[Dixielandjazz] A Jazz Lesson From 1956

Stephen G Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 22 07:39:24 PST 2009

How many times do we try and reach, or define success in  jazz? Here,  
IMO, is one of the best lessons we jazz musicians and jazz band  
leaders could ever learn. It is about the effect of that famous 27  
chorus solo by Paul Gonsalves during the Newport Jazz Festival in  
1956. (Duke Ellington's Orchestra)

The below you tube is 10 minutes long and has a running written  
explaining just what happened at Newport that midnight in July.

Very important, IMO, to understand why a hot solo will attract the  
broad audience demographic and how it will energize that audience, and  
how that audience will energize the band.

We're not talking artsy fartsy music here. We are talking the raw  
emotional power of jazz music and about a hot solo from a player who  
was not known for being one of the premier sax players in jazz. And  
how that hot, emotion reached the audience. It is, for me, a defining  
moment in jazz.

No audience for jazz? Heck, maybe we should re learn Duke Ellington's  
lesson. He was just about washed up until this this happened. He had  
been advised to quit the band business. His band was losing money,  
etc., etc., etc.

How lucky I was to be there that night to realize that emotion was the  
key to jazz communication. How lucky I am to still be leading a  
soloist oriented HOT jazz band that reaches a broad audience  
demographic. Thanks Duke and Paul for being there that night and  
igniting the crowd.


Steve Barbone

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