[Dixielandjazz] Phil Napoleon & more

Stephen G Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 2 06:48:02 PDT 2011

Dear Marek:

If you read Elder's review and Stearn's liner notes, you will come to  
the conclusion  that they are virtually identical. It is almost as it  
Elder's review copied Stearn's ,liner notes. I thought that you would  
immediately see that and is one of the reasons I forwarded the Elder  
review to you..

Other than that, your sense of conspiracy as to motives is rather  
incredible. First you say Stearns had no knowledge about the music,  
now you back track and say because of his knowledge he misleads us on  

The bottom line is relatively simple. Phil Napoleon was not trying to  
recreate a style. He was playing HIS style, developed at the beginning  
of the jazz age.. On the other hand, Pete Daily was trying to re  
create a style that he had not played before. Listening to who played  
what in any depth should convince you of that.

As to who had how many "original" players, Napoleon had 2. Himself and  
Tony Spargo. Their contributions to jazz are well documented. Daily  
had 2 also who were much less influential on the development of jazz.

Your original post rakes Stearns over the coals as a know nothing. I  
am simply correcting the record in that regard. He was far more  
knowledgeable about jazz history and the music than you will ever be  
as a "fan", with a flair for jumping to conclusions without any back- 
up knowledge.

Then you say you read Stearn's book and dismiss it with "So?". Of  
course,you  ignore the huge scope of Stearn's research and  
accomplishments within the jazz genre, and the fact that he personally  
knew, was friends with, and had business dealings and research  
projects with many of the jazz movers and shakers that you can only  
read about. Your apparent sense that you know more than he does about  
the music is stunning.

As to Elder, I think he is from OZ. Ask Bill Haesler about him.

Steve Barbone

> On 2 June 2011 04:42, Stephen G Barbone  
> <barbonestreet at earthlink.net> wrote:
>> On Jun 1, 2011, at 3:46 PM, Marek Boym wrote: (in part)
>>> Dear Steve,
>>> Semantics or not, I beg to disagree.
>>> We do not quite know what Daily played in 1930.  The review does not
>>> prove anything.  It even claims that "Napoleon's outfit features a  
>>> lot
>>> of original players from the 1920s."  This alone casts serious doubt
>>> on the reviewer's knowledge of jazz history and understanding of the
>>> music itself.
>> Dear Marek:
>> Not to belabor the point, but  music critic Marshall Stearns whose  
>> review
>> you first questioned
> Not the review - the liner notes.
>> "This alone casts
>> serious doubt on the reviewer's knowledge of jazz history and  
>> understanding
>> of the music itself"  is a leap to an erroneous conclusion.
> Not Stearns' - Elder's.
>> Far be it from me to defend a critic, however Mr. Stearns besides  
>> being an
>> author of books about jazz,
> I have "The Story of Jazz," and have read it more than once.  So?
> and writer about jazz in numerous magazines like
>> Variety, Downbeat etc., founded the Institute of Jazz Studies in  
>> his NYC
>> apartment, then negotiated its relocation to Rutgers University in  
>> Trenton
>> NJ. The Institute now claims to be the largest and most comprehensive
>> library and archive of jazz in the world. Here is Mr. Stearns mission
>>  statement, circa 1953.
>> I suspect that Mr. Stearns knew more about the music itself than  
>> you and I
>> put together.
> Perhaps.  But he still gave the wrong impression.  Because of his
> knowledge I suspected that he might have done so on purpose.
> And the last posting, the one which you have answered, was about Bruce
> Elder, the reviewer.
> Cheers

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