[Dixielandjazz] HOT 7 CONCERT? Live vs. Recorded.

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Jun 12 14:22:51 PDT 2005

Robert Smith wrote
> Hello Steve,
> As far as I know the Hot Seven never performed at a concert, and I think the
> Hot Five only ever gave one concert.

Hello Bob. I don't think I said they performed any concerts, only that we
have nothing to compare the recorded sound to in live performance.
> For my part the question of records versus live concerts is irrelevant. I
> wasn't born when Oliver was playing. I've got the records and I play them
> often.

Me too, except having heard them enough, I don't play them often anymore. In
fact, gave most of them away (some originals) to OKOM musician wannabes
several decades ago. BUT, what do you think about current bands, live vs.
recorded? (Not the older guys like me, but the younger ones)
> I saw several of the Jazz Greats in the UK in the 1950's - Armstrong, Ory,
> George Lewis, Eddie Condon, Billie Holiday, and Ellington in the early 1960's.
> I don't remember the performances being significantly different from the
> records. The memory is of the atmosphere, the sense of being present while
> history is being made.

Each of us hears differently. As a jazz musician I heard a tremendous
difference, excepting perhaps when listening to Ellington who I think goes
well beyond the "jazz musician/jazz band leader" category. And Ory & Lewis
who, IMO, were pretty much in a rut at the time you heard them live. I do
not hear much creativity from them, at all, in that time period.

Regarding Armstrong, I think "Ambassador Satch" (live concert recorded in
Europe) has a lot more energy, swing and creativity than his studio sessions
around that time But even then, the All Stars had become pretty much
formulaic. Louis Armstrong's most creative years were long gone by the
1960s. His solos were the same live as on record, he was playing the same
patterns, why shouldn't they sound the same as what he recorded previously?
He was for the most part, in effect, reprising himself.

That's why I hear "Hello Dolly" as such an interesting tune for him. Because
as banal as folks think it might be as a song, it was "fresh" for him and
IMO he, and the band did a GREAT job with it.

Regarding Holiday and Condon, I heard their live performances in Night Clubs
frequently in the 1950s. They far surpassed their studio recordings in my
ears. Again, perhaps just a difference in how we hear, or what we are
listening for. 

I have been moved to tears by Holiday live in the 50s, but never on record.

Finally, (sorry to be so long winded) I think we also hear with our eyes,
but we've been through all that before.


More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list