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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001296.txt from 2000/04

From: Don Longacre <>
Subj: [kl] Re: Eddie Daniels
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2000 21:15:03 -0400

>>"licorice stick" ????
>>Interesting nick name...
>>Kevin Callahan
>>Nick names are cool...
>That is what us old-timers called a clarinet pre-bob era. Probably New
>Orleans based in ragtime.. Another one is the eel. Ever hear that one?
>Cheers, Leo

I go back to 1938 on clarinet and as I recall the term "licorice stick"
was used by non-musicians. I never heard musicians in the jazz/big band
vernacular use that term among themselves. The term preceeded even the
"hip" language of the 40's. Other terms thought to be "in" with musicians
and erroneously plugged by B movies were Hep-Cat,(sic) ReBop (bebop was OK though,
shortened later to simply Bop). In the lexicon of jazz as spoken by musicians,
as soon as a phrase or term was picked up and used by non-musician types, the
"hip" musicians moved off it and abandoned it to develop more and newer terms
that the nonmusical affecionados hadn't heard yet.

Other "in" terms were, threads, meaning clothes, axe, meaning ANY instrument,
solid, meaning I agree, I'm hip, meaning I understand. I dig, meaning
I like. Groovin' and swingin' mean't the band is altogether, on top of the beat
and, well, swingin'. If a band is swinging, it doesn't mean playing "swing". It
is an undefinable awareness, a metronomic pulse that defies description. You
can't sit still in a swingin' band. Repetitive riffs add to it like the brass
riffs in Two O'clock jump and repeats the last 16 an octave higher.

The only term in common use today by nearly everyone is "cool" which means today
pretty much what it did back then. It only took the "unhip" about 50 years to
catch up.

Don Longacre

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