[Dixielandjazz] The Visceral Side of Jazz - Fire In The Belly Music

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 21 09:50:48 PST 2003

List mates:

Below is a quote from a new friend I met a couple of weeks ago. His
description of a "typical" New York City Trad Jazz vignette he witnessed
speaks for itself. Suffice it to say that I also viewed scenes like this
in clubs, at loft parties, and other venues in the Big Apple of that

There is a world of difference between the music "Shine" with its cute
"Shoosies" lyric written later in the late 1920s, and the original
version, "That's Why They Call Me Shine." with it's "Come on let's pipe
the Shine" lyrics as originally written in 1910. The original is
visceral jazz. The latter version is just a cutsie fake music
interpretation by those who would concentrate on the "Art" instead of
the "Intent" in the music.

Notice also how the below remembrance concentrates on the visual aspects
of the performance. That, in a nutshell, is why the movie Chicago is so

Steve Barbone

"Dear Steve:"

"I can remember going to  Condon's clubs, in the late 50s-early 60s, and
remember drummers George
Wettling & the great Zutty Singleton. And Jimmy MacPartland and guest,
Wild Bill Davison. When the "Mob" broke Condon's arm I was at the fund
raiser at Town Hall. As a young Cop I slipped in a stage door and saw a
wild scene. Every player, blasted from scores of booze bottles on the
table, guys crying,
Bob Crosby downing full glasses and cursing like a champ, Condon
virtually glued to a chair on the stage, but everyone playing at their
best. I still can't figure how they could stand up much less than play
so well.  Then Cozy Cole, playing a huge 7 drum set, do a 9 minute
jungle drum solo that left the audience hooten an holleren. Then the
spotlight swung to Zutty, playing just a bass drum & snare. Zutty
started off so low with a beautiful medium speed beat and slowly
increased his volumn and proceeded to leave Cozy in the dust. You could
hardly see his wrists move but after a while you couldn't see the sticks
anymore. Incredible speed combined with beautiful rhythm. And he sat
there, looking almost asleep with that same smile on his face. I've seen
Krupa, Hal Smith, and lots more, but Zutty knocked me dead and blew the
roof off Town Hall. If I was 2 years younger I would have missed most of
the great players before New York's traditional jazz scene collapsed.

Well, it's good to meet a guy who enjoyed the great music for most of
his life. At 61 I reintroduce myself to it and couldn't think of a
better way to enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. Take care."

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