[Dixielandjazz] What is Dixieland? From the DJML's FAQ page...

Charlie Hooks charliehooks at earthlink.net
Wed Apr 9 09:34:30 PDT 2003

Beautiful, Bill.  Absolutely beautiful!


on 4/9/03 12:12 AM, Bill Gunter at jazzboard at hotmail.com wrote:

> Listmates,
> Lot of discussion on the use of the term "dixieland" - I guess we have to go
> over that every couple of years.
> It doesn't really matter what you call it because it simply is what it is.
> The only reason we may want to call it dixieland is because everyone else in
> the world sorta knows what is meant by the word.
> Sometimes in group conversations it comes out that I play in a band at this
> or that venue and someone will ask, "Oh, and what kind of music do you
> play?" What am I to respond? If I say "jazz" they will think of some sort of
> music which I do not play. If I say "Trad" or "Classic" jazz they are often
> confused and ask what that means. If I say "Dixieland" then they start to
> get a knowing look in their eyes as if they now have a clue as to just what
> it is I play.
> Sometimes they ask "what is that [dixieland]?" At which point I usually
> respond "Oh, that's the sort of music Louis Armstrong used to play. At that
> point practically everyone knows just what kind of band I play in.
> I think the key word today is "dixieland" . . . not because I think it's
> such a hot word but it does seem to more accurately describe the sort of
> jazz we play.
> It's sort of like a musician explaining to someone that he plays "latin"
> music. Most people would recognize that the musician plays some sort of
> Cuban/Caribbean/Mexican/Brazilian/South American sort of music but exactly
> what . . . Tango? Bossa Nova? Calypso? Afro-Cubano? It can get confusing.
> "Jazz" is a generic term. "Dixieland" is a specific term for a type of jazz.
> You know, Bela Fleck plays jazz and he plays banjo but he don't play
> "dixieland."  Eddie Erickson plays jazz and he plays banjo and he does play
> "dixieland."  There is obviously a difference and those of us who have heard
> both musicians know it.
> There are some other distinctions about this subject I could make. For
> example, "modern jazz" tends to be cerebral and "Dixieland" (or trad) tends
> to be visceral. That is to say, you don't have to analyze dixieland, you
> just automatically start tapping your feet with it.
> Dixieland has large doses of humor laced throughout the idiom. Other forms
> tend to take themselves much more seriously.
> Dixieland is generally pretty danceable stuff. Not many people get up and
> dance to the stuff Dave Brubeck plays (although I do love Brubeck, I can't
> dance to it).
> Dixieland is "fun" - other forms of jazz are "work."
> Dixieland is for conservatives, other forms of jazz are for liberals . . . I
> know, I know, this is a gross generalization and is a political statement
> but I know what I mean when I say such things. :-)
> Dixieland is "hot" - other forms of jazz are "cool."
> I'll stop here by simply reiterating what I noted at the outset. It doesn't
> matter what you call it. The music is simply what it is and is best listened
> to rather than described.
> Best
> Bill "plays dixieland!" Gunter
> jazzboard at hotmail.com
>> Chris Tyle wrote...
>>> As I recall, Eddie Condon, Sidney Bechet, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll
>>> Morton, Bunk Johnson, Wild Bill Davison, et. al., referred to their
>> music
>> as
>>> Jazz...not dixieland.
>>> So why should we use that name?
>> Chris,
>> Why indeed...  Maybe because this isn't the JML we're talking over, but the
>> _D_JML, as Peter Lovric named it.  If for no other reason, we shouldn't
>> drop
>> the D.
>> Then again, who is the 'we' you're talking about.  If it's just a tight
>> little circle of friends who already know all about it, that's one thing,
>> but the list is a bigger universe than that.  If it's just jazz, then
>> you'll
>> have Steve Barbone doing his 'I remember Monk' and the odd Miles fan
>> thinking the list is all about that.  It's not.  It doesn't matter to me
>> whether you call it pre-swing, trad, dixieland, Chicago, New York or
>> whatever other designator you want, but you just can't say 'jazz', cuz
>> that's about a whole lot of stuff that we're not about here on the
>> Dixieland
>> Jazz Mailing List.
>> Best from Wake,
>> Ron [or we could just open the Bossa Nova wing on the DJML Public Library]
>> Wheeler
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