[Dixielandjazz] Help! What IS "sissified jazz"?

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Tue Jun 14 11:17:11 PDT 2005

Hello Charlie Suhor:

Oh my, don't think we can describe sissified jazz without a royal battle.
Guess the best I can do is say: "If you have to ask what 'sissified jazz'
is, you'll never know." :-) VBG (With apologies to Louis)

Perhaps sissified jazz is played by bands that look as if they would rather
be some where else. Like the drummer plays minimally with boredom written
all over his face? And the rest of the band looks barely alive?

For short timer listmates, Charlie Hook's statement about agreement may be
puzzling. He and I are old fart JAZZ MUSICIANS and rarely agree on anything
except what's important. We've had some really wing ding arguments in the
past on everything from politics to religion, BUT we mostly agree about jazz
and I love and respect his mind as well as his security about speaking it.

When we were in our 20s, Dixieland was energetic, bombastic, exciting,
visceral and played by REAL JAZZ MUSICIANS, rather than musicians who also
play jazz from time to time. Ain't that way today, for the most part.

Steve Barbone

PS. While they may be repertoire, most obscure tunes are played in a
"sissified" manner as I hear them. Admittedly, I avoid listening if I can.
BTW here in the East USA, Brubeck and the Cool Jazz of the west coast was
much admired. Then again, in those days the guys I hung out with did not pay
any attention to "critics". Like politicians, critics say the same old
things generation after generation. But they don't do anything and so they
therefore become meaningless.

on 6/14/05 1:28 PM, Charles Suhor at csuhor at zebra.net wrote:

> Help! Other than "obscure tunes," which is about repertoire rather than
> the way the music is played, and the vague phrase about overly
> intellectual jazz, I don't know what folks are talking about with
> "sissified" jazz. Can someone pin this down a little by describing the
> music, and maybe (without hurting anyone's feelings) give an an example
> or two?
> BTW, similar language was used in modern jazz criticism. Early Brubeck
> and much or the West Coast 50s modern jazz had the rep of being
> "ladies' jazz" (sexist as well as insulting to Brubeck) and too
> intellectual to be swinging, a rap that lasted a long time. The Kenton
> Band and Tristano-Konitz school were never called lightweight but were
> seen by some as pretentious or too cerebral. Interestingly, Miles was
> an admirer of Konitz and has a truly great session with him that was
> part of the album "Conception." To the credit of the critics (including
> some musicians), they often  defined the musical qualities that they
> objected to, and many later recanted.
> Charlie Suhor
> On Jun 14, 2005, at 10:50 AM, Charlie Hooks wrote:
>> On Tuesday, June 14, 2005, at 05:10 AM, Craig I. Johnson wrote:
>>> Siissified?
>> Well, yes, exactly.   Sorry to agree with Barbone, but there it is: I
>> do.
>> Charlie Hooks

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