[Dixielandjazz] Violin in Jazz

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 11 20:10:10 PST 2005

Loved Dan Hardie's comments and wonder about what The Creole Orchestra from
New Orleans sounded like. Circa 1914 Los Angeles

Freddie Keppard Cornet
George Baquet Clarinet
Eddie Venson, Trombone
Jimmy Palao, Violin (leader)
W. M. Johnson, Double Bass
W.M. Williams, Guitar
D. Johnson, Drums

Or the Original Superior Orchestra circa 1906 with Bunk Johnson on Cornet,
Peter Bocage on Violin and Big Eye Louis Nelson on Clarinet. Plus others and
the exact same instrumentation as the Creoles above. There are numerous
early photographs of many bands with this same 7 piece instrumentation.

I think, like Dan Hardie says, the violin played the lead in these 7 piece
bands. We started doing it that way from the first moment Jonathan played
with us. Just happened naturally. I called a tune, trumpet started to play
lead, but heard J playing lead so trumpet switched to counterpoint. Just
seemed to be natural way to do things. After that, I always asked J if he
wants lead to avoid surprises and he does want lead, except on tunes he has
never played before. Violin lead is a wonderful sound.

And though Barbone Street is often characterized as a somewhat "modernized"
Dixieland Band, please note that our instrumentation with J is identical to
that of the 1914 Creole Orchestra and the 1906 Original Superior Orchestra.
Without J it is identical to that of the 1905 Buddy Bolden Orchestra.

Like how much more "Trad" can one get? :-) VBG

And since they never recorded, how does one know that we don't sound exactly
like they did? :-) VBG

Steve Barbone

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