[Dixielandjazz] Bix

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Thu Aug 7 21:50:29 PDT 2003

Dick Broadie wrote:

"If "Trad" means being orthodox, conventional or conformist, Bix was
never a
"Trad" player.  In his era, Bix was "far out," with creativity and
innovativeness being his hallmarks, in addition to his brilliant
Had Bix lived and additional 15 years, I have little doubt that Bird and
would have been at his side saying, 'How'd ya do that, man?'"

List mates:

That's a great point. When one analyzes Bix's music, one finds that he
was far ahead of his time harmonically. All kinds of chord extensions,
complex harmonies, unique phrasing, unusual intervals. Even ending some
songs on the Major 7th, which was unheard of back then, even by the most
modern of players. Far out and perhaps even a bridge between "Trad Jazz"
and "Bop". (I agree with Dick that Bix played neither) Only thing
missing for bop is the altered rhythm. He used an expansive harmonic and
melodic musical vocabulary, that at the time, few possessed.

Few even understood it, except for a couple of other harmonic explorers,
most notably Pee Wee Russell. Want a treat? Get out Adrian Rollini's
1927 band recording of "Crying All Day". Hear Bix's solo on 16 bars
followed by a Russell 16 bar solo. Stunning. Guy's who thoroughly
understood each other and were perfect playing together.

You get no argument from me Dick, on your perceptive post about Bix. I
would have liked to have heard him alongside Bird, Diz and Chet Baker.

Steve Barbone

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