[Dixielandjazz] Violin in OKOM

Charles Suhor csuhor at zebra.net
Sat Mar 12 10:38:09 PST 2005

David aka Sheik makes a good point. There are many lineup variations 
possible in OKOM--like the violin lead or doubling with brass as Sheik 
describes, like Bechet often playing the melody while others jammed 
behind him, like the early bands that played all ensemble, "switching" 
the lead to other instruments after the first-chorus trumpet lead, etc. 
But it does seem  that the most enduring ensemble division-of-labor, 
the one that seems to satisfy a listener's readiness for clear and 
uncluttered interplay of musical imagination, the one that shook out 
after others had been tried over the years, is the 
trumpet-trombone-clarinet lineup.

Are humans in some way hard-wired for reception of this kind of 
well-balanced musical interplay? It's what Bach and other Baroque 
composers for ensemble, organ, and choral music achieved in their 
fugues, which I came to love, I think, because of my early love of N.O 
and Dixieland jazz ensembles.

Charlie Suhor

On Mar 11, 2005, at 7:07 PM, David W. Littlefield wrote:

> At 11:18 AM 03/12/05 +1100, D and R Hardie wrote:
>> It adds a higher
>> register melody line as the violinist can be up above the cornet.
> When I had my 10-piece 20s band, one thing I noticed was that after 
> hearing
> several tunes, they all started sounding alike, rather like a brass 
> band
> because of the 2 cornets, t-bone, and tuba 2-beat rhythm. I had a 
> chance to
> listen closely to another band playing some of the same charts using a
> violin, which often plays melody along with the brass. The violin 
> nicely
> softened/lightened the brass band sound. Unfortunately the leader left 
> the
> violin in all the time, even on jazzy tunes which should have been 
> brassy,
> so everything sounded alike, but this time after a while it became
> irritatingly screechy...
> --Sheik
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