[Dixielandjazz] What Killed Jazz? (Assuming Jazz is dead)

tcashwigg at aol.com tcashwigg at aol.com
Wed Jan 10 12:13:31 PST 2007

Jazz is not dead, it just keeps moving so you can't put it into one 
specific place anymore, it travels down many different roads and shows 
up in the most unlikely places with great audiences, unfortunately it 
rarely leaves a forwarding address, ya gotta follow the big Yellow Gig 
Bus with all the musicians on it. :))

Ahh yes, but I remember when "land of 1000 Dances was at the top of the 
Charts :))  And for a good reason, everybody was dancing that was not 
dead yet.  Or just wallflowers or Too Cool to dance or get laid :))

And Do Ya Wanna Dance ?

How about Your Mamma don't dance and your Daddy don't Rock & Roll ?

IN the 50,and 60, almost all the pop songwriters were writing songs and 
creating DANCES to go with them :))

How quickly we forget :))

Like the Huckelbuck, Jitterbug, Charleston,  The Twist, Mashed 
Potatoes, The Pony, The Monkey, The Slide, The Hustle, The Get Back 
Jack,  The Bug,  The Swim, The  Harlem Shuffle, The Tighten Up,  we 
even had clubs named after some of them,  like The Peppermint Twist,

And sooooo many more that I forgot I am sure.  Come on ladies you will 
remember them better than most of the stuffy old Codgers who would 
never dance with you.

Lose the dancers and you lose your audience for the masses.  Been that 
way since the Waltz folks,  Young People always want to shake their 
booties, and even if they won't admit it the old men love to watch em 
shake em too along with boobies, why do you think the PONY was so 
popular?  or the Monkey, Jitterbug,

Tom  "Dancin' Like Nobody's Watchin" Wiggins

-----Original Message-----
From: barbonestreet at earthlink.net
To: dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
Sent: Tue, 9 Jan 2007 10:33 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] What Killed Jazz? (Assuming Jazz is dead)

   David Dustin <postmaster at fountainsquareramblers.org>

 >> Steve Barbone wrote:

>> I don't agree with the popular notion that Bop started the decline 
of trad
>> jazz, In fact far from it.
> David Answers:==================

> You're entitled to your opinion.  Mike didn?t ask what killed TRAD 
> asked what killed JAZZ - in the sense of deposing it from its 
domination of
> American popular music during the 1920s and 1930s/early 40s - and I 
stand by
> my response.

What other kind of jazz was there in the 20's and 30's other than what 
call OKOM and/or trad jazz?

> JAZZ was alive and well, through the immense popularity of
> Swing bands, up until the emergence of Bop by the end of WW2.

Maybe, maybe not. Here is a quote from Glenn Miller in 1940  after "Down
Beat" accused him of forsaking jazz: "It's all in what you define as 
jazz. It happens that to our ears, harmony comes first. A dozen colored
bands have a better beat than mine. Our band stresses harmony."

Hmmm. Could as well have been Guy Lombardo talking. And BTW, Lombardo 
other sweet bands had developed huge followings, audience that they had
taken away from the "Jazz Bands." By say 1940, I'm not entirely sure 
"jazz" was still the leading genre of American "popular" music.

You also have to consider that under your time line, jazz was alive and 
until the emergence of Stan Kenton's Band by the end of WW2. Was 
Stan Kenton the one who killed jazz? Certainly, by his own admission his
bands did not swing. He said; "I have always maintained that a thing 
necessarily have to swing all the time to be jazz, because there's a 
way of playing music that came from the jazz conception that can be 
to rubato movement in music or any sort of time, any conception of 
time. It
doesn't always have to be a swing thing."

Kenton had a strong following for a while, and still impacts jazz, but 
never "grabbed" the major popular music audience. Why not blame him?

> Regardless of
> the extent to which Bop represents (to some of us) an artistic 
triumph on
> the part of players like Bird, Diz, Roach, Trane et al., or offers 
> of scintillation to some of us, it was not a popular success and set 
> wheels in motion for the resounding eclipse of JAZZ as THE popular 
art form
> in the United States. Truth be told, I can admire a little West 
> Jazz too, after a few drinks, and have been known even to blow some 
of it
> myself if I?m in the right company.  But there is nothing ? NOTHING 
-- that
> can persuade me that Salt Peanuts, Koko, or even Giant Steps is worth
> crossing the street to hear if there?s a hot OKOM band inside a 
> radius squeezing the grease out of Doctor Jazz, Hindustan, or the 
> Dixieland One-Step.  I?d rather listen to Hank Williams...or Elvis. 
> history shows a lot of returning servicemen didn?t take long to make a
> similar decision once they got home from the war.  And that?s what 
> JAZZ, sports fans.

Agree that Bop was never a popular genre. Could care less about 
triumph". Simply disagree that Bop set any wheels in motion that killed
jazz. Glad you admire some "cool". Disagree about Koko, Ambivalent about
Salt Peanuts and Giant Steps. But so what. We are two different 
Thank goodness for that else the world would be a dull place.

As I remember it, those returning servicemen had plenty of "Small Band
Swing" and Dixieland to listen to. Back then, in NYC, I was just a 
couple of
years younger than they were and grew up listening to Dixieland, Small 
Swing, Basie and Ellington. And also the sweet bands of Ray Anthony, 
Flanigan and others. Wasn't really aware of Bop until about 1952 when 
it was
already in decline and I was by then, a wannabe jazz musician. Shoot, 
and SBS were far more popular, and far more available than bop. They got
more air play on the radio, they were presented live in more clubs. So 
folks went to Country & Western, or Elvis, or The Beatles, it wasn't 
they chose to do so in preference to hearing bop, it was more likely 
they didn't want to hear that readily available jazz in Dixieland and/or
Small Band Swing form.

Which leads back to my original thesis. That in the 1930s, Swing and 
Bands got the dancers from Dixieland which had them in the 1920s. And 
when the Swing and Sweet Bands (dance bands) broke up, and small band 
and  Dixieland were played for "listening" only, after WW2, the dancers 
to C&W  Elvis, etc.

Think back. What did you see on the very popular music/dance show, 
Bandstand on TV back then? From about 1956, kids that had been dancing 
swing, now dancing to R & R, which was simply the Blues early on. 
had always been the key to popular music whether it was jazz or no. And
Dixieland and Small Band Swing, the two most popular jazz forms, as 
well as
Bop, a much less popular jazz form were not being played for dancing in 
venues. (Save perhaps Dixieland as played by Lester Lanin and other 
Bands for the moneyed crowd)

Steve Barbone

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