[Dixielandjazz] Whiteman controversy
jude at judyeames.co.uk
Sun Jan 20 12:45:13 PST 2013
Back in the day; 15 years ago?
The OKOM label was coined because nobody could agree what sort of jazz
everybody was talking about. We seem to be losing the plot?
I hold no particular brief for Paul Whitemen but for some listees to
take offence when others describe his music as "Jazz" belies history.
I'm sorry to bang on about the Melody Maker but it is a primary source
of evidence and Whiteman's band is frequently referred to as a jazz
Item in the "Syncopation and Dance Band news" section of the March 1926
Whiteman's Orchestra was paid $25,000 for a week to play at the San
Francisco Motor Show ... "The crowd around the orchestra platform was so
thick that movement around motor cars was impossible and every attempt
to attract buyers was nullified by Whiteman's jazz."
April: "Americans visiting this country say that Whiteman is still
considered King of Jazz in the States."
May :"Whiteman's leading saxophonist plays a solo which gives an
entirely new complexion of the instrument"
There's lots more but it's time for supper and a glass of red wine.
I wonder if the recordings that Brian dislikes are properly
representative.... did they improvise solos in proper performances....
will we ever know?:-)
I don't pretend to be an expert on styles; to me it's all a lovely mish
mash which started with Barber, Ball, Bilk, Dick Charlesworth, Monty
Sunshine etc etc and I do think that Brubeck played wonderful jazz but I
certainly don't expect everyone else to agree.
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