[Dixielandjazz] Bix - undigested food for thought

David W. Littlefield dwlit at cpcug.org
Thu Aug 7 17:28:25 PDT 2003

At 09:53 AM 8/7/2003 -0700, Richard Broadie wrote:
>I wonder if Bix, himself would have wanted his music preserved as it was
>recorded during his lifetime.  In long ago conversations with Hoagy
>Charmichael and Phil Harris who knew Bix well, I was given the impression
>that Bix was anything but interested in tradition.

Hi Dick. As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter how Bix or Artie Shaw
might have *wanted* to be remembered. The music that's been preserved had
an aesthetic validity at the time--ie it gave a lotta folks pleasure--and
still gives people much pleasure today. On top of that, both are gods in
our pantheon. Bix is dead and Shaw is rich, doesn't have to scratch for
gigs, has lived a l-o-n-g life, and knows how much people still like his
music. If godhood based on their legacies ain't enough, screw 'em.

>If "Trad" means being orthodox, conventional or conformist, Bix was never a
>"Trad" player.  In his era, Bix was "far out," 
>t's fine to preserve that which was recorded in the 1920s but, I think, an
>error to presume that this is the way Bix would like to be remembered.  Or,
>with a longer life, that Bix would have been performing in the manner that
>we now ascribe as being his musical legacy.

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