[Dixielandjazz] Re: Marsalis was Another NY TIMES Jazz Review

Arnold Day arnieday at optonline.net
Mon Nov 1 07:46:35 PST 2004

  Of course, he is entitled to believe and feel what he wishes.....we all have that right, thank God!

  There was a post the other day about the West African origin/influence on the creation and development of jazz. I lived in West Africa for six years almost 50 years ago. There were two types of music, ritual and social. The ritual music was mainly drumming with some "melody" added by banging on hollow bamboo tubes of different lengths.  I have to agree that there is some justification in saying that West African rhythm was one ingredient of the "stew" that made up jazz. 

  As for melody or harmony, I am not convinced. The "social music" was called (in English) "Highlife" which used European musical instruments (mainly brass) and certainly West European harmony and melody as its basis. It bore a very stong relationship to West Indian calypso music (as one would expect). To my ears, the melodic and harmonic aspects of jazz came directly from European music. Many (perhaps most) of the earliest players were partially of French and/or Italian descent.

  From some music dictionary: 
   "Jazz developed in the latter part of the 19th cent. from black work songs, field shouts, sorrow songs, hymns, and spirituals whose harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic elements were predominantly African. Because of its spontaneous, emotional, and improvisational character, and because it is basically of black origin and association, jazz has to some extent not been accorded the degree of recognition it deserves."

  I'm sorry. I just have trouble swallowing that!. I'd say it is about 70% myth.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Mark Bauer 
    To: dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com 
    Sent: Sunday, October 31, 2004 3:04 PM
    Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Re: Marsalis was Another NY TIMES Jazz Review

    He actually believes first and foremost that it parallels the "black" 
    experience. Jazz was not really universally considered "American" until 
    more and more white musicians became involved. Those are Wynton's words 
    not mine that he made on a documentary.

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