[Dixielandjazz] Jazz History

Stan Brager sbrager at verizon.net
Sun May 6 12:24:33 PDT 2012

First of all, I'd like to thank all of you who contributed your thoughts on
my quest to present the "jazz" portion of a music appreciation class for a
local community college. 


While "classical" or "serious" music is based upon unique compositions
written in a specific style (classical, romantic, whole tone, etc.), jazz
tends to be, generally, performer based. A Bach toccata would never be
performed in a romantic style. On the other hand, in jazz, any composition
can be played in any style the jazz performer wishes. This was my thought
for structuring the class around performances of "St. Louis Blues" from the
early days of jazz to later styles. For the non-jazz listener, the rhythmic
changes from blues to tango and back adds an interesting hook. Furthermore,
for today's pop music listener, the lyrics will afford a comfortable access
to the music.


Here's a list of the versions from which I'll make the presentation:


James Reese Europe

W.C. Handy

Paragon Ragtime Orchestra - "Jogo Blues" (Handy's precursor to "St. Louis

Sidney Bechet

Bessie Smith

Mildred Bailey

Dizzy Gillespie

Metronome All Stars w/Billy Eckstine

Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra

John Kirby w/Maxine Sullivan

Jack Teagarden's Big Eight

Jimmy Witherspoon

Django Reinhardt

Duke Ellington

Benny Goodman (On The Air version)

Al Grey

Charlie Bird Trio

Don Byron

George Lewis

Earl Hines

Gil Evans

St. Louis Ragtimers



Stan Brager



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