[Dixielandjazz] ODJB

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 18 09:53:33 PST 2003

john petters wrote:

> Steve said
> > Why all the flap about the ODJB as being so important to the development
> > of jazz?
> Why is it so fashionable to knock the ODJB? Yes it was close to ragtime -
> yes there was not much in the way of improvisation - but it swung harder
> than the Bix records (Wolverines are very lumpy) and other early white non
> New Orleans bands. Sbarbaro was a great drummer with a driving beat.

I'm not knocking them, just asking why all the flap? Why "answer" the
question with another question? A very simple, direct question which no one
has yet answered so far in the thread. Seems to me that Oliver was light
years ahead of ODJB as soon as his music was recorded. And, I'm not comparing
ODJB to other white bands, Bix, et al. Just asking why all the flap?  To
extend the thought, why not more flap about Oliver's contribution? He swung
harder than ODJB, had great improvisation, and to my ears, a much better jazz

> >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
> >
> Surley the hokum aspect is the equivalent of you showbiz antics which you
> use to sell your band to audiences. Jelly used hokum as did Louis.If you
> find the 1936 version of Tiger Rag  boring with LaRocca's wonderfulride out
> cornet driven by Sbarbaro's drumming, then you must be missing something
> Steve. Listen again!!

I'm talking about ODJB circa 1917-1925. Re 1936 music, there are hundreds of
bands that were better or more artistic, or well ahead of ODJB, circa 1936.
Plus, I never said a ride out chorus, or other short segment was boring.
Every band has a stunning moment somewhere or other. Also, not sure what you
mean by my "show business antics".

> I would sooner hear records of the ODJB than many contemporary bands who
> have lost touch with the drive and soul of Dixieland and New Orleans music.

No argument with what you would rather hear. Me? My examples would be Condon
groups, Beebe groups, Yerba Buena, Ingle groups, Loy groups, Reinhart Groups,
Kellso groups, Barrett groups and countless other fiery bands. There many
today, including yours, that I would rather hear than ODJB. I've heard them,
absorbed what they did, and so have no need to hear them again and again.

Also wholeheartedly agree that many contemporary bands have lost touch with
the drive and soul of the music. That is an ongoing point which I preach.
Most of us have lost the interest of the younger generations because we have
lost the drive and soul of the music.

Interesting how the original question and thread took on a life of it's own,
eh? Perhaps the answer to the "why" is because: (in part)
1. They were fiery.
2. They were sexy.
3. They recorded first.
4. They appealed to rebellious youth
5. They brought the music to the most populous audience. (whites)


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