[Dixielandjazz] Latin jazz

Anton Crouch a.crouch at unsw.edu.au
Tue Feb 25 13:01:45 PST 2003

Hello Rob

This matter came up late last year but the thread didn't take-off. I can
expand on my then (brief) comments with the following:

The arrival of Latin jazz in the USA can be dated to April 1930 when Don
Azpiazu and his orchestra, from Cuba, opened at the Palace Theater, NYC, in
April 1930.

Azpiazu's recording of "Peanut Vendor" (May 1930) is so complex
rhythmically that it was not until the 1940s that American bands got the
hang of it (eg, Stan Kenton, December 1947).

Louis Armstrong's and Duke Ellington's versions of "Peanut Vendor" (May
1930 and January 1931 respectively) are inferior to Azpiazu's. The only
early American recording to come near that of Azpiazu's is the January 1931
performance by Red Nichols (he uses 3 Cuban drummers).

Books by John Roberts'  - "Black music of two worlds" (1972 and 1998), "The
latin tinge" (1979 and 1999) and "Latin jazz" (1999) are very good
introductions to the subject.

The Harlequin company of UK has released a large amount of Latin jazz (some
of the reissued material dates back to the early 1900s). These CDs are
generally available in the USA.

All the best

PS:  Does any list-mate have a copy of Red Nichols's recording of "Peanut
Vendor" (matrix E-35954-A, issued on Brunswick 6035). I'd (almost) kill to
get a copy

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