[Dixielandjazz] Re: Creating and Recreating

JimSox at aol.com JimSox at aol.com
Tue Sep 20 09:43:49 PDT 2005

In a message dated 9/20/05 9:13:00 AM, Vaxtrpts at aol.com writes:

> 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."

No, but if you recreate the kind of creativity earlier musicians displayed, 
is that jazz?  Listening to Bix records for years, I marveled at how often he 
could toss off wholly new, wholly formed statements that at the same time were 
both novel and yet so right on that they could seemingly be played no other 
way.  Trouble is, after you listen to a record umpteen times, it no longer 
sounds like improvisation, just repetition.

So as a listener, how can you keep getting that thrill of appreciating the 
instant art that is jazz?  Well, with Bix, you could get it whenever you found 
an alternate take you hadn't heard before.  The context is the same, but bang, 
out comes an entirely new statement, also perfect.  It is as if you are 
sitting before the actual person, witnessing the creative process as it occurs.  Of 
course, eventually you run out of Bix records.

So now what?  Well, you can listen to a guy like Tom Pletcher.  There's the 
occasional phrase as Bix played it, which allows you to re-live that thrill 
you've experienced before.  And there are wholly new ideas, but in the precise 
same genre, as if Bix were still there creating as he did at the time (and not 
as his might have evolved had he survived).  And there is music that does go 
off in a different direction, when Pletcher strays from the particular genre, 
and his own ideas evolve.  And that's great, too.

So, what the hell am I trying to say?  I like re-creations when they're done 
well.  I like new stuff played in the old styles.  And I like new directions. 
It's all jazz to me.  And I never make requests, because if the musicians are 
playing what THEY like, if they're skilled and they're into it. then chances 
are good I'll like it, too.

But, sorrry, try as I might, I just can't get into modern jazz.

Jim Branson
Berkeley, Calif.

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