[Dixielandjazz] ODJB

Mike Durham mikedurham_jazz at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 16 23:00:47 PST 2003

Steve, tho I don't particularly care for the ODJB style, there are quite a 
few people who do and several bands playing very much in that style today - 
Dan Levinson's band in the USA and the Original Dixieland Five in the UK, to 
name two of the best. And let's not forget that the ODJB played a very 
important part in the history of our music (along with a dozen other "Fives" 
playing in about the same style). As for your suggestion they stole even the 
tunes, well that may be going a bit far. Have you ever read of anyone else 
claiming At The Jazz Band Ball, or Sensation, or Bluin' the Blues, or 
Ostrich Walk, or Clarinet Marmalade, or all the other ODJB compositions (OK 
I know Tiger Rag probably predates them) or seen any documented proof the 
tunes were pirated? Seems that wholesale theft on that scale would have been 
a well-publicised scandal by now. So at least we can thank them for that 
particular contribution to our repertoire. Just a little plea for 

Mike D.

>From: Stephen Barbone <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
>Reply-To: barbonestreet at earthlink.net
>To: Dixieland Jazz Mailing List <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
>Subject: [Dixielandjazz] ODJB
>Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2003 17:08:22 -0500
>Why all the flap about the ODJB as being so important to the development
>of jazz?
>The style in which they played had disappeared by about 1925, less than
>a decade after they became popular. (except perhaps as cartoon music in
>the movies) And to this day NOBODY plays in that style. It remains the
>only style of OKOM that NOBODY is copying today. Excepting Nick LaRocca
>Why? Because it was not really very jazzy, contained a lot of hokum and
>had virtually no improvisation. That kind of music is very stultifying
>to play and very boring to most listeners.
>And don't argue Bix was an ODJB follower. His playing, both in his own
>bands and as a sideman in other bands was nothing like what ODJB, or
>Nick LaRocca played. And when he played "their" songs (if indeed they
>wrote them without stealing) they sounded completely different.
>It is very funny to hear some folks say on one hand that Bix was mainly
>influenced by ODJB, and then hear tham deny a Louis Armstrong influence
>because "he didn't sound like Louis". Just shows a kind of double
>standard because he doesn't sound like ODJB either.
>Bix was Bix, ODJB was ODJB and Louis was Louis. Bix's style lives to
>this day. Louis' style lives to this day. ODJB? Their style has been
>dead a long time.
>Their contribution to jazz? The initial records. Getting the audience
>interested. Even on records, within 5 years, others had contributed a
>hell of a lot more. Who knows what the others had done prioir to
>One might also consider that Sudhalter's book, Lost Chords, spends all
>of it's energy on those who influenced a type of jazz (OKOM) which is
>virtually ignored by the mainstream of jazz today. Why then are we so
>concerned about "contributors"? Shouldn't we be more concerned with OKOM
>"innovators", or more specifically the lack thereof over the past 50
>Steve Barbone
>PS. Don't ignore us Italians either. Note that on one hand that
>Sudhalter did, but at least he wrote a sentence in "Lost Chords" that
>someone "should write a book about the Italian contribution", especially
>the "Sicilian School" of clarinetists, Nuncio Scaglione et al, in early
>New Orleans Jazz. ;-)
>Dixielandjazz mailing list
>Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com

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