[Dixielandjazz] Solos - was bass solos

Patrick Cooke patcooke at cox.net
Fri Jul 23 12:23:06 PDT 2004

>Preserve it? Bulls***. They almost embalmed it by >choking off creativity,
the vital life force in Jazz.

One of your best posts yet, Steve.  Sometimes I think the paranoia to
"preserve" as it was 70 years ago is actually a fear that it will advance to
encompass things that some have not prepared for.  They fear the newer ideas
because they don't understand them, and they don't know where to go to learn
the new stuff; plus many just don't want to face having to learn something
just a little newer.
     What it mainly takes is listening to more of the mainstream
players....the way we listened to music when we were in our teens.  Pay
close attention and play it over again, and again.
      I'm not immune to some of this myself....I still don't care for most
rock stuff, though I have to admit there are some very technically qualified
players in it.  But the mainstream players : Scott Hamilton, Bill Watrous,
Carl Saunders, Ken Peplowski and others are dazzling.  They can play chorus
after chorus....all very melodic, and never repeat a lick.
     Chord substitution is not rocket science, or brain surgery. The rules
of chord substitution are really simple.  You don't have to play a handful
of notes to play a 13th chord.  Yet there is a fear of modern chords.  Many
don't know what they are, nor where to use them.  It's really not that hard!
       I agree heartily....Don't tell me what Dixieland is, or what it's
supposed to be, what the instrumentation should be, etc., etc., etc.  I've
heard it all before.  Been there and done that.  If all you want to do is
play Muskrat Ramble the rest of your life exactly the way you've been
playing it, or the way Kid Ory played it, then disregard every thing I've
said, and I won't bother you any more.
But I don't have much longer to stay here, and I don't want to miss
anything.  I have miles to go before I sleep.
      Pat Cooke

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Stephen Barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Friday, July 23, 2004 12:51 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Solos - was bass solos

> I am not surprised that some members of the DJML do not like solos, much
> less bass solos. After all, many of us seem to be listening (?) to a
> bunch of mediocre festival bands who don't know how to play jazz much
> less solo.
> Suggest you all go out and buy some Eddie Condon records and listen to
> the solo artistry of Edmond Hall, Brad Gowans, Cutty Cutshall, Vice
> Dickenson, Wild Bill Davison, Lou McGarity, Gene Schroeder, Jess Stacy,
> Dick Cary, Bob Wilber, Peanuts Hucko, Pee Wee Russell, Bobby Hackett,
> Billy Butterfield, Jack Lesberg, Leonard Gaskin, Bob Haggart, George
> Wettling, and another 20 of so great jazz musicians he used. Great
> soloists all.
> Or buy some Sidney Bechet, Kenny Davern, John Windhurst, Dick Wellstood
> and Louis Armstrong CDs, to name just a very few of some more excellent
> soloist artists.
> Or ask Don Ingle to send you his CD of "Chicago Style, The Way It should
> Be Played and Was", with Don, Kim Cusack and some other very fine
> soloists.
> Or listen to Ed Polcer, John Erik Kellso (trumpets), or Greg Cohen and
> Pat Cooke (bassists). Or expand your mind and listen to bassists Ray
> Brown, Charles Mingus, Charlie Hayden, Nels Orstead Pederson or tubist
> Howard Johnson. Or hundreds of others who are great and near great jazz
> musicians.
> Then I suggest you thoroughly read about jazz in Richard Sudhalter's
> Book, and about all the great soloists that ARE JAZZ, prior to the
> current crop. Read especially his chapter on "Dixieland". Then study his
> analysis of all the soloists and their solos, written out for you, and
> how they approach their art. What changes they made, how they got around
> on their instruments and what they said via the music.
> Then realize that those musicians who don't like solos are usually those
> who can't put together a musically coherent solo conversation.
> Then, realize that what you like or dislike is fine as a personal
> opinion and you are entitled to it. But, don't try to convince everybody
> else that you are the keepers of the only true pathway. And don't
> display your ignorance of what jazz is in such a  closed minded manner.
> Perhaps the biggest problem with Dixieland Jazz these days is the
> polarization among some "listeners". For many years OKOM festivals all
> over the USA have said they are preserving jazz as an art form.
> Unfortunately, those in control of the festivals had similar narrow
> minded ideas about what Dixieland or Trad Jazz was/is. They told you
> what it should sound like, what instruments should be used, what
> stylistic form it should take, chock full, chapter and verse, of this
> and other nonsense.
> And then they presented a lot of mediocre bands among a few excellent
> ones. Little wonder many in the USA are folding their tents for lack of
> audience.
> Well meaning, but musically challenged, they didn't acknowledge that the
> music is already preserved, all over the world. By the very musicians
> who created it. At place like Tulane University, The Smithsonian, The
> Library of Congress, and countless venues where it is routinely played
> to broader and more appreciative audiences.
> Preserve it? Bulls***. They almost embalmed it by choking off
> creativity, the vital life force in Jazz.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
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