[Dixielandjazz] Whiteman controversy

Judy Eames 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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