[Dixielandjazz] Original Ideas

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Tue Jun 14 07:13:40 PDT 2005

Mike Vax at Vaxtrpts at aol.com wrote (polite snip)

> I have played with too  many
> wonderful musicians, who have original ideas almost every night.   Those ideas
> are 
> NOT variations on some nebulous idea that they had a few years  ago, or even
> last night. I do have to say that the musicians I am thinking about  are not
> necessarily traditional jazz players.

I'm with you Mike. Many jazz musicians constantly re-invented themselves.
Guys like Artie Shaw, Coleman Hawkins, Tony Scott as well as many lesser
lights. Trad guys? Sure, like Bix Beiderbecke, Nicholas Peyton, Steve Lacy,
Roswell Rudd et al.

Others just continued with their first stylistic ideas and refined them.
Guys like Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk and others.

Which is better? IMO, impossible to answer because it is personal opinion.

Louis Armstrong when he was well past his creative best, is still better
listening than any of the bands playing OKOM today. We seem to agree that
many of his recorded performances (excepting Ambassador Satch) sounded just
like he did live. And why not? He was repeating himself. Bad? Hell no,
especially if you never heard him before or are not listening for new ideas.

Bottom line? Kudos to the guys who create new music as well as to the guys
who sight read, or memorize old music. But IMO, creating something new, even
if in OKOM style, is what it's all about. Hardest job in the world? To
create it every night.

Steve Barbone

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list