[Dixielandjazz] Re: Dixielandjazz Digest, Vol 30, Issue 20

johnbird at sympatico.ca johnbird at sympatico.ca
Wed Jun 8 13:13:34 PDT 2005

Imagine my excitement, as a ukulele player just developing an interest in OKOM (now that I know what it means) to hook up with this list and almost immediately find people talking about using ukulele to play Dixieland. I play ukulele in a band we describe as an eclectic, acoustic roots band. We do a few old swing tunes like Sunny Side of the Street, Georgia, Pennies from heaven, with clarinet, fiddles and guitars to take the solos, but are not really jazz players. We also do some blues like St. James Infirmary and Key to the Highway, and some Western Swing like Walking the Floor and Tennessee Moon, and I think (he said humbly) the ukulele contributes nicely to the rhythm section in all these pieces. I play a tenor uke, with a built in pick-up and the higher register means the sounds cuts through fairly well (if I could only play better, but I'm working on it).

Is there historical precedent? Does anyone know of original Dixieland bands that featured uke? Anyway, I'd be interested to hear more.


 From: Russ Guarino <russg at redshift.com>
> Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Ukulele
> To: Dixie Jazz <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
> Message-ID: <42A71236.770735FC at redshift.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> Just a thought.
> I have wondered if a ukulele wouldn't sound nice in a small Dixie band
> of say, four pieces.   Clarinet, ukulele, stand up bass and drums.
> The Uku player would have to be good enough to play solo and take his
> turn on the pass around.
> For a really small setting, like the living room of a private party,
> this ensemble might sound just right???
> Russ Guarino

> Message: 10
> Date: Wed, 08 Jun 2005 10:35:32 -0600
> From: "Mike C." <mike at michaelcryer.com>
> Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Ukulele
> To: dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
> Message-ID: <42A71E54.6020606 at michaelcryer.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> Actually I am in a band that does something similar to that. When we 
> break into a quartet format, we have uke, banjo, violin and bass.
> Mike

> Edgerton writes (regarding a uke in a dixie combo):
> >Might be an interesting sound, but calling this Dixie is a bit of a
> >stretch.  But then, I didn't really think of Palm Springs Yacht Club as
> >a Dixie band either. IMO, it takes more than playing tunes like Clarinet
> >Marmalade and Tiger Rag to be a Dixie band.
> This is why I recommended the baritone uke - it's almost like a smaller 
> guitar (tuned just like a guitar) and has a fuller sound than the tinkly 
> little soprano uke with the fourth string pitched almost as high as the 
> first string (my dog has fleas).
> To my ear, the soprano uke goes plink-a plink-a . . . and the baritone uke 
> swings!
> Respectfully submitted,
> Bill "Aloha" Gunter
> jazzboard at hotmail.com

> From: "Burt Wilson" <futurecon at earthlink.net>
> Subject: RE: [Dixielandjazz] Ukulele
> To: "Bill Gunter" <jazzboard at hotmail.com>, paul.edgerton at eds.com,
> 	dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
> Message-ID: <410-22005638175821812 at earthlink.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
> Bill--
> I play the Uke--a Tenor Uke which John Robinson built for me (that's
> between a soprano and a Baritone)--on two tunes with the Silver Dollar Jazz
> Band. I use it to back Sugar Willie on "Hula Lou" and I use it with the
> band when I sing "My little Bimbo." I have played the Uke since I was seven
> years old and think it is one marvelous instrument. In the 50's there was a
> guy in Sacramento named Joe Tatti who was a uke master and played local
> scenes and county fairs and was really terrific. Want me to bring it
> tonight?
> I LOVE the UKE in a jazz band.
> Burt

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