[Dixielandjazz] Pigeon holes

brian.harvey5 brian.harvey5" <brian.harvey5@ntlworld.com
Wed, 11 Sep 2002 08:49:43 +0100

Burt Wilson wrote.........................
"All Jazz in the early days was ensemble jazz with each musician
to the whole in a definite, co-operative polyphonic manner. "

That is what I thought too Bert, but studying Kid Howard's career and those
of many other early NO jazzmen I find that this is not true. There were
solos in the early music just as there were some bands who stood up and
others that sat down.
The more I research and read the taped interview transcriptions from the
Tulane archive, the more I appreciate that we cannot generalise about styles
and methods. We cannot for example say that none of the bands were readers,
some were, some were not, some could partially read others were 'spellers'.
Similarly the differences between Uptown and Downtown styles are not as
clear cut as some writers would have us believe - and so on.
But I would still defend the use of 'pigeon hole' categories by those of us
who seek to communicate about jazz to the public in the hope that what we
are doing will aid their appreciation and perhaps even encourage newcomers
to OKOM whatever style or pigeon hole that occupies.
One of the main problems we have is that many bands (in Europe at least) try
to play the 'pigeon holes' and say that they are playing this or that type
of jazz rather than just doing it.