[Dixielandjazz] Jazz History

Gary Kiser gary at kiser.org
Sun May 6 02:30:59 PDT 2012

On 05/05/2012 17:39, Stan Brager wrote:
> I've been asked to teach the history of jazz as part of a music appreciation
> class which concentrates on "Classical Music". The class would last 1 to 1.5
> hours. It will be done using "St. Louis Blues" to illustrate the various
> stages of jazz. Missing would be the early New Orleans style(s). Would it be
> safe to say that Bunk Johnson or George Lewis circa the '40s - '60s would be
> appropriate? What about the NO marching bands?
> Thanks for your thoughts;
> Stan
Wow, the history of jazz in 90 minutes?!? Good luck. If it is a music 
'appreciation' class as apposed to a music history or music theory 
class, I guess they understand that you will only be able to glance over 
the subject in that amount of time. For my tastes, Johnson and Lewis are 
examples of the NO revival movement. You should start with NO jazz of 
the teens and 20s albeit, none was recorded in NOLA. To be complete, you 
could even talk about ragtime and quadrilles, but you are limited on time.

A non chronological take on jazz should touch on ragtime, legend Buddy 
Bolden, blues, NOLA, New York, Chicago, Kansas City, West Coast, small 
group & large ensembles, swing, post-swing, pre-bop, bop, post-bop, 
modal, free and I'm sure other list mates can fill in the holes that I left.

Saint Louis Blues is not a bad idea as it was recorded in the 20s and 
rerecorded in many styles ever since. I even think the Beatles did a 
version of SLB when they were getting started although it might be 
stretching it to call that jazz. The Brubeck/Desmond version of early 
60s shows a more modern light-bop version. And, the Herbie 
Hancock/Stevie Wonder version from late 90s shows a wonderful fusion 
version (I love the chord substitutions for the minor line).

Just my two cents. Good luck. You are the man for the task.

All the best, Gary

Gary Kiser
34, rue du Président Wilson
63100 Clermont-Ferrand


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