[Dixielandjazz] Vince Giordano and The Flapper - Showmanship Revisited.

Stephen G Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Wed May 23 06:53:04 PDT 2012

WOW, OKOM at a Premier NYC Venue. Check out the last paragraph. That's  
what we say about current "music". Same S*** different day. <grin>. Is  
this "art" music or sexy music? Methinks Sexy music, which is why it  
was so popular among the young in the 1920s And why it spawned rants  
against it like the one from the Ladies Home Journal below. Want to re  
popularize it? THINK SEX.

Steve Barbone

Dangerous and Funny: She’s Still a Flapper

By Stephen Holden - NY Times - May 22, 2012

The flapper — the tough-talking party girl with bobbed hair, a  
spangled headband and a shocking disdain for propriety — may be an  
archetype associated with the 1920s. But since her ascendance, she has  
never really disappeared. Wearing different outfits, the British bird  
of the 1960s and the breakdancing b-girl of the 1980s are among  
countless offshoots. Let’s not forget that defiant pop shape-shifter  
Madonna, a flapper to her bones, no matter what she wears.

And now there’s Carole J. Bufford, a sizzling cabaret performer who in  
her show “Speak Easy” at the Metropolitan Room offers the fullest  
realization I can remember of a 1920s girl gone wild. Ms. Bufford has  
a bright, rangy voice and big blue eyes that emit snapping electrical  
charges. She can be dangerous, but she is also funny.

“Speak Easy” is a thoroughly researched informal history of pop during  
the Prohibition era in which Ms. Bufford is joined by Vince Giordano  
and the Nighthawks, New York’s premier vintage jazz band. Its theme is  
announced by the bouncy “How Are You Going to Wet Your Whistle (When  
the Whole Darn World Goes Dry?”) before she makes the plunge into Cole  
Porter’s “Let’s Misbehave.” Spitting out Porter’s “Love for Sale,” she  
embodies a hard-shelled prostitute radiating contempt.

Ms. Bufford celebrates the legendary saloonkeeper Texas Guinan, who  
greeted customers with a hearty “Hello, suckers!” According to Ms.  
Bufford, Guinan made $700,000, the equivalent of around $10 million  
today, in only eight months.

Ms. Bufford bites into the dirty blues with a growling “You’ve Got the  
Right Key, in the Wrong Keyhole”; leads an audience singalong of “Side  
by Side”; and pays tribute to the proto-torch singer Vaughn De Leath,  
once nicknamed the First Lady of Radio.

Some of the funniest bits at Saturday’s show are readings from popular  
literature of the day. Here’s what an anti-jazz rant in a 1921 issue  
of Ladies’ Home Journal had to say about “the sin in syncopation”:

“The effect of jazz on the normal brain produces an atrophied  
condition on the brain cells of conception, until very frequently  
those under the demoralizing influence of the persistent use of  
syncopation, combined with inharmonic partial tones, are actually  
incapable of distinguishing between good and evil, right and wrong.”

That’s quite a mouthful. Translated, it means that jazz will drive you  

Carole J. Bufford will perform on Thursday and on June 16 at the  
Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street, Manhattan; (212) 206-0440,  

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