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 Re: Dixieland arrangements?
Author: MarlboroughMan 
Date:   2017-02-04 21:28

Interesting post, fuzzy. Here's my response to some of your points:

"The Bob Crosby orchestra used charts. Does anyone here really want to say they didn't play real jazz..."

Actually, a whole lot of people at the time objected, and I for one really can't stand listening to groups like this (or Tommy Dorsey's Clambake Seven) when you have great jazz groups out there who were recording simultaneously (like Sidney Bechet's New Orleans Feetwarmers or Benny Goodman's small groups).

[edit: there is a difference of course between the Bobcats and the Bob Crosby Orchestra--I would have to go back and listen, but the Bobcats seemed to work real NOLA style...and do it well. But that was a 'band within a band' concept]

"...or couldn't play New Orleans jazz? Irving Fazola, Eddie Miller...not jazz musicians at all - really?!"

According to some accounts (like Pete Fountain's autobiography, if I remember correctly), Faz really hated commercialized music so much that he returned to NOLA, preferring to play in strip clubs for bad pay rather than sell out any longer. Pete made the same decision after playing with Welk--and took Eddie Miller with him, who was also sick of playing commercialized non-jazz, with only limited chances to play the real thing. I would never say Faz and Eddie Miller weren't jazz musicians. I have tons of respect for them both. There's a difference between having to get a paycheck and doing what you love, though, and those two you picked are not strong examples of your argument...they're actually arguments for my side of the debate.


"Hmmm...what about Bix Biederbeck's band?"

Bix couldn't read music. If you listen closely to the arrangements, you can tell they weren't written out. On a masterpiece like "Singin' the Blues" for instance, after Bix's solo, when the band comes back in, everything is beautifully tentative. Now that's not to say other tunes they did weren't planned out--they obviously were, but there is a big difference between what Bix did vs the Bob Crosby Orch.

"King Oliver?"

I we're talking about the Creole Jazz Orchestra, Barney Bigard wrote in his autobiography that he knew for a fact that Johnny Dodds couldn't read a note of music. And anyhow, one doesn't have to be able to read music to play the way he did--listen to Bechet, whose accompaniment figurations were as good or better than Dodds, and who also never learned how to read music. I'm not saying reading is a detriment...only that your point is historically wrong: those men couldn't have been reading charts, as they didn't know how to read.

"Yeah, I'm sure all those perfectly arrange voice parts coming in at the exact moment needed...was all spontaneous, right? No doubled fifths, thirds, or roots - and all at the exact right time in syncopation. No planning ahead, right?"

"Deep Henderson" is a different thing. Obviously written out arrangement. but it would never be referred to as "Dixieland" or NOLA style, which is what this thread is about.

Anyhow, who said "no planning ahead"?? OF COURSE there is planning ahead. For Bix, Bechet, and Dodds every bit as much as for those who use charts. And maybe the human ear, when developed, is better than you think. You should have more respect for Dodds, Bix, and Bechet now.

"Wonder about Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks?! Yep - charts...all the way down to the transcribed solos."

If I'm not mistaken, the Nighthawks specialize in '20s and early '30s dance music...bands like many all over the country during that era (Joe Haymes on the New Jersey circuit, Austin Wylie here in Cleveland, the Halfway House Orchestra in NOLA), many of which weren't considered "jazz bands" per se (or even allowed to be by the restaurants they worked in), and which featured very little actual jazz soloing even in their time. Of course he works from charts, because THEY did. They weren't playing New Orleans style jazz, which is *what this post was about*. Though I wouldn't speak for Vince Giordano, I spent time talking to Don Vappie of NOLA when he was starting up his bands in the '90s, and one of the reasons for transcribed solos and parts for ensembles like this can be due to the difficulty of finding professionals who know the style well enough. It's not ideal. But once again, we're not even talking about New Orleans style, which is what we were asked to respond to, and what I've bothered doing.

"For what it's worth - it's all jazz to my ears."

Not to me. I wouldn't call written out solos jazz at all. Different band leaders in different markets have certain niches they are filling, though, and not all of them fall under the purview of this discussion.


"Please don't hate on folks who are just getting started. I think it would help jazz's cause much more if we were inclusive and encouraging to those just beginning the journey. It doesn't make sense to attack folks who are showing an interest."

Hate? Attack? Please...I gave an opinion. It can be taken or left.

My original response was very short. I said something like the notion of arranged charts for NOLA style jazz sickens me. It does. I didn't attack anyone or say you're not allowed to do it, or we'll send jackbooted thugs to burn your charts. Do what you want. But realize too there are others of us out there, working hard, and more than ready to encourage you and show you other ways of really doing justice to the music (and its history). And we might not always respect the shortcuts you try to take.

Now my hope is that, at the very least, some folks reading have learned some history and will check out some of the bands mentioned above, to hear for themselves.


Eric

******************************
The Jazz Clarinet
http://thejazzclarinet.blogspot.com/

Post Edited (2017-02-04 21:59)

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 Topics Author  Date
 Dixieland arrangements?  new
Steve Becraft 2017-02-03 08:06 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
sfalexi 2017-02-03 10:18 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
ned 2017-02-03 12:57 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
MarlboroughMan 2017-02-03 18:53 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
Steve Becraft 2017-02-03 19:13 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
ken 2018-01-24 07:10 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
ClarinetRobt 2017-02-03 21:37 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
Matt74 2017-02-04 00:38 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
MarlboroughMan 2017-02-04 01:35 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
Wes 2017-02-04 03:27 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
Burt 2017-02-04 04:34 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
ned 2017-02-04 05:16 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
Matt74 2017-02-04 08:05 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
ned 2017-02-04 09:06 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
MarlboroughMan 2017-02-04 18:24 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
Fuzzy 2017-02-04 20:29 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
MarlboroughMan 2017-02-04 21:28 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
MarlboroughMan 2017-02-04 21:48 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
MarlboroughMan 2017-02-04 22:14 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
Matt74 2017-02-04 22:24 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
Fuzzy 2017-02-04 23:07 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
Fuzzy 2017-02-04 23:39 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
MarlboroughMan 2017-02-04 23:14 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
MarlboroughMan 2017-02-05 00:37 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
Fuzzy 2017-02-05 00:46 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
MarlboroughMan 2017-02-05 01:06 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
Fuzzy 2017-02-05 01:15 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
seabreeze 2017-02-05 07:57 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
MarlboroughMan 2017-02-06 16:45 
 Re: Dixieland arrangements?  new
Fuzzy 2017-02-05 08:36 


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