[Dixielandjazz] The Music is Not Enough

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Mon Jun 19 10:32:07 PDT 2006

Martin Nichols marnichols at yahoo.com wrote

>>Steve Barbone wrote:"Today, few of us, if any, play the music like his groups
>>did. Fewer still promote like he did. Damn, how soon we forgot the power of
>>his promotion. Too bad we all did not witness it first hand.

>>The music is not enough. It never has been."
> Marty wrote: It is true today, but when I encountered the Condon records
> back in the  50's and never stopped listening; I had a impression
> that his was one case where music was enough. It was a lot of
> the other type outfits that couldn't make it on music alone. Just my
> .02 .  And I thought the reason he was getting he attention he got was that
> for his outfit it was, "just the music." BTW, I listened to "Barbone ST." on >
> radio365 "Gumbo" show, and the trombonist according to Steve was Glenn Dodson.
> Wow, a great player and fun to hear.

Thank you, Marty, for your compliment of Glenn. I'll pass it on to him
during our gig tonight. He is a pleasure to perform with. Huge sound.

I agree with you that for some of us the music is/was enough when played by
a solid band such as Condon's. However IMO, we need to stand back a bit and
perhaps ask ourselves is/was everybody else like us? Many Dixieland fans do
not like soloist oriented "Condon Style" today, and did not like it then.

The mass audience then and now, IMO, is the same as it ever was. For some
few, the music is/was enough. But for most, the music is/was never enough.
Something more than the music attracted them. The overall ambience was in
many ways similar to the "show" that the rock stars put on today. Not nearly
as gaudy then, but surely in keeping with the times. Like the movies. Then
it was clever dialog. Today it is "special effects".

e.g. We can lament the lost dialog artistry of "All Quiet on the Western
Front", but still appreciate the special effects of "Band of Brothers".

We might also ask ourselves why people go the OKOM festivals? I think there
are many reasons besides the music.

Perhaps the most under appreciated group of marketers in the music business
were the advance men. They hyped the concerts/dances. They helped bring the
masses to the music. The publicity Condon managed to get in all the media is
what kept his place full. His persona also helped keep the place full. He
was a lot more than a competent musician. Who among today's jazz players
comes close? Only Wynton Marsalis, yet many of us complain about him for
reasons that mystify me since he has done more to promote and popularize
jazz in the last 10 years than the rest of us put together.

Steve Barbone

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