[Dixielandjazz] Jazz; what's in a name

PHIL WILKING philwilking at bellsouth.net
Fri Mar 27 14:56:14 PDT 2009

An excellent revival band of 20+ years ago in New Orleans was the "Louisiana 
Repertory Jazz Ensemble," frequently refered to around here as "The Rep." 
They intentionally tried to recreate the performances of 1920's bands such 
as Joe Oliver's by using old arrangements and old style instruments. They 
played marches, cakewalks, one-steps, two-steps, stomps, waltzes, etc. - all 
the classic traditional jazz type tunes, all at dancing tempi - and on a 
Wednesday night in a tough neighborhood they filled up the dance floor 
(large by modern saloon standards, medium by ballroom standards) with 
college students at $3 to $5 a head cover charge, drinks not included. Every 
Wednesday night, no matter what the weather was.

The liner notes of one of their LP's recounts that an elderly woman went to 
the stand at one of their performances and told them they sounded just like 
so-and-so's band playing at dance parties of her youth, except that the 
older band played more scottisches and mazurkas than the Rep was playing. So 
the Rep added some to their repertoire.

My first point being that working bands of the "traditional jazz" period and 
earlier did take jobs of many varieties, from society dances to political 
rallies, and had to be ready to satisfy a variety of customers.

My second point being that when younger people hear the older tunes played 
at the proper tempi - dancing speed, not every tune at 240+ beats a minute - 
they love them, dance to them, and seek out the band to do it again. 
Traditional jazz - repeat bookings - steady work - who'd a-thunk it?

Phil Wilking

The New Orleans Banjo Rendez-Vous
May 14, 15, & 16, 2009
Visit www.nolabanjo.com for info

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <dwlit at cpcug.org>

> I'm not surprised that they frequently omitted mention jazz, because most
> of our favorite bands *did* play music for all occasions. Jazz was
> probably just one of the musics they played...

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