[Dixielandjazz] Early jazz in Britain

Anton Crouch anton.crouch at optusnet.com.au
Fri Jul 23 22:06:43 PDT 2004

Hello all

Thanks to Jim K, I also have a copy of the Catherine Parsonage paper on
early jazz in Britain and, like Steve B, find it valuable. And, just to be
picky, it's a paper in the journal Popular Music, not the PhD thesis itself

Steve's comments on the jazz scene in 1919, and on JR Europe in particular,
are spot-on. Cook's SSO did not record but the ODJB and JR Europe did and I
urge list-mates to extend Brian Tower's "matter of record" to the
recordings themselves. I agree that the work of JR Europe (certainly) and
Will Marion Cook (probably) would not be recognised as "jazz" by modern

The fascinating issue is "why not?". Where did that spark that we call
"swing" come from? Did Bolden have it? For that matter, did Ory, Keppard
and Oliver have it before 1917? Implications of heresy here, I know.

Another issue is the emergence of the early New York school at this time -
think of Johnny Dunn, Bubber Miley, Wilbur Sweatman and Fletcher Henderson.
What they played in the early 20s is now called jazz but what were the
antecedents? More JR Europe and Cook than New Orleans, I suspect.

All the best

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