[Dixielandjazz] (no subject)

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Mon Dec 6 22:59:42 PST 2004

In a message dated 12/6/04 9:54:13 PM Pacific Standard Time, 
ALSINGERPRESENTS at aol.com writes:

> TOM....putting good jazz on the same bill as Disney's Mickey Mouse would 
> have 
> been quite a different matter than coupling good jazz with Sammy Kaye or Guy 
> Lombardo etc. ,even though THAT Mickey Mouse music was far more honest than 
> the  electronic stuff that dis-honors the word "smooth" today. Fact is the 
> Dixieland I heard in cartoons during my almost every weekend visit to the 
> movies 
> combined with the Western Swing I heard in the Westerns  during the 1930's 
> set 
> up my ears for Louis,Sidney, Johnny Dodds et al to begin  my life-long love 
> affair        with America's ever evolving art form through N.O. 
> ,Dixie,Chicago,Swing/K.C. ,Be Bop, Straight Ahead ,Free and the rest of the 
> al singer

Al I could not agree with your personal viewpoint any more, but I have been 
in the business side of it for so many years and seen the audiences change at 
the whim of the music that was fed to them.  My Mother in law is 86 years old 
and a classic example of the evolution and or demise of what we musicians and 
promoters of what we believe to be the True Jazz and good music to be.

Her record collection and taste in music reflects it all as a non musical 
consumer and music fan.   Guy Lombardo, Lawrence Welk, Benny Goodman, Jimmy & 
Tommy Dorsey, Sammy Kaye, Danny Kaye, Ray Conniff, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, 
Dinah Shore,  Pete Fountain, Artie Shaw, Les Brown, Woody Herman,  Eddie 
Peabody, Al Hirt, Eddie Fischer, Steve & Edie Gorme, Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, 
Jerry Vale,  Perry Como, Andy Williams ( her favorite) and Pat Boone,  ( who was 
what I would call the Smooth Jazz of her Day as well as mine).  Notice there 
are NO BLACK Jazz artists in her collection until much later when she 
discovered The Mills Brothers, and The Ink Spots, and The Platters and the Drifters 
who were primarily Black acts smoothed out to appeal to White Audiences.  But 
not embraced by many until the mid sixties.

The big difference today is the electronic simulated sounds which I too find 
atrocious and unbearable to listen to.  However we must remember that we are 
living now in an electronic age and the kids and music lovers have only had 
exposure to this kind of music from the general media looking to sell and service 
their created marketplace.

We certainly do not have to condone it or like it personally, but to ignore 
it and not look for a way to change it would be sinful in my opinion and simply 
giving up and letting those that do embrace it even if only fleetingly force 
us and our idea of Real Music further back into the closet and or extinction.  
You and I and many others are fighting the same war, simply on different 
battlefields and with different weapons I suppose.

As I mentioned earlier in a post I booked a Smooth Jazz artist who's music I 
hate because it made economical sense for him and for me.  Now if I am wrong 
and should not have supplied the act to my client who sold out the venue and 
made about 50% profit on the concert from an adoring crowd of musically 
uneducated or properly exposed to real music audience, I am terribly sorry but I made 
more money doing so than I have ever made promoting any OKOM event.

I also play OKOM music for very substantial amounts in many markets around 
the world on non OKOM events and festivals and some folks in other genres of 
music are not only shocked because we are on the show but because we were also 
well compensated for being there for them.  Not to mention how many of them are 
blown away when we get a better reaction than they do from the folks who paid 
to come and see and hear them.

I just love to go on a show with a big name Jazz legend and play our 
arrangements of one or more of his long forgotten and discarded Hit recordings done 
with a Fresh and totally new Music Sound to them and his audience in New Orleans 
Second Line Brass Band style.

I do not know if your ideas lean totally toward being a purist or not, I try 
to speak generically about the industry and the options we have at our 
disposal to accomplish our respective goals.

Guys like Steve Barbone do the same, which is why he keeps posting stories 
and reviews from the New York Times and advising us to insert OKOM in the place 
of the context of the story for professional comparison in the hopes that more 
of us might see the light and find useful information and ideas about how to 
change with the times to increase our ever decreasing audience.

We may be preaching a seemingly new musical religion but we all have the same 
goal in mind the salvation of OKOM in all of it's various forms.

What worked forty or fifty years ago still works to what is left of that 
audience, but it does not work to attract the new audiences that came into the 
game under a totally different set of rules and music genres.

When we try to shove Louis and Buddy and Bix , etc., down their throats or 
ears full force it is categorically rejected for the most part, we have to be 
more subtle with our approach to educate and expose them.   

College kids go off to College with nothing in their brains but whatever form 
of Rock and Roll they have been exposed to, but something magical seems to 
happen in their sophomore or junior year.  They discover Blues, then Louis and 
Jazz and Big Band and the fact that we do indeed have a lot more music than 
rock and roll or rap and hip hop, whose following eventually will also mature and 
discover real music as we know and love it.

It has worked for classical music for centuries, and since Jazz is America's 
Only Contribution to World Culture, and I travel world wide with music I see 
no real chance of it becoming truly extinct no matter how hard we try to keep 
it in the closet and pure.

The English have their interpretation of it doing very well, the Aussies are 
enjoying it greatly down under and I see it all over Europe and Scandinavia as 
well.  It is only here at home we seem to be waging a war to destroy and or 
restrict it's natural growth rather than expand it. 

Those major Jazz artist that long ago abandoned it for other styles did so 
because they could not continue to support themselves in a restricted 
environment which appeared to be limiting their musical expressions of freedom and 
improvisation as they chose to interpret it.

Well, that's the way I see it this week anyway.


And certainly do not stop doing what you do your way.

Everything helps in it's own way.

Tom Wiggins

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