[Dixielandjazz] Modern art and jazz

Jim Denham james at jiming.demon.co.uk
Sat May 31 03:01:15 PDT 2003

Hi, everyone,

Robert Greenwood has already given an excellent and very learned 
commentary upon the connections between Da-da'ism and early jazz. I also 
liked someone's comment that at this time when post-modernism is taken 
seriously, Da-da'ism is no longer possible. How can one ridicule a 
society whose leading intellectuals doubt objective reality, proclaim 
that 'everything is relative',  and are taken seriously?

It is worth noting that Da-da'ism was not the same as Surrealism. And 
that Surrealism cannot be reduced to that fine draftsman - and foul 
human being - Salvador Dali (of whom George Orwell commented in 1944: 
"Mere moral disapproval does not get one any further. But neither ought 
one to pretend, in the name of 'detachment', that such pictures as 
"Mannequin rotting in a taxicab" are morally neutral. They are diseased 
and disgusting, and any investigation ought to start from that fact".

Jazz content: re "modern" art: Stuart Davis (1894-1964), who was more of 
a "Cubist", and an influence upon de Kooning, and the 'Pop-art' 
movement, taught George Wettling painting.

Eddie Condon commented (in 'Eddie Condon's Scrapbook of Jazz'): "George 
Wettling learned to paint at our apartment in 1943. We were moving and 
to get back at a pesty super we decided to have a wall-painting party. 
George was our most enthusiastic painter. When he ran out of walls at 
our apartment he left immediately for Stuart Davis's where he found 
lessons and encouragement. His first painting was of our daughter 
Maggie. She forbids reproduction".

Stuart Davis (1947):

"Recently I had occasion to inquire of a little boy what he wanted to be 
when he grew up. Without breaking the Chicago-style beat of his 
bubble-gum he replied 'Eddie Condon'. Conference had been fogging my 
vision a bit of late. It was clear that the little boy had his hip boots 
well clasped up to his navel. This was the jolt I needed. I played an 
old Punch Miller record with a George Wettling backing I had recently 
dubbed in, added a configuration to my current painting, 'The Mellow 
Pad', and forgot all about Sir Alexander Cadogan and Gromyko .For a 
brief moment I I thought I was Eddie Condon too, but that passed".

In message <Law15-DAV50q9EhOzmu00024ac5 at hotmail.com>, Rob McCallum 
<rakmccallum at hotmail.com> writes
>Hi Burt and everyone,
>Anne Charters is huge in bringing the Beat Generation (I'm sure much to
>Charlie's horror!), to acadamia.  She edited the Penguin (I think it's
>Penguin) selected writings of the Beat Generation which has become standard
>issue (again much to Charlie's horror) in American lit courses across the
>country.  BTW, I made the drive down to Bloomington Indiana a couple of
>weeks back to see the original manuscript of On the Road (the one that was
>typed in a period of three weeks on a continuous 125 foot long scroll of
>paper, all with no paragraph breaks) which was on display at IU.  When I was
>just starting college and fancied myself a performance poet, Kerouac had a
>huge impact on me (loved his idea that writing was like improvising one
>blues chorus after another), so the trip was a sort of pilgrimage for me.  I
>also saw Allen Ginsberg read Howl at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor a few
>years before he died.  He was very much involved with Jewel Heart (an
>organization for the preservation of Tibetan Buddhist culture) which has one
>of its centers in Ann Arbor and he read Howl in honor of the Dalai Lama
>coming to visit.
>All the best,
>Rob McCallum
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Burt Wilson <futurecon at earthlink.net>
>To: Charlie Hooks <charliehooks at earthlink.net>
>Cc: djml <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
>Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2003 6:42 PM
>Subject: Re: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Modern art and jazz
>> Charlie wrote: Hey, Rob?  Don't we dixielanders have troubles enough
>without saddling us with a guy who liked Ginsberg enough to publish him?
>> That's a howl, Charlie.
>> Burt
>> By the way, the wife of my good friend Sam Charters, Anne Charters, the
>noted ragtime pianist, is Jack Keroac's biographer and both she and Sam have
>commented on TV about the relationship of Keroac's writing to jazz. There's
>something to that.
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Jim Denham

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