[Dixielandjazz] Wolpe, Bauhaus, Hindemith, Cubism, Art?

Burt Wilson futurecon at earthlink.net
Wed May 28 14:27:40 PDT 2003

Let us not forget that Condon's drummer, George Wettling, was a modern artist who had his work featured in a layout in Coller's magazine around 1950. In fact, I believe one of Condon's albums has Wettling's art work on the front cover.

I would like to draw a precarious point. The avante garde took to "modern" jazz just as it took to the freedom of expression of a Jackson Pollack. Hot jazz (or Dixieland) was considered passe by that time. It was, to me, a rejection of the emotional factor in OKUM for the more "thinking" virtues of modern jazz. If you remember, modern jazz fans made a lot less noise and were less vociferous in their approval. They didn't jump up and stomp their feet and shout--something I find very appealing about our music.

To my way of thinking, modern jazz was a rejection of the tight chord structures of so-called "Dixieland" music where you always knew where a progression was heading--usually "round the horn."

I do not take sides in any case although my heart is with the old hot jazz. I am for diversity first, last and always.

Burt Wilson
Silver Dollar Jazz Band

-------Original Message-------
From: Stephen Barbone <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
Sent: 05/28/03 12:41 PM
To: Dixieland Jazz Mailing List <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Wolpe, Bauhaus, Hindemith, Cubism, Art?

> This is a very complicated subject. Not really OKOM. However, there
seemed to be a connection between modern art and modern music. It was
very evident in New York City in the 50s and 60s when avant garde music
was just beginning.

If you went to the Five Spot in Cooper Square, NYC to see/hear someone
like Ornette Coleman or Charlie Hayden you would be in the audience
along with Jackson Pollack, and many other modern artists, and Leonard
Bernstein, Stefan Wolpe, all the music teachers at Julliard and other
composers, classical musicians, modernists etc. It was a very "artistic"

Basically they were drawing comparisons between Pollack and Charlie
Hayden's free jazz, or Cubism and Monk, or Stravinski and Bird etc..,
etc.., etc. To say nothing of comparing Brubeck to Bartok. Many of the
more modern jazz musicians were studying with some big time classical
musicians. Brubeck with Darius Milhaud for example. It was a heady scene
for those who were there and solidified the belief that jazz was indeed

That's just a simplified start. For those who might be interested, make
those google searches for "dada music" or "Stefan Wolpe", or "Ornette
Coleman" There is a wealth of information for the curious, about how the
development of music paralleled that of the visual arts, and vice versa.

However, be warned, if you tend to dismiss modern art, or modern music
as trash, cacophony etc., don't waste your time.

Steve Barbone

PS. Don't sell Wolpe short. When he wrote music for amateurs, or
beginners, it was easily played. However, when he wrote for himself and
the masters, it was some of the most difficult and intricate music
imaginable. To many of us, including me, unplayably difficult without
interminable practice.

Dixielandjazz mailing list
Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list