[Dixielandjazz] Dixieland before ragtime? / some reflections

D and R Hardie darnhard at ozemail.com.au
Tue Jan 25 12:55:03 PST 2005

Hi Charlie,
                    Thanks for the promo. I have been reading this 
thread with great interest. It seems clear that jazz, and what we now 
call ragtime and the blues were all evolving together around 1896, 
culminating in the work of Bolden  ( and probably the  Jack Laine white 
school) as far as jazz is concerned. I tried to outline the evidence 
for this in The Ancestry of Jazz .
An analysis of the known Bolden repertoire shows a mix of blues, black 
vulgar folk  songs, coon songs derived from the minstrel tradition , 
sentimental 'pop' songs of the era and spirituals. I have recently been 
working with a group of local  New Orleans style musicians performing 
this repertoire with authentic instrumentation and performance 
practices based on those  outlined in in Exploring Early Jazz. It's 
early days, but one early observation is the lilting ragtimey quality 
of many pieces. Perhaps Ragtime and Jazz were cousins.
  Dan Hardie
Check out the website: 

On Tuesday, January 25, 2005, at 03:00  PM, Charles Suhor wrote:

> deal with these questions in detail. Gunther Shuller's EARLY JAZZ is a 
> classic source. Also, good quick-gloss answers are found in the New 
> Grove Dictionary of jazz under "Dixieland," "Ragtime," "New Orleans 
> jazz," "Traditional Jazz," etc. the Grove writers are generally good 
> researchers with a wide view of jazz history.
> Charlie Suhor
> On Jan 24, 2005, at 8:02 PM, Richard Broadie wrote:
>> Having played with Johnny St. Cyr, Ed "Montudie" Garland and others 
>> from that first generation, I can't tell you if their music was 
>> labeled Dixieland or not, but I know it was performed before the 
>> Original Dixieland Jazz Band started playing "white" jazz.  I would 
>> argue the Blacks were first to play what we would call jazz, citing 
>> Buddy Bolden and others who predate the art of recording much other 
>> than "Mary had a little lamb."   If the principle question is 
>> Dixieland before ragtime, the answer is it was the other way around, 
>> with Cakewalk dancing on riverboats to ragtime syncopations predated 
>> anything labeled jazz.
>> In earlier posts several years ago, I claimed to be 125 years old and 
>> that I recorded with Buddy Bolden,  a fiction that entertained many, 
>> and actually fooled a couple of literal interpreters of my comedy.  I 
>> can say that nearly 125 years ago, my grandfather, Herbert H. 
>> Broadie, would close down his drugstore in Waverly Iowa, pick up his 
>> tambourine (which I still have) and become Mr. Interlocutor on the 
>> Mississippi Riverboats.   My dad, while in his teens remembered 
>> dancing to Fate Marabel's band on the riverboat.  It was with this 
>> band that Louis Armstrong left New Orleans ending up in Chicago.
>> I'm fascinated by the history and development of what is known as 
>> jazz. While not an expert historian, its fun to realize that I was 
>> blessed to have known and played with some of the music's earliest 
>> pioneers (at a time that they were my present age or older and I was 
>> very young!).    I only wish that I'd not sitting at the bar with 
>> Hoagy C. (in his Thunderbird Country Club home in Rancho Mirage, CA) 
>> and Phil Harris the night they told me many stories about Bix, when 
>> they both knew well.   When I got home the next day around noon, my 
>> wife asked me what I'd learned about Bix and my response was "Bix 
>> who?"  Those guys could drink and I couldn't.
>> I wish I'd had a tape recorder years earlier when I spent evenings at 
>> Barney Bigard's Inglewood, CA apartment  listening to early Ellington 
>> recordings where Barney said things such as "At this point, Ellington 
>> asked the reed players to trade parts with the brass players.  When 
>> we played it his reaction was (to no one individual in particular) 
>> 'There, now wasn't that better?'  The band then recorded the "new" 
>> version...."
>> Tomorrow, I'll get results from lab tests indicating if my cancer has 
>> returned.  I'm in a plaintive, reflective mood at the moment.  
>> Perhaps I should try to share more memories with you  (flawed as they 
>> may be) while I'm able.
>> I'll try.
>> Dick B
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: <jazz_trombone at axint.net>
>> To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
>> Sent: Friday, January 21, 2005 3:09 PM
>> Subject: RE: [Dixielandjazz] Dixieland before ragtime?
>>>  Blacks did invent blues. Blues essentially comes from field
>>> hollers(working in the fields) and from spirituals. Many early blues
>>> were sung acapella because you very well couldn't be harvesting 
>>> cotton
>>> while pickin' a guitar. Blues spoke of their despair of the life they
>>> were forced into with no way out. While no one knows how old the 
>>> blues
>>> is, it can't be older than when the first black indentured servants
>>> landed in jamestown, Virginia in 1619.
>>>  As far as dixieland goes, to the best of my knowledge it is a 
>>> northern
>>> term. I have no idea if it comes from blacks or whites but as far as 
>>> the
>>> musical style goes, I believe that it was invented by blacks as 
>>> well. It
>>> probably goes back to the days of the black brass bands.
>>> MB
>>>> ps.  I've heard it said that Blacks invented the blues and in the 
>>>> same
>>>> breath the speaker said "and whites invented dixieland."  I have no 
>>>> idea
>>>> whether or not any of this is true.
>>>> BG
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