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3353Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: West Coast Jazz

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  • Bob Eagle
    Oct 6, 2006
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      I'll be at the risk of causing great offence to some here. I came up during the Oz version of Britain's Trad Jazz craze, and I heard the Bell band (particularly on record but occasionally live when they visited Melbourne), and a number of worthwhile Melbourne bands.

      It has struck me forcibly in later years how much the approach and "feel" of the Aussie bands resembled that of the best Western Swing bands, despite the obvious differences in instrumentation. Australian popular music has had the pervasive influence of hillbilly music, from Jimmie Rodgers through Hank Snow and beyond. Of course both sets (Bell etc and Light Crust Doughboys et al) were geared towards dancers, but I think it again demonstrates the interconnectedness of all good American music, even when filtered through players from Down Under.


      Howard Rye <howard@...> wrote:
      on 6/10/06 8:41, john schott at john@... wrote:

      > Chris, Excellent contribution, thanks.
      Hear, hear.

      I can't think of any way of not making this sound a bit pompous but it is an
      enormous relief to learn that what my ears tell me Watters was doing is what
      Watters thought he was doing.

      By contrast I think the early European revivalists were consciously engaged
      in "re-creating" what they heard on their records, and of course the Oliver
      Creole Band Gennetts were freely available in Britain (and pre-Nazi Europe),
      albeit in diabolical dubs whose deficiencies sometimes seem to be reflected
      in the music of the revivalist bands. Everyone remotely interested in jazz
      had heard them.

      The Graeme Bell band down under were engaged in an enterprise much more
      analagous to what Watters was doing, and there is a lot of testimony to how
      startled homegrown revivalists were when this freewheeling ensemble playing
      for dancers fetched up in London. Inadvertently, the Bells are the true
      fathers of British Trad are they not? Their records are also some of the
      most rewarding and enduring of the revivalist output.

      Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
      Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098

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