[Dixielandjazz] What happened to Jazz?

Charles Suhor csuhor at zebra.net
Tue Jan 9 13:01:34 PST 2007

A great analysis, Steve. I agree wholeheartedly. --Charlie

On Jan 9, 2007, at 12:14 PM, Steve Barbone wrote:

> I don't agree with the popular notion that Bop started the decline of 
> trad
> jazz, In fact far from it.
> Trad jazz, e.g. small band Dixieland, Louis Armstrong type stuff etc.,
> started to decline much earlier than when bop became popular as a jazz 
> form.
> Remember, the "West Coast Trad jazz Revival" began in the late 1930's 
> which
> would indicate that trad had been in decline before that time. And 
> during
> the 1930's, Louis was playing with and/or fronting larger dance bands, 
> not
> playing the good old Hot5/7 stuff. He didn't come back to small band
> Dixieland until 1947, during the so-called bop years. He and the All 
> Stars,
> became immensely popular all over again.
> And the "New Orleans Jazz Revival" in NYC started in the mid 1940's 
> when Bop
> was also getting popular. That Revival co-existed nicely with bop into 
> the
> early 1960s.
> Bop itself had a very short life span as "popular" jazz. From about 
> 1945 to
> about 1960 by which time it was no longer revolutionary. Miles and 
> Ornette
> then took Bop to other places. Fusion, Free Jazz etc.
> If you want to pin a primary causal factor on the demise of Trad Jazz, 
> IMO,
> it would be "Swing". But even then, we fall into the trap of thinking 
> that
> as one style becomes popular, the other one dies. That is not the case 
> IMO.
> They all coexist together. None really dies, some just become less 
> popular.
> What I remember from the 1950s in NYC was first that bop was already in
> decline. And Swing was also in decline with the breakup of most big 
> swing
> bands. The ex-swing band musicians then became Dixieland players 
> because in
> NYC, at least, Dixieland was booming. More so than bop. Swing players 
> like
> DeParis, Eldridge, Jonah Jones, Vic Dickenson, even Hawkins, and 
> countless
> others all came to play Dixieland.
> But, since neither Swing, nor Dixieland was played for dancers any 
> more, the
> kids had to go elsewhere. And that elsewhere was Elvis, Beatles, and
> countless other Rock bands who were simply playing The Blues for kids 
> who
> liked to dance.
> Much is made over supposed hip bop musicians disrespecting mouldy fig
> Dixieland players and vice versa and a lot of that is politically 
> correct
> bullshit created by the media types. Many of those quotes are taken 
> out of
> context and do not reflect what was really happening on the scene.
> Like when Clifford Brown became known, it was Pee Wee Erwin who told 
> me I
> should listen to him. And Davern was aware of, and saw the positives 
> in Free
> Jazz. He even played it with Archie Shepp, Roswell Rudd Charlie Haden 
> and
> others. Many of the "real" jazz players in the 50s were not only 
> cognizant
> of, but could appreciate what the "other" guys were doing. Even if they
> didn't completely agree with what the others were doing. Contrary to 
> popular
> belief, Dizzy and Louis were GREAT FRIENDS as well as neighbors in 
> Corona.
> What killed trad jazz? The fact that it was no longer being played for 
> kids
> who were interested in Booze, Dancing, Carousing and Hooking Up. It is 
> that
> simple, and any of you old farts out there who went to the Central 
> Plaza or
> the Stuyvesant Casino in NYC in the 40s and 50s will surely remember 
> that
> truly wonderful scene. Too bad it ended.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
> _______________________________________________
> Dixielandjazz mailing list
> Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
> http://ml.islandnet.com/mailman/listinfo/dixielandjazz

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list