[Dixielandjazz] Bix and Grunge

Ken Mathieson ken at kenmath.free-online.co.uk
Tue Nov 17 14:30:35 PST 2009

Bob Ringwald wrote:
The point I am getting at is, what if Bix suddenly came back to life and heard that (so-called) music.  It is so far removed from what he played, and I'm sure removed from what he heard in his mind, that I am wondering if he would even classify it as music.  

I suspect that with his advanced comprehension of chord structure, he would like a lot of the more modern Jazz bands.  But, what would he think of something such as Grunge?  

Hi Bob et al,

I think you're right on the money with your suppositions. I can easily imagine Bix being enthralled by the music of Gil Evans, Shorty Rogers, Marty Paich etc on account of their rich and varied harmonies and respect of melody. Likewise I'm sure he'd have loved Duke Ellington. I'm not so sure he'd have been impressed by out-and-out Bix impersonators and I'm pretty certain he'd have hated a lot of recent pop and rock for its lack of subtlety, its lack of harmonic interest, its disregard for melody, and especially for its outrageous and pointless volume. He probably wouldn't like a lot of what passes for jazz nowadays either, so chances are he'd be hanging out at classical concerts, just like he did in the 1920s. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose...


Ken Mathieson

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