[Dixielandjazz] Preservation Hall Players

Robert Smith robert.smith at tele2.no
Wed Oct 4 04:05:54 PDT 2006

Well, Bill Haesler has thrown down the gauntlet, so here's my two penn'orth:

I have a few recordings of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band up to and 
including 1986. The 1986 recordings are a video from a concert in 
Kristiansand. It seems to me that they do represent and attempt to preserve 
the true spirit of the original New Orleans jazz. The music is harmonious, 
with both ensemble and simple solos. The solos do not deviate much from the 
melody line, and are certainly not designed to demonstrate the soloist's 
technical skills. The solos are far removed from the later soloists' 
departures into the stratosphere, a trend that began with Louis Armstrong, 
Jimmie Noone, Coleman Hawkins, and others one can name.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not knocking the later soloists, just giving my 
opinion of why we shouldn't knock the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. In my 
opinion they are continuing the aim of Allan Jaffe (one of the founder 
members) to preserve the spirit of true New Orleans jazz, as opposed to 
Chicago and New York jazz as epitomised by King Oliver and Duke Ellington.

We don't have much recorded evidence of how New Orleans jazz really sounded, 
only some twenty-odd recordings actually made in New Orleans in the 1920's, 
so it's valuable that the Preservation Hall Jazz Band can give us some idea 
of how the music really sounded.


Bob Smith

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