on 3/5/06 10:12, Patrice Champarou at patrice.champarou@...
> Having read very little about the question, I still wonder if its New
> birthplace is nowadays considered by historians as a "belief" or a proved
> fact. There used to be a time when I would have shrugged my shoulders at the
> idea that syncopation was already all over the nation before any inspired
> soloist raised his instrumental voice above a band arrangement, but this no
> longer bothers me any more than knowing if the primary "roots" of any music
> are folk inpiration or written compositions. Anyway, why New Orleans more
> than St Louis, Baltimore, Chicago or New York?
It all depends how you define jazz, what you regard as its essential
In a previous post, I referred to the "what-if-ism" of speculating on what
'jazz' would have sounded like if New Orleans jazz were not its primary
One (at least) of the "what-ifs" did really exist. You can hear it on the
records of the Versatile Three/Four, Mitchell's Jazz Kings, the Orchestre
Syncopated Six, and similar groups recorded in London and Paris in the late
teens and early twenties. It even attracted white imitators (Orchestre Scrap
Iron Jazzerinos and I think some French groups too).
I have put on my tin hat. I know what passions can be aroused by this. "Yes,
but it's ragtime," they shriek, putting on their ODJB records (probably at
rock volumes). No one ever heard a ragtime record that sounded remotely like
this stuff, but let that pass. Telling me that this music is "not jazz" will
leave me completely unmoved. A rose by any other name, and etc.
Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
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