8546Re: R: [RedHotJazz] Sources on Pre War European Jazz
- Mar 17, 2011I would be content to say the jazz styles of these musicians were quite as
What is interesting is what input there was from other musics of the African
diaspora to whch they were inheritors and what effect this had on their
ability to assimilate jazz and especially jazz rhythms. (I don¹t have an
answer to this and there very likely is no single answer anyway).
Bertie King had two styles, one essentially derivative of Benny Carter and a
much rougher style which can be heard for instance in his work with Chris
Barber. There are obvious links to the work of Pete Brown who had the same
In the 1920s and 1930s Caribbean musicians in Europe essentially had to play
jazz (except for the Martinquans in France) because the audience for
Caribbean music was insignificant. On the other hand the latest sounds from
Harlem were in demand. This is not confined to Britain. Denmark¹s Harlem
Kiddies (a bunch of Danes and Norwegians of Virgin Islands heritage) offer
the same mix. There are Dutch parallels too, notably Lex van Spall. They
were undoubtedly able to turn the theories of racists about the genetic
inheritance of cultural characteristics to their advantage by claiming an
³authenticity¹ to which in truth they did not have much claim, though those
who came up in the 20s were much more likely to have worked with visiting
African-Americans and learned at first hand.
It is I¹m sure significant that so many of these musicians switched to Latin
music in the 40s when it became fashionable, following in the footsteps of
³Edmundo Ros², known to his compatriots as Eddie Ross of the Trinidad Police
Band, and after 1950 to music from their own heritage. Trinidadian trumpeter
Cyril Blake led some of the best jazz records made in Britain, but in the
last years of his life recorded exclusively calypsos (though he had left
Trinidad in the teens and never went back). Blake learned his jazz in groups
dominated by African-Americans, whereas those who came up in the 1930s had
no more or less opportunities for direct absorption than other Britons.
Hence the suspicion that their frequent superiority connects to their
Caribbean heritage in ways which might prove to be quite complex.
on 17/03/2011 15:11, David Brown at johnhaleysims@... wrote:
>Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
> 'All This And Many A Dog' is indeed essential for anyone interested in
> British post-war jazz. Not just Trad. In fact, Godbolt worked tirelessly to
> book the non-trad mainstream bands which less than flourished for a few
> years in the 50s/60s. It was a struggle, as he describes, but it could
> always be that he was ringing Vorzanger's number after he was dead.
> It is a very similar memoir to, and complements, often from the other side
> of the fence, Melly's 'Owning Up'. Also often as funny.
> I'll check out the Cottons. If I can find them -- where ? -- and am
> especially intrigued as they come with recommendation from this source.
> Dave Wilkins and Bertie King were among the finest, if not the finest,
> musicians on their instruments working in pre-war UK. But, as West Indians,
> like their British contemporaries, they would have had to learn jazz and
> their styles are, at best, almost as derivative of American models.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>