polyphonic manner. Then came the great
soloists and that changed jazz. Virtuosos became the name of the game and
polyphony was relegated to the first and last chorsus, if that.

That is why we have so many jazz musicians today who are all over the place
rather than listening to the polyphony of the group--depending upon what
instrument is being played,i.e., the trombone and reed support the lead.

Watters and Turk knew this and I think that's why their particular sound took
hold--not that other's just the opposite didn't, but, to me, it'll always be
something special. Give me ensemble over virtuoso any time.

Burt Wilson
Author of "Shakey & Me"