[Dixielandjazz] Pointless Definitions

Ken Mathieson ken at kenmath.free-online.co.uk
Sun Jul 6 14:54:18 PDT 2008

Hi All,

The current "Hot Dance Music" bun-fight kind of underlines the pointlessness of definitions. Was it Duke or Louis who offered this as a definition of Jazz? "It's just another way of playing music." On the face of it not a very helpful definition, but in retrospect as good as any. Also, how is "orchestra" defined? I was taken to task for calling my band the Classic Jazz Orchestra when there are only eight of us, on the basis that bookers and the public would expect no less than seventeen, and maybe more, players. The only definition of orchestra that makes sense to me "is a group of musicians who play from orchestrations," but if the solos are improvised, what should it be called? Oh sh*t, does that mean I've got a Hot Dance Band?

Ken Mathieson


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