[Dixielandjazz] ODJB

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Mon Nov 17 15:42:20 PST 2003

In a message dated 11/17/03 11:57:09 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
mikedurham_jazz at hotmail.com writes:

> Tom: the late great Oran 'Hot Lips' Page always maintained the same thing, 
> until he was given the blindfold test by one of the magazines (Downbeat?) 
> and coudn't tell whether the men were white or black. They were all guys 
> playing in the same late-swing style, so color was the only variable. But 
> otherwise, are you saying there is some genetic factor involved here? And if 
> so, what's the difference? Do white guys lack the 'swing gene'? Dangerous 
> territory, all that stuff about a natural sense of rhythm.......
> Mike

Hi Mike:

There are of course no doubt some exceptions, and with Swing Bands if I 
understand them as being charted bands and standard swing arrangements I could 
easily understand not hearing the difference.  Unless you play Count Basie side by 
side with The Dorsey's or a Ray Charles orchestra alongside Nelsen Riddle.  
Or Fats Domino against Woody Herman.

Or perhaps even Ellington agains Guy Lombardo.

I am at a loss for the words to literally describe it properly, but as close 
as I personally can tell it is in the phrasing and rhythm that seems to flow 
easier out of Black players almost immediately.

For instance: In Blues Music most Black players like B.B. King, Muddy Waters, 
and most all the other greats play less notes and get a different tonal 
effect out of their music than most White Blues Guitar players who tend to play 
many more notes and at much faster tempos and harder more rock & roll style.

Guys like Wes Montgomery, and George Benson, have distinct styles that seem 
much smoother than say today's hot White jazz guitarist, who claim to be 
playing Smooth Jazz, and I am under the opinion that it again is the phrasing and 
the way they play or don't play notes, and it seems to actually come from within 
the being of the Black players.

See I told you it was hard to explain.  I don't know how to explain it 
exactly, I just know that I hear it different and Feel it differently.   

With my own band I often have to remind the guys who play with white bands on 
the side when we are not on tour, to give me that Black sound, especially 
when I want to add some new songs to the repertoire.  I often go to white hits 
and give them a Black feel, like many of the old Gospel hymns and pop rock tunes 
which we are experimenting with slowly.



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