[Dixielandjazz] Vibrato & Loudness

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Jun 12 06:19:21 PDT 2005

"Ron L'Herault" <lherault at bu.edu> wrote:

> Vibrato:
> I believe pronounced vibrato is a New Orleans thing.  Maybe it is French
> in origin?  Listen to the vibrato French singers like Piaf used.

Enrico Caruso and other Opera Singers of the day (before Piaf) used plenty
of vibrato. The Italian clarinet players in New Orleans at the turn of the
century may well have picked up on vibrato, but it origins precede the
founding of the city.
> Loudness:
> I don't see "loud" in what you quoted.  I see passion, emotion, feeling,
> and joie de vive.  That "blast of super heated steam" is hot playing,
> not necessarily loud playing.

Perhaps you don't see it, but then I WAS THERE AND IT WAS LOUD. I think the
problem  we all have in quoting people is that we read the quyote into the
shape of our perception. Maheu and I were there. We know exactly how it
sounded. "That blast of super heated steam" was exactly that. To say that it
meant "hot" but "not necessarily loud" is an opinion after the fact based
upon personal feelings rather than actual experience.

> To paraphrase Jelly, you can't put more
> into a glass if it is full.  Oliver, I've been told wanted to be able to
> hear the shuffling of dancers feet as they moved in front of the band.

Yes, I agree, if you are playing a soft dance music, than play it softly.
problem is, in quoting, most times they are all taken "out of context". Thus
one can use virtually any quote to justify any position. Both Oliver & Louis
played some songs softly . . . for slow, romantic, dancing.

On the other hand, if you ever saw Louis in concert LIVE, then you know damn
well he played loudly, as did the band. I never heard Oliver live in the
1920s, but from what I read, he played loudly on most occasions also.

And for Left Coasters. If you saw/heard Yerba Buena in concert, you know
damn well they played at least twice as loudly as all those sissified bands
today that try and copy them.

Hopefully, the experience and testimony of those WHO WERE THERE. will be
taken into account before they all die off and we are left only with the
revisionist historians, quoting and listening to records in an effort to
shape the music to their own tastes. That's what is killing the music now.

Steve Barbone

Steve Barbone

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