[Dixielandjazz] (no subject)

Don Mopsick mophandl at landing.com
Thu Jun 14 09:53:16 PDT 2007

Dan Spink writes:


<<To all the hard working bands out there, I'd love to hear your opinion

what I hope you won't call a dumb idea. It seems to me that OKOM's  appeal 

could be broadened considerably by augmenting the list of songs played.

anyone venture into the 60's through 90's guitar-based repertoire and do it

Dixie style, for example? When I played piano in a Dixie band we would  

occasionally do Broadway show tunes in Dixie style (even before Louie's

Dolly) and it worked. Am I stating the obvious that everyone does already or

there room for new experimentation here?>>


Dan: the problem is not that there is a lack of good tunes for jazz bands to
play that come from the pre-war era, the problem is that you are not
familiar with the existing ones that hardly ever get played by today's
"Dixieland" bands. And I'm talking about great tunes that were played many
times by many different great, swinging and stomping bands such as
Armstrong, Bix, Eddie Condon, Muggsy Spanier, and the Bob Crosby Bob Cats,
not un-jazz obscurities and novelty tunes that get played by
banjo/ragtime/nostalgia/show bands today like "My Canary's Got Circles Under
His Eyes" and "Radio."


Here is a teeeny-weeny list of just a small fraction of the great tunes that
you probably wouldn't have ever heard unless you listen to a lot of old


Strut Miss Lizzie

Oh, Sister, Ain't That Hot!


Mournin' Blues

Big Boy

Black Bottom Stomp

Chicago Breakdown

Delta Bound

Dogtown Blues

Eccentric Rag



Gypsy Love Song

I Ain't Gonna Tell Nobody

King Chanticleer

Mahogany Hall Stomp

Mandy, Make Up Your Mind

Muddy Water

New Orleans Stomp

Oriental Strut

Prince of Wails

Rose of the Rio Grande

She's Cryin' For Me

Singin' the Blues



That's No Bargain

Weather Bird Rag

Song of the Wanderer


Anything worth having is worth working for. YOU must pay the dues, do the
work of researching these and many, many other tunes, learing how to play
them with the original melody and changes and finding out where they came
from, who recorded them, and why they are great works of art. In my opinion
this is the most noble work a musician can do. Again, these are NOT
obscurities, they all were recorded repeatedly through many decades by the
best in the business. The simple fact is that there is an OCEAN of good
tunes right in the style bulls-eye of the most classic jazz that ever was,
all there for you to play, without your having to resort to out-of-bounds
inappropriate repertoire. 


(Where, you may ask, do I find this great stuff? Well, there's Google. And,
here's another shortcut: www.riverwalkjazz.org
<http://www.riverwalkjazz.org/> )


It's just not enough for your band to play the Bourbon Street Top 10
(Bourbon St. Parade, The Saints, Ain't She Sweet, If You Knew Susie, St.
James Infirmary, Basin Street Blues, etc.) and sell yourselves as a JAZZ
band. Further, with all the rich material available to you, why would you
want Hostess Twinkies when you can have lobster tail? 


All I ask is this: I know that imitation is a most sincere form of flattery,
but please write your own arrangements and don't steal ours. And, go find
some different tunes than we play so WE can steal them. 





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