[Dixielandjazz] Defining Dixieland

Cees van den Heuvel heu at bart.nl
Wed Apr 9 01:05:16 PDT 2003

My (euro)cents: solo's in dixieland are more melody based than chord based.

Cees van den Heuvel

----- Original Message -----
From: "Burt Wilson" <futurecon at earthlink.net>
To: <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>; "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List"
<dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 11:51 PM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Defining Dixieland

> Just to add my three-cents (inflation, y'know)I would look for a common
denominator and that would be the presence of a polyphonic ensemble. What
one adds on for other choruses in the way of solos is a sub-statement of the
ensemble. A solo, by itself, IMO, is not Dixieland. I look for a three-horn
polyphony and, to me, that's Dixieland--whether it's Chicago, NY, Memphis,
LA for San Fran.
> -------Original Message-------
> From: Stephen Barbone <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
> Sent: 04/08/03 01:41 PM
> To: Dixieland Jazz Mailing List <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
> Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Defining Dixieland
> >
> > Hi List mates:
> Dixieland?  Probably 50% say ensemble and 50% say solo. In terms of us
> musos, it may be that them that can't solo will say ensemble and them
> that can't play ensemble will say solo?
> Just kidding. Great Dixieland IMO is whatever you say it is, for you.
> For the rest of us, that may or may not be true. Yeah, I know Hooks,
> there must be an absolute truth here, but then I don't believe that
> either. I see the answer as relative to one's own musical psyche. And
> correct, either way.
> Many of us Condonites like one ensemble in, then four or five individual
> two chorus solos, then one or maybe two ensemble chorus' out. That adds
> up to a solo emphasis. Many others find that boring. If you don't agree,
> that's OK too but I am unanimous in my beliefs and preferences. ;-)
> As Rob McCallum said, it perhaps becomes difficult to rate the solos of
> Louis, Bix, Bechet, Teagarden and other soloist giants as less important
> than the ensemble, or to say that in their solo oriented styles, they
> did not play the best Dixieland. Therefore perhaps the original question
> is a Catch 22?
> I guess the root of what I think is that Dixieland evolved over a100
> year span from ensemble oriented to soloist oriented depending upon who
> was in the band and what Coast of the USA, or what part of the world you
> live near. To me, Eddie Condon made the best of this change, along with
> Louis Armstrong's All Stars, and The World's Greatest Jazz Band, though
> some others rate the All Stars as something less than an excellent
> Dixieland group.
> So, don't worry, be happy, if you like it, it is good whether soloist or
> ensemble oriented. But to narrowly define it? Not possible because we
> will not be able to agree. Dixieland? It is polyphonic counterpoint
> including varying amounts of improvisation and soloing.
> The best Dixieland? Whatever your taste is.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
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