[Dixielandjazz] Struck by a Comment NSFW

macjazz macjazz at comcast.net
Wed Mar 25 07:06:25 PDT 2009

I've brought this up before and been criticized for it, but race is a major 
factor in this discussion.  The fact that jazz was considered (an actually 
was) a part of the Afro American society generated much of the perceived 
negativisms. The reference was highly derogatory coming from a very straight 
white society.

My dad (born in 1908) in Flint, Michigan had to "sneak down across the 
tracks" to buy Louis Armstrong records, even in the 20's. They were strictly 
a "race record" product and weren't even available in "his part of town." 
When he brought them home, his mother wouldn't let him play "that nasty 
music" in the house.  He had to go down in the basement and into a closed 
room even there, to listen to the music.

Also, it is my understanding that "Jazz" or "Jass" was originally a 
reference to fornication, not fecal matter.


Martin D. McKay, (Designated Listener)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Richoux" <tubaman at tubatoast.com>
To: "Martin D. McKay" <macjazz at comcast.net>
Cc: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 2:06 AM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Struck by a Comment NSFW

> Not quite, Phil...
> From everything I have read on the subject, the closer "dirty word" 
> linked to Jazz & Jass was "J*zz" / "J*ss" (or "J*zzum" / "J*ssum" )   (or 
> what was found on the "Famous Blue Dress")  - the barnyard links  were 
> also there, but the links to the world of prostitutes and pimps  were much 
> closer.
> Sorry if anybody was offended by this fact, but it is pretty well 
> documented! Maybe knowing the true roots of the music will bring all 
> those young people to our performances (but maybe not ;-)
> Dave Richoux
> On Mar 24, 2009, at 7:47 PM, PHIL WILKING wrote:
>> Just remember that the word "jazz" was first spelled "jass," and it  was 
>> far from a compliment. When used a century ago by the long  established 
>> musicians to characterize the music of the younger  generation, "jass" 
>> was a euphemism for "musical manure," that is:  S**T.
>> Phil Wilking
>> The New Orleans Banjo Rendez-Vous
>> May 14, 15, & 16, 2009
>> Visit www.nolabanjo.com for info
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Jerry Gordon" <jerrygordon at juno.com
>> >
>>> If we didn't avoid the J-word, then maybe "civilians" would begin to
>>> understand some of what it encompasses.
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