[Dixielandjazz] Al Hirt, Bob Havens, and Eternity

James Kashishian kash at ran.es
Wed Feb 12 10:02:47 PST 2003

Dan Augustine wrote:    
>I like ol' Al Hirt and Bob Havens and Harold Cooper, the (Assunto)
Dukes of 
>Dixieland, the Firehouse Five Plus Two, and even Kenny

in a plea to let each enjoy what he enjoys.  Yesterday, Steve Barbone
said something like "we know Kash likes modern stuff".  Actually, our
band, being made up of 5 individuals, has managed to stay together for
35 years just because there are no laws laid down as far as style or
choice of tune.  We try something 'cause someone in the band wanted to.
It works or it doesn't work. Not much thought is given to the
whereabouts of the tune, purely jazz or not purely jazz.   

My listening habits are the same.  If it works for the moment, I leave
it on.  I have, over my almost 50 yr Dixieland habit, listened to
practically every one of the old masters, and lots of newer masters.  I
have the album Dan mentioned:  Hirt's first LP for Audio Fidelity (AFLP
1877, from 1958) called "Al Hirt Swingin' Dixie in my collection!  It's
always been one of my favourite....'specially the absolutely wild
"Saints" cut!  Another favourite is Wally Rose playing ragtime with
Turk's Band.  Two wild extremes? Yeah, but I have wild extreme moments.

We can belt out a trad version of Muscrat Ramble or Doctor Jazz with
stride piano that will satisfy the most pure of the purists.  And, we
can play a modern (?) tune like It's Only a Paper Moon with great stress
on light swing.  Gives a nice variety for dancers, listeners & the band.

I don't get the pigeon hole idea of music.  Does the band enjoy playing
it?  Does your audience enjoy listening to it?  Do you continue to get
hired?  Does the audience keep coming back?  THOSE are important


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