[Dixielandjazz] Chicago>>Really Worth the Effort

BudTuba at aol.com BudTuba at aol.com
Thu Mar 20 09:59:47 PST 2003

In a message dated 3/19/03 8:32:27 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
barbonestreet at earthlink.net writes:

> Gawd, those cats were HOT!! And the girls weren't bad either! :~) I've
> seen it twice, and plan on seeing
> it again as soon as I can catch my breath!

I saw Chicago last week and was genuinely surprised that my wife insisted 
that we see it.  Thank God, I didn't make the suggestion.  My initial 
reaction was mild...I had hoped for a reenactment of what the early days of 
Chicago (the jazz history lesson) really was.  Given that expectation, I 
would have preferred to see blacks have the majority of performer parts (I'm 
remembering a photo of Frankie "Half-Pint" Jackson performing in a club with 
a bevy of black female hoofers in the foreground.)  I had expected to see 
more of the Mafia influence on the nightclub commerce.  I really would have 
loved to hear some authentic music of the time played by today's 
dwindling-numbers black traditionalists like Winton Marsailes or the Harlem 
Blues and Jazz Band.  There is a young rag player in Chicago, Reginald 
Robinson, who could have played the black male piano man with real stride 
music.  BUT...

The show was written as a modern piece using the 1920's Chicago motif.  It 
was not meant to be a recreation, but an interpretation.  It was meant to 
appeal to people for its artistic content and I too, will have to watch it 
again....this time with a fresh mind.  There were many skillful scenes and 
set designs to suggest its time and place.  The parallity of the show theme 
and the dramatic theme was the stuff of dreams that seem so very realistic 
when we awaken we want to tell someone about the dream, but the transitions 
seem to confound our conscious ability to describe them. Thanks to all who 
contributed to this discussion.  It took me a while, but I concur with Jim 
Beebee who led the proponent's salvo.

Bud Taylor
Smugtown Stompers
Rochester, NY
Traditional Jazz since 1958
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