[Dixielandjazz] The word Jazz
tubaman at tubatoast.com
Wed Mar 25 09:51:50 PDT 2009
I have seen that idea a few times lately - for example:
...others hold, with perhaps a little more evidence, that it stems
from the French verb jaser, meaning "to chatter."...
or even this?
...One story offers perfume as a possible source of the word. When he
was a young man working in a circus band in Louisiana, Garvin Bushell
discussed the subject with some older musicians: They said that the
French had brought the perfume industry with them to New Orleans, and
the oil of jasmine was a popular ingredient locally. To add it to a
perfume was called "jassing it up." The strong scent was popular in
the red-light district, where a working girl might approach a
prospective customer and say, "Is jazz on your mind tonight, young
fellow?" The term had become synonymous with erotic activity and came
to be applied to the music as well. ...
(Jazz Anecdotes by Bill Crow, Oxford University Press, 1990)
Anyway, it makes for interesting research!
On Mar 25, 2009, at 7:58 AM, Brian Harvey wrote:
> Recent research suggests that the name Jazz for our music came from
> French "Jasser" which I am told means "to mix up".
> Can anyone confirm this?
> Brian Harvey
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