[Dixielandjazz] Varying from melody ...

Rick rickz at usermail.com
Mon Oct 5 17:17:25 PDT 2009

richard.flecknell at ntlworld.com wrote:
> It's rare for me at least to be inspired by a dire definitive original dance band version (it's not impossible though).
> But I'll carry on listening to Hots Lips rip up The Sheik, Louis triumphantly converting Sweethearts, Ed Hall on King Porter, Bonano's When the Saints, Roy Eldridge sweeping through Body and Soul, Bunk's One Sweet Letter, and on and on. Of the above mentioned I've never wished they had played the original line.
> Did the N.O.R.Ks play their own tunes as written?
> I too have used the original sheet music and first recordings if possible.
> There I've said it.
> Hope your not critizing Tatum for changing the melody and chords, your'll upset Waller.
> Richard (forgive me)
"Never apologize, it's a sign of weakness!"  -- Capt. Nathan Brittles 
(John Wayne )  "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon."

One of my young students once proposed that Jazz Tunes should be 50% 
Familiar, 50% surprise.   I think that's a good idea.   Many folks, 
(probably not us) can't recognize a tune unless you play the original 
melody to start with.   Jazz is improvisation, but it starts with a 
basis.   I think you need to prove that you:
+ Know the basis
+ Can PLAY the basis

before you can legitimately play an improv chorus.  

Bix didn't always do that, but somebody else in the band played the 
melody first... or Bing sang it.  <grin>

Rick Jolley

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list