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Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: The Real Jazz

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  • Howard Rye
    ... We ve done all the other stuff before too! Panassié defined jazz as an African-American style and related players who were not of African-American culture
    Message 1 of 43 , May 14, 2007
      on 14/5/07 7:55, David Brown at johnhaleysims@... wrote:

      >Panassié we have done here before and I do not want to repeat.

      >It is a pleasure to read Howard but I cannot accept his nice Japanese Temple
      >Drums analogy. 'White' is used by Panassié as a pejorative term. A
      >musician's race is the second fact we are given in 'Dictionnaire' after his

      We've done all the other stuff before too!

      Panassié defined jazz as an African-American style and related players who
      were not of African-American culture to the standards he had derived from
      listening to African-American performers, as is made clear in the quotations
      I posted earlier. This is a perfectly valid approach and my analogy is exact
      in respect of it.

      Obviously anybody is free to say that it is the wrong approach. Personally I
      find the arguments for jazz as "a multi-cultural continuum" utterly
      unconvincing. The characteristics that make jazz jazz as I understand it are
      emphatically not multi-cultural but entirely culturally specific.

      However it cannot be emphasized too strongly that of course this conclusion
      is to a great extent already present in my definition of jazz. This applies
      to everybody else's definition of jazz too. The only serious attempt to
      address this problem objectively that I know of is in a book called "The
      Heart of Jazz" by William L. Grossman and Jack W. Farrell (1958). Their
      conclusions are laughable (even by Blesh's standards) but I have always felt
      they deserve the highest honour for seeing the problem and making the

      It is obvious (to me!) that Panassié would have done better (had more
      influence and fewer enemies) if he had adopted a less pejorative way of
      promoting his position, as for instance did Stanley Dance, who essentially
      shared his views but got on with promoting musicians he valued and largely
      ignored the others.

      His own justification for not regarding bop as part of the continuum can be
      read in numerous places. Reduced to basics, it is that swing is an essential
      characteristic of the continuum that he regarded as "real jazz" and that bop
      did not swing. It is hard to argue with this, however irrelevant you may
      consider it. Again it is a conclusion built into the premise, which of
      course equally applies if you regard bop as part of the continuum.

      This rejection of bop had at least one useful consequence. Without the
      Panassié school of thought, African-American musicians who continued to work
      in and develop the swing tradition would have had an even thinner time in
      the 50s and 60s in a jazz world obsessed with technical innovation and
      apparently happy to let critics define what constituted innovation.

      The eventual fruit of Panassié's theories was all those wonderful albums
      made by Black & Blue and other French labels in the 70s and 80s of musicians
      who couldn't get record dates in the States. (And does the name of that
      record label suggest anything to you about the blues aspect of all this?)
      That can't be bad, which brings us back to the point Tony Standish made.

      White revivalists and dervivatists never had anything like the same problem
      with getting on record. Obviously to suggest that this had anything to do
      with race (and here I do mean race and not culture) would be a gross slur on
      the American record industry! Especially as it is almost certainly merely a
      result of the law of supply and demand. But let us be very very grateful to
      Papa Panassié for his part in creating a climate of opinion in France which
      established a demand for what he called "real jazz".

      Who cares if he got it wrong sometimes. When he wrote that Teagarden was
      inspired by Jimmy Harrison everybody else thought that too. Incidentally,
      are we really sure he wasn't? There is much more racial dogma in some
      current thinking than there ever was back then and much less justification
      for it after so much work has been done on distinguishing genetics and

      Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
      Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
    • Mordechai Litzman
      If it ain t got that swing, it ain t got a thing . Personally, I only focus on the music and the rest is less important. I don t listen to Condon - didn t
      Message 43 of 43 , May 17, 2007
        "If it ain't got that swing, it ain't got a thing".
        Personally, I only focus on the music and the rest is less important. I don't listen to Condon - didn't like the few things I heard.
        Wingy Manone can sound wonderful: Listen to Tar Paper Stomp with Barbecue Joe and his Hot Dogs from 1930. It became one of the biggest hits of all time under a different name with a different band. (Can be found on RHJA)
        Re Bunk: Some of his recordings are absolutely wonderful and beautiful. Listen to Bolden Medley from 5/7/43 on AMCD-16 Bunk in S.F. His very first recordings from 2/2/42 possess a strange beauty (Maple Leaf Rag and others) with all their imperfections. (Yes, the myth is true - new teeth, used poor quality trumpet, recording session saved by an extension cord from a neighbor since Bunk had no electricity etc) AMCD41 Prelude to Revival II.

        Dan Van Landingham <danvanlandingham@...> wrote: Thank you for the information on "Barataria".I had no idea that Leon Roppolo was on that date as the data I have regarding Roppolo's life show him being institutionalized by the end of the '20s.The version I alluded to regarding "The Entertainer" was recorded by Bunk Johnson and was on Columbia.The big,boxed set of records I also alluded to was put out on Riverside by Bill Grauer and Orrin Keepnews.Getting back to Mannone,one of the sides had a recording of "Up the Country" recorded for Champion in 1930.The only other musician that comes to mind from that particular date was trombonist Miff Frink.I especially liked Mannone's playing on the aforementioned OKeh sides from 1934.I'm not a real fan of Mannone,but he acquitted himself rather well which is something I can't say about Bunk Johnson.This whole thing about real jazz:I've always felt that there was racist thing to it.Why is it that
        when Satchmo worked and played alongside King Oliver,black musicians(from a much later
        generation-the so called "hard boppers",said Satchmo was influenced by him.When Muggsy Spanier did it,he was imitating?The jazz I had from the '20s was few and far between.I had a couple of ODJB sides on Victor,one of the Louisana Five on Columbia,plus an original OKeh 80 rpm recording of Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang of "Dinah" backed with "The Wild Dog".That particular recording was with the copy of "Black Maria" I had mentioned earlier regarding that Bix style trumpeter/cornetist featured by the name of
        Swanny Swenumsen.Was Panassie trying to score points with the black musicians at the expense of white musicians?Say what some people may think of Bud Freeman,as an example,no black sax player could accuse the man of stealing another man's style the way
        a number of black and white players patterned their jazz-ballad styles after Coleman Hawkins,That list includes myself(I've played tenor sax since 1968 and over the years downplayed my trumpet work to concentrate on tenor as well as alto and baritone sax).Where "jazz" lost me was when musicians started becoming more and more atonal.At least with harmony,the rhythm section gives me something I can hang on to.What is your opinion regarding Eddie Condon?I have encountered strong feelings regarding his place in jazz.Joe Bushkin was one who staunchly defended him.According to Bushkin,it was Condon who kept him in the band while Bunny Berigan wanted him thrown out due to lack of knowledge regarding chord changes.It brings to mind something I had read years ago about a Condon record date(for Columbia).It seemed that the musicians were sick to death of the whole Condon jazz scene.I can't tell you just where I had read the review save the fact it was some forty years ago.

        tommersl <tommersl@...> wrote:
        --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Howard Rye <howard@...> wrote:
        > on 16/5/07 16:14, David Brown at johnhaleysims@... wrote:
        > >'his records which were very poor indeed were ridiculously
        > >One wonders why George & Bunk, who seem to conform totally to
        > >criteria for 'soul and a beat' and vocalised, emotive content,
        were rejected
        > I wonder too but I can't see any reason to reject the reason he
        gave, except
        > of course that he judged Mezz Mezzrow by rather different standards!

        I third, Panassie's logic is very much of a confusion. I assume he
        was looking for what he saw as a natural developement, and Bunk's
        work seems not to fit with his theory.

        From "Future Of Jazz" chapter:
        "Certainley I prefer the work of King Oliver and Louis Armstrong with
        a small orchestra, to the better intrepretation of a large orchestra
        like Count Basie's. But only because the former has a better feeling
        for the original Jazz spirit. However, it is no less true-and this is
        what the admirers of early Jazz do not seem to understand- that when
        Basie's orchestra is in the groove and has taken a good tempo it
        swings in a colossal fashion and produces far better Jazz than could
        a New Orleans orchestra improvising in a bad tempo without
        inspiration." (!!!)

        After expressing such ideas, he doesn't seem to need Bunk trying to
        re-create the New Orleans music!

        And if this not sufficient, he his predicting Jazz future, which also
        doesn't seems to suggest a good future for Bunk:

        "It is more likely that Jazz will be transformed little by little,
        until it becomes an entirely different kind of music which will have
        none of the freshness, naturalness or spontaneity of the music born
        in New-Orleans toward the ends of the 19th century."

        Panassie predicting the post-modern Jazz-Free school in it's best!

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