[Dixielandjazz] Bill's remark about young members

Marek Boym marekboym at gmail.com
Sat May 29 12:47:26 PDT 2010

>Almost all of the
> youngsters do traditional jazz for a short  while -- for fun -- and then
> abandon it.
>    The old expression that fits the  typical youth bands and young
> musicians is "flash in the pan."  T

> Another  consideration that I would point out -- in all kindness but also
> in  truth -- is that most of the youth bands and young musicians are so early
>  in their musically formative years that they don't improvise well.  I have
>  seen and heard those bands at festivals.  The puppy effect comes into
> play,  and music that's barely mediocre gets big rounds of applause.  Nobody
> gets  angry at a puppy when it piddles on the floor, because it's so darn
> cute.
> If those youth  bands and musicians stuck with the music, magic moments
> would eventually occur  where they finally "get it."  But they seldom work at
> the music long enough  to reach that epiphany.  For young people, there are
> too many fish to fry  (or, rather, cars to drive, girls to meet, etc).
> There are, of  course exceptions.  Two that come immediately to my mind are
> David Jellema  and Dave Sager.  They "got it" early on, and they played
> well when they  were still in high school.  Both of them used to come to the
> Shakey's  in Rockville, Maryland, to sit in with Southern Comfort on Friday
> nights -- when  they were still too young to drive themselves to the gig.  But
> they are the  exception, rather than the rule.

Oh, well...
Not long ago someone on the list reminisced about college trad bands
of the '50's and '60's.  How many players from those bands stayed with
the music?  Not too many.  And not all those bands were so great,
either.  Still, some musicians (and bands) are still at it.  So why do
you think it should be different now?

Of course, our experience is different than American experience, but
we seem to have more traditional jazz (including Gypsy swing) now than
50 years ago, or even 10 years ago.

> There will always be people  who enjoy listening to and playing traditional
> jazz -- just as there are still  people who like to maintain and drive
> Model T cards, operate antique steam  engines, stage Civil War reenactments,
> etc.  But they are all very  small minorities.
> We may as well stop talking  about keeping traditional jazz alive and
> accept the inevitable ... distasteful  though it may be to us.

I don't think so.  Classical music - also a minority thing - has
survived for centuries.  Why not traditional jazz?  It may never again
be as widespread as in the 1950's or 1960's, but disappear?


More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list