[Dixielandjazz] Solos - was bass solos

Jeanne Brei TinPanAlleyCat at cox.net
Fri Jul 23 16:47:38 PDT 2004

Hey Stephen,
   I love your posts -- and especially the Times articles that you
forward -- but I'm just curious -- do you ever go to any trad jazz
festivals? Maybe there are a few like what you said -- but some of them
really feature All-Stars -- the Sacramento Jazz Festival's Red Lion Inn
comes to mind (hearing Tommy Saunders' solo on Black Coffee at 1:00 AM was
breathtaking) -- the Mid-West All-Stars, the East Coast All Stars -- they're
all fabulous musicians. Also, the Sweet & Hot Jazz Festival features more
AllStars than it does bands!
    And several of the guys on your list (the ones who are still alive
anyway) can usually be found at Sweet & Hot or Sacramento -- Ken Peplowski,
Dan Barrett, Dan Levinson, Tommy Saunders, etc., etc. -- and it's a real
treat to hear them LIVE!
Jeanne Brei
Las Vegas, NV
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Stephen Barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Friday, July 23, 2004 10:51 AM
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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