[Dixielandjazz] OKOM??

Vaxtrpts at aol.com Vaxtrpts at aol.com
Tue Jun 14 10:16:10 PDT 2005

In a message dated 6/14/2005 6:04:10 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
dixielandjazz-request at ml.islandnet.com writes:

If, as  we seem to agree, that "Ambassador Satch" is GREAT, why the hell
don't more  bands play with that kind of fire, energy and volume?

Steve  Barbone  

At the risk of sounding "egotistic" or whatever, while I wish I could play  
1/3 as great as Louis did, my bands have always been patterned after that 
album,  in the way we approach the music.  Both the swinging feel and the "fun"  
that they were having with the audiences!  But then, I have been accused  many 
times, of both not keeping with the tradition of the music, and of playing  the 
trumpet "too high" for dixieland jazz. Well, I learned both of those things  
listening to Louis Armstrong, long before I was listening to people like 
Maynard  Ferguson.
Louis was the "original" high note player.
As Steve has said at different times on this list, we play the repertoire  
for "today."  Kids LOVE when we play "Alexander's Ragtime Band" as a funk  tune. 
 We also play more modern tunes as "dixieland" tunes.  Playing  "Honeysuckle 
Rose" and "Scrapple From the Apple" or "Indiana" and "Donna Lee"  together are 
not only wonderful ways of showing jazz history, but always get to  young 
jazz players in schools and colleges who have never thought about the  connection 
between be-bop and traditional jazz.
My feeling has always been get to them with something that they relate to,  
and then bring them backwards in time to where you want them to be.
Luckily, there are also more and more fans at festivals these days who will  
accept this attitude.
I can remember about 25 years ago when I moved back to California from New  
Orleans and started playing the "trad" festivals.  The guys in my band had  a 
joke back then, that they knew how well we were swinging, by how many white  
haired people were running for the exits in the very first  tune................
My hope has always been that the great musicians who have gone before, who  
were so creative with a brand new music back in the early days of jazz, would  
like where we have taken their tunes.  We have not just re-created  
arrangements that have been played the same for decades.
Just my "take" on OKOM........................
Mike Vax

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