Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: The Real Jazz
- I'm really not sure of the usefulness of arguing about what the long-dead
Hugues Panassié might have meant by his statements, but I am sure in my own
mind that when he wrote
' one of the few white musicians who can play like a coloured trombone' (
he meant what I might mean by saying, "one of the few musicians not of
African-American origin who can play like an African-American."
I don't have the French version of the edition of the Dictionnaire that was
translated into English. It has often been said to be a very bad translation
but I have never troubled to check this myself.
In the final French edition this becomes even more complimentary: "One of
the few white musicians who play entirely like African-Americans."
' good technician who never quite mastered the coloured style' (Fazola.)
In the final French edition this becomes "good technician who never
perfectly assimilated the African-American style'
I have a suspicion that assimilated would always have been a better
In the above translation I have translated Panassié's "les Noirs"
(capitalized thus) as African-American because I believe that to be the
correct current English translation. You might well argue that I am here
imposing by own interpretation and that that is precisely what we are
arguing about. Of course you would be right!
Where I am on firmer ground is in asserting that the terminology adequately
to distinguish statements about culture from statements about race did not
exist when Panassié was writing, either in French or in English, and we have
no excuse for interpreting him or anyone else as though it did.
In 1950 a lot of quite sensible people believed that at least some elements
of culture were genetically inherited. The most astounding people can
suddenly drop into assertions which from a modern perspective are much more
unambiguously racist than anything Hugues wrote. But there is no excuse for
believing it now.
Ironically the presence of apparently unaccountable African survivals in
North America was one of the known facts that some people thought supported
genetic inheritance. In respect of New Orleans and the bayous we now know a
one word answer: Haiti.
P.S. I have no idea why one of my yesterday's postings has reached the list
twice. If I accidentally hit the send button twice, my apologies to all.
Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
- "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,
> I wonder too but I can't see any reason to reject the reason he
> 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
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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