[Dixielandjazz] The Roots of Jazz was Struck by a comment
Stephen G Barbone
barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Wed Mar 25 07:18:05 PDT 2009
Dave Richoux wrote:
"From everything I have read on the subject, the closer "dirty word"
linked to Jazz & Jass was "J*zz" / "J*ass" ( or "J*azzum" /
"J*assum" ) (or what was found on the "Famous Blue Dress") - the
barnyard links were also there, but the links to the world
ofprostitutes and pimps was 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)"
Rest assured, Dave and Listmates.
If your presentation (in adult venues) includes some of the raw
facts of life about the world of jazz, the young people will flock to
your performances. If you get back to making the program a bit bawdy
or sexy, they will become involved. It works for us.
Lots of other ways to do this. Like play "Four or Five Times" and then
follow it with "All Night Blues". Just imagine how you can link a sexy
patter between those two tunes. Or link sex to jazz with, (I Want A
Little Girl) and link drugs to jazz with (Hello Central Give Me Doctor
Jazz). Or link Social Diseases to Jazz with "Blues My Naughtie Sweetie
Gives To Me." Then you can kid the kids about how their great
grandparents were not lily pure, but were also into drugs and sex,
Talk about how all the gangsters loved this music during prohibition.
Link booze to jazz. You can create a program that is relevant to the
young audiences, and a lot of fun to present, while commenting on
Let's face it, many of us in my generation, growing up in NYC, loved
this music initially because it was slightly naughty, presented in
nightclubs owned by gangsters, and we could rub shoulders with the
mafia, show business stars in the audience who were there for the same
reason, and musicians who were on the edges of polite society. The
rough social aspects of it were just as intriguing as the music.
Somehow, we've lost all that today in deference to a shrinking
audience of "knowledgeable" jazz fans whose average age is dead, and
who have re-defined the music as art that must be heard in a sterile
That older audience might be horrified when a band plays "Four or Five
Times" and then follows it with "All Night Blues", while imparting a
sexy patter of cause and effect between those two tunes. And many
would be horrified if a band program explained what "Jazz Me Blues"
really meant. Thank goodness they are not Barbone Street's primary
There are lots of ways to connect with the young. Heck, that is what
the American Songbook Composers did. (Love for Sale) (Birds Do It,
Bees Do It etc) (Makin Whoopee) etc, etc, ad infinitum.
If anyone wants to see a program along the above lines, come see us at
The Mainstay, in Rock Hall Maryland. It is an eclectic place, small
enough to be intimate, yet large enough to pay our fee. And it is a
superb venue to hear jazz. Thursday - June 11 - 7:30 to 9:30 PM. $15
If anybody is offended by the above, get over it. <grin>
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