[Dixielandjazz] "Jazz"

Stephen G Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Thu Mar 26 08:17:07 PDT 2009

Well, Brian Wood, you nailed it shut.

"Jazz" the word is of indefinite origin and incapable of being pinned  

I would add that "Jazz" the music is also of indefinite origin and  
incapable of being pinned down (described)

Why are both origins so obscure? Perhaps because jazz started as music  
played by Blacks over a century ago. In those days not much was  
written in the US Press, or literary circles about Black history or  
Black cultural events

The answers, if they are there, are likely in black slang and Black  
oral history.
Otherwise, we might just as well believe that "Jazz" is an Irish word  
that in 1913 magically appeared to describe a San Francisco baseball  
pitcher's curveball. Then the word  "Jazz" was appropriated by  
baseball fans Johnny Stein and Nick LaRocca because they felt it  
described their new music.

Steve Barbone

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list