TCASHWIGG at aol.com
TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Mon Nov 17 14:21:36 PST 2003
In a message dated 11/17/03 9:14:45 AM Pacific Standard Time,
barbonestreet at earthlink.net writes:
> There will always be different views, for example, about whether is was
> Armstrong who fathered "swing" or somebody else. The main point to be
> made is that the music is colorblind and when you hear it without seeing
> who was playing, you cannot tell race, creed or religion of the player
> with any certainty, except where certain stylists are readily
> identifiable by the uniqueness of their sound.
> Steve Barbone
Seldom do we disagree, Steve, but to my ears, I hear differences in Black
American Jazz and Blues players all the time and can usuallly tell a Black Band
when I hear it on the radio without knowing who they are or seeing them. I
guess it comes from working with them for so many years and being able to hear
and feel their musical accents.
I also hear the difference in British, German and Dutch, and French and other
European bands as compared with Black American players. Many of them are
indeed great players, but the tones, and mannerisims and styles are distinctly
different to my ears.
If this was not true I would not get constant requests for Black American
musicians to come to Europe and play. Obviously I am not the only one who hears
this. I have in the past been chastised for bringing Black American Blues
and Jazz singers to festivals with White players or even using European bands
to back them.
There is indeed something unique about Black American Music that is
distinguishable, just listen to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Kermit Ruffins, any
number of New Orleans Brass Bands recordings side by side with most White
Dixieland Bands recordings.
This is why I seem to often have a hard time discussing Dixieland Music on
the list and put my foot in my mouth far too often.
I have always viewed Traditional Jazz as being Black American rooted music
and Dixieland as predominately White Jazz, and there is nothing wrong with
either. Perhaps we all just get it confused when we try to put all Jazz in the
same box, and get it out of perspective.
I certainly do not have the background or expertise of the majority of the
players and historians on this list but I do know what I hear, and if I have
bought into the New Orleans MYTH about Jazz originating from Early Gospel, Blues
and Jazz of Blacks in the South then I shall reamina an outcast ont he
Dixieland Purist list for sure. Or at best be dismissed as a non believer and true
follower. Well so be it. But I hear a difference int he music almost
immediately, unless the Black musicians are trying desperately to sound White, as
many of them have done thinking it was necessary to get employment.
I dare say you can take any number of Black Musicians and have them play with
a white band and they will not sound Black, but take those same musicians and
put them into an all Black Band hired to play for a Black audience and you
will hear a totally different sound.
Many Black American musicians have been re-trained to play music the way they
think White folks want it to sound, but what they missed in most cases is
that the White folks really want to hear it played the way they play it for Black
audiences. At least in my experiences and opinion.
Music written and arranged on sheet music is more than likely colorblind, but
the way it is played in my opinion is not.
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