[Dixielandjazz] Re-creations - was Marsalis - was Wax Cylinders

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 15 09:03:15 PDT 2006

anton.crouch at optusnet.com.au wrote:
Hello all

>Fr Mike wrote:
>Marsalis ... "Tom Cat Blues"...
>And listen to the sample.  Definitely not what I expected!,

-----Anton Message

I wonder what Mike expected - does he not know the original?   :-)

Going on the clips on Amazon, I won't be rushing out to buy the CD.
Marsalis does a passable imitation of George Mitchell but his King Oliver
is not much chop.

The broader question is - why do modern players do these recreations and/or
homages? The originals are easy to come by and I am sceptical of the claims
that modern recordings bring people to the originals.

On a technical matter, the Oliver/Morton duets were disc recordings and
probably the first commercially issued electrical recordings.

----- end Anton message

SB answers the question with an opinion;

I think people do these re-creations/homages because there is an audience
that likes to see/hear them and the musicians can make money. Just as Anton,
myself and some others might not go out of our way to do so because we have
already heard the originals and are able to listen through the poor
recording technique and/or extraneous noise to the beauty of an original

To me, at least, a note for note re-creation is not really jazz and while
somewhat enjoyable, there are many more original jazz performances around
which I prefer to hear.

Especially given my opinion that early recordings were less than the
artist's best in the first place because they were usually recorded at say
9AM, after a 9 to 4 club date by the muso's who were tired, full of alcohol
and mainly wanted to get the session over with. To re-create that seems to
me, to be copying art that is less than the best. However, if there is an
audience, go for it.

Homages that do not faithfully copy exact notes/phrases, arrangements, etc.,
are a different issue. IMO. Listening to Ed Metz and the BobCats gives one a
different perspective from the original Bob Crosby group. The arrangements
are updated and the musicians doing their own creative soloing. If he were
just to copy the early records, what would be the point?

I would recommend buying Ed's CD to hear the difference.

Steve Barbone

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