[Dixielandjazz] Phil Napoleon & more

Marek Boym marekboym at gmail.com
Thu Jun 2 07:37:04 PDT 2011

Dear Steve,
> If you read Elder's review and Stearn's liner notes, you will come to the
> conclusion  that they are virtually identical.

I did read both, and did indeed reach that conclusion.

 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..

I did.  And infered that, rather than trying to listen and understand,
he just repeated the "accepted authority," which made his opinion
rather irrelevant.
I hae only found two Bruce Elders who could fit the bill - a Canadian
filmm maker and an Australian journalist.  Both much younger than Mr.
> 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 purpose.

I said "either... or."
> 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..

I have never denied that.

On the other hand, Pete Daily was trying to re create a style
> that he had not played before.

But not his sidemen.  Stearns - and his echo - wrote "younger men,"
and that was what brought up my comment.  On the whole, Napoleon's
sidemen, too, were "younger men," recreating an older style.

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.

Cotribution - certainly.  But Spargo's influence was not that great.
Napoleon might have been another story.

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.

Aren't you exaggerating a wee bit?  I never said "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.

For jumping I use a rope, not conclusions.  Leaping as well.

> 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.

Did somebody mention "jumping to conclusions?"  I do not pretend to
know more than Stearns, or you.  Even immense knowledge doesn't change
facts.  Besides, although, in your opinion, I "live in denial," I do
not consider a lot of what is discussed in Mr. Stearns' book as
"jazz."  A matter of opinion - neither of us lives in Syria or in Iran
(even though I did live in a country in which only one opinion was
allowed, and claiming that jazz was legitimate music could have landed
one in jail).  I was referring to a specific statement, which I
considered wrong - and still do.
> As to Elder, I think he is from OZ. Ask Bill Haesler about him.

OK, one of the two I found on the web.  A generation that "did not
know Joseph" (a Biblical reference, translated verbatimn from Hebrew,
even if in the Bible it refers to the Pharao.

> Cheers,
> 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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