20s weddings [was: [Dixielandjazz] Wedding Song Requests]

David W. Littlefield dwlit at cpcug.org
Wed Oct 5 10:29:48 PDT 2005

At 10:16 AM 10/05/05 -0400, Steve barbone wrote:
>Bride earlier had requested a 1920s style OKOM wedding but I
>thought she was half kidding.

Actually, the idea isn't outrageous. We played 2 weddings this year with
our mini-20s band: cornet w/fluegelbone; hot clar w/soprano,C melody; hot
alto/tenor/backup clar; banjo; tuba. 

What differentiates it from dixieland besides the 2 reeds are 
1. strong, straight 2-beat rhythm (banjo playing 4 beats, with offbeats as 
change-up) and 20s dance orchestra tempos. Except the slow pop tunes such
as "It had to be you the blood test came through" are played with a
"lilting" (slightly syncopated) 2-beat feel that's a sharp contrast with
the square 2-beat. Bluesy tunes such as "Basin Street blues" are played
basically as 4/4 rather than 2-beat, sometimes with back-beat, sometimes as
shuffle beat. "DYKWIMTMNO" is more of a light 4/4 for further variety. 

2. The 2 saxes play a lot of 20s-type harmonies, as well as hot solos. The
multi-instrumental horns create a wide variety of sounds. As it happens,
the reeds think alike and harmonize extremely well together; they've played
together at least 10 years in my dance band, and both like dixieland, so I
started using 'em both whenever I got a 3 horn gig; they jelled instantly,
so it's worked out extremely well, and the clients have been very happy.

3. Though we play dixieland classics such as "Fidgety feet" and "Tiger
rag", mostly we play pop tunes that hopefully people will recognize. 

We do use "Dixieland Fake Book" and not written arrangements.

We haven't made a CD or demo tracks yet, so there aren't any sound clips on
the website. But I suggest that prospective clients listen to both the
dixieland and swing clips, and if they've asked for dixieland, I suggest
the 20s format. 


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