[Dixielandjazz] Violin in Jazz

D and R Hardie darnhard at ozemail.com.au
Sat Mar 12 15:11:40 PST 2005

Hi Steve,
  While the Bolden band photo shows 2 clarinets other evidence confirms 
that he most often had a violin lead. Our experiments
with the 2 clarinet lead  formula have not yet proved fruitful, being 
confused about who was doing what, but we did try piccolo lead  (a la 
the Eagle band with Bab Frank as leader and Bunk Johnson on cornet). 
That was a good sound.
  I did read a comment somewhere that the Creole Orchestra sounded much 
like the ODJB
when the latter was not playing hell for leather for recording purposes.
Our current  line up is the same as the Creole Orchestra. Played with 
sensitivity the continuous violin lead does not need to be  screechy, 
though Shiek's comments sound right on. It can also be very jazzy 
indeed in the right hands. The sweet sounding cornet is well matched to 
the fiddle's tone.
  Let's have a copy of the wax cylinder  record when you get it.
Dan Hardie
On Saturday, March 12, 2005, at 03:10  PM, Steve barbone wrote:

> 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
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
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