[Dixielandjazz] Creating and Recreating
Vaxtrpts at aol.com
Vaxtrpts at aol.com
Tue Sep 20 09:08:03 PDT 2005
In a message dated 9/20/2005 8:23:30 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
dixielandjazz-request at ml.islandnet.com writes:
How is this relevant to enjoying OKOM? You professional jazz people have
your own brand of tunnel vision: when you put down mouldy figgism, you
ignore the fact that the music the dead guys recorded had its own aesthetic
validity that exists regardless of what they might have done later in life,
and therefore will grab
some folks who listen to music purely to enjoy it and others who play music
David W. Littlefield, Piano, Guitar, Banjo, Washboard
Ah, David, you hit the proverbial "nail on the head!" The "dead guys"
played it GREAT!
By just recreating something that will never be done as well as the original
players did it, you are in my opinion, doing a disservice to their legacy.
THEY would not have wanted their music recreated note for note.
I know for a fact -- after hanging out with people like Louis Cotrell, Frog
Joseph, Sweet Emma Barrett, Placide Adams, Percy Humphrey, Freddy Kohlman,
Wallace Davenport, Pappa French, Alvin Alcorn, and many others during my time
in New Orleans more than 25 years ago, that they were always searching for new
ways to play the music that they had been playing for so long. They didn't
just want to recreate what they had done 40 - 50 years earlier and they
didn't want to hear younger guys like me do it either.
I love this music because of the freedom it gives the musician to "be their
If you want to recreate old music, then that is your prerogative. And I am
sure that you do it well, and that you have an audience that will listen. I
just don't feel that it should be called "Jazz." The term I like to use for
that kind of playing is "Early 20th century American popular music." That is
NOT a put down, it just describes the kind of music you are playing. As I
said before, for ME -- in order for it to be called jazz music, there needs to
be creativity and improvisation.
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