[Dixielandjazz] Jazz Definitions/categories

tcashwigg at aol.com tcashwigg at aol.com
Sat Jan 13 16:16:50 PST 2007

Ahhh but yes,,  History, we can all learn from it if we but read it a 
bit more :))

Now the shoe has turned and the Arabs are calling the crusaders  
"Infidels"  !!!  hummm
 could it be they are reading history and we are not ?

wonder what they think of SHEIK Littelfield's fake books :))

Tom Wiggins

Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Jazz Definitions/categories

   Fred Hoeptner fredhep at earthlink.net wrote:

>In my opinion, musical styles are simply not subject to assignment of 
>and fast boundaries; instead, they are fuzzy.   A valid definition, 
say of
>"trad jazz," must emphasize typical characteristics.  As a particular
>example deviates away from these characteristics, at some point it no 
>should be called "trad jazz."  This point is not subject to objective
>determination, but is more a matter of consensus among the 

>Although a recognition of the above may make the development of a 
>easier, truly the list of typical characteristics deviates with time.
>Commercial interests were a usual culprit here.  For example, when 
>became faddish, publishers scurried to label their products "ragtime" 
>matter the degree of syncopation that was present.

Right on. It depends upon who is doing the defining, and how strict one 
with points of deviation. It's tough to obtain a consensus. At what 
should it not be called trad jazz. Lots of latitude there.

When I started to play again in 1990, after a 30 year lay off, I went to
open mic nights at various jazz joints in the Philadelphia area. I 
needed to
get my chops back and sought out every opportunity to do so. Most of the
players were young people playing songs out of Real Book One, or Real 
Two. The slightly older players were playing pure bop and or avant 
garde as
best they could. Only a few really older guys like me were conversant 
and/or traditional jazz. (I was always the oldest player there)

When I would go to sit in, and/or was talking with the kids, they would 
me what kind of jazz I preferred. When I said "Traditional Jazz", they 
grin and say you mean like Hawkins, Dizzy and Bird? They'd add DeFranco
after seeing that I played clarinet.

You can imagine how I became the "early" jazz expert with these kids. 
to the point of bringing lead sheets for swingers like "Honeysuckle 
Rose" or
"Lady Be Good", or "Rosetta" for them to play along with me.

The lack of knowledge among young people about the history of jazz as 
as some of the great tunes becomes apparent when you talk with them. We 
played Bird's Koko. The young drummer (learning jazz in high school) 
"Wow, that tune's a bitch. What's it called, who wrote it," etc. "Man" I
replied, that is THE SEMINAL BOP TUNE." and later that night gave him 
history of that tune and bop. He could play it, but had no idea of the
relevance. Kind of like King Bolding.

Will the  TRAD definition change after the rest of us old folks die?
Probably. After all, consider that "Infidel" was the term Crusaders 
used to
define Arabs almost a thousand years ago. One never knows, do one?

Steve Barbone

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