[Dixielandjazz] FW: Re: Disavowing our roots

Brian Havey sweet.figlio at btinternet.com
Wed Jan 16 01:34:52 PST 2013


Thanks to Anton Crouch for his thoughtful input.

The problem with restrictive regimes is surely that they can be and often are sterile.

As Louis and Duke found – to survive they needed to adapt the essence of their music – without diluting it’s core – in order to maintain audiences.

Duke and Basie had at one point to give up their orchestras and subsist with small groups.

Louis similarly gave up his big band and the All Stars were born.

And all this was is in the face of economic necessity – the necessity of putting “bums on seats”.

A sterile policy leads surely to sterility?.

I know – I’ve been there.

For years I insisted that every live band I paid to see had to have a banjo.

Then I woke up and my audiences – for broadcasts and recitals – have trebled.

People who previously thought they hated jazz now find they love it – even if not by name – I’ve stopped using labels.

The enthusiasts who insist on only living within the restrictions of the jazz labelling system are deluding themselves and their followers.

The result quite frequently is that the musicians they patronise end up playing the labels rather than the music.

But its healthy that the debate continues.

Brian Harvey









From: Anton Crouch [mailto:anton.crouch at optusnet.com.au] 
Sent: 15 January 2013 07:55
To: ♫ Sharp Bill - - B# ♫
Cc: Brian Havey; Dixieland Jazz Mailing List
Subject: Re: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Disavowing our roots


Hello all

I agree with Brian Harvey on this issue and think that Bill Sharp is a touch unreasonable. Why?

1. Those who now play OKOM are not "historians" in any sense that a scholar would use the word. "Re-enactment" is useful and brings out the element of cultural preservation. Re-enactment illuminates the facts of history but it is not, in itself, history.

2. "Laws", as Bill shows, are actually  by-laws or a charter and depend on interpretation of phrases such as "Dixieland Jazz Music". Think of all the fun and games we've had on DJML with the interpretation of such phrases.

3. Brian argues for an evolutionary approach - note his use of the word "diversity".

4. What do people have against Cajun?  :-)                  Musicologically it is of interest to jazz enthusiasts - remember that it started as French/African dance music in Louisiana. Does this origin sound familiar?

5. Louis Armstrong and yodeling - right-on. Remember Blue yodel number 9, Los Angeles, 16 July 1930. OK - I'm joking, but you get the idea.

All the best,

On 15/01/2013 08:15, ♫ Sharp Bill - - B# ♫ wrote (in part):

 so, after pulling my head out of the sand, and removing the blinders, you are obviously saying that we should now diversify and bring cajun, rock and roll, be-bop and perhaps even rap into our midst so as to survive.  If  King Oliver, Jelly Roll Norton and Louis Armstrong were alive today that is what they would be doing, in order to propagate diversity. Perhaps Louie, to truly diversify,  would include yodeling.    In that case throw out what has been called Our Kind Of Music, as there would no longer be such a thing. 

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