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Re: Charlie Spand Back To The Woods guitarist

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  • tommersl
    ... He doesn t sound to me primitive ever, if he tried so he quite failed, Lang was still thinking chords. I think Lang was actaully a guy who liked black
    Message 1 of 22 , Jul 16, 2007
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      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "heckman_michael"
      <heckman_michael@...> wrote:
      >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > > what makes you say Lang was influenced by Johnson? They played
      > together
      > > > often but each seemed to go his own way.
      > > >
      > >
      > > Listen to Lang with Bessie Smith or on Knocking a Jug (especially
      > > about 55 secs - 1:20 you can hear him him doing Lonnie Johnson
      > style)
      > > and actually I think it was good for him to release his fingers from
      > > the limitations of the chord changes and start dealing with melodies
      > > and improvisations. There was mutual influence I believe which was
      > > very healthy for Lang. listen to his early recordings and see the
      > > direction he took. He had his own style but he shaped it with ideas
      > > that Johnson was spreading.
      > > tommersl
      >
      >
      > With all respect for your opinion, I have a different one: Lang was a
      > musical chameleon. He played in the style the gig called for. That's
      > what a professional musician does. The first time I heard him playing
      > In the Bottle Blues, My reaction was that he was purposely toning
      > down his technique to sound like a "primitive" blues player, possibly
      > one named Blind Willie Dunn. He does not sound at all like Blind
      > Willie when accompanying Ruth Etting, Smith Bellew or Bing Crosby. If
      > anything, he sounded like Blind Willie on Wringin' an' Twistin'
      > recorded a year before his first records with Lonnie.
      >

      He doesn't sound to me primitive ever, if he tried so he quite failed,
      Lang was still thinking chords. I think Lang was actaully a guy who
      liked black music and musicians and hence he was influenced by the
      collective black art form of Jazz guitar that is represented in the
      recordings of guys like Bobby Leecan, Lonnie Johnson, Blind Lemon
      Jefferson and others. He wasn't considered a professional musician,
      that was preserved only to Classical musicians playing in community
      ensembles Classics music. Lang rather than pro musician was like any
      one of the white musician, for them Jazz was a "power to the people"
      thing.
      tommersl
    • heckman_michael
      ... I am not sure I altogether understand your last post. To my mind, a professional musician is a person who makes his living playing music; the opposite is
      Message 2 of 22 , Jul 17, 2007
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        >
        > He doesn't sound to me primitive ever, if he tried so he quite failed,
        > Lang was still thinking chords. I think Lang was actaully a guy who
        > liked black music and musicians and hence he was influenced by the
        > collective black art form of Jazz guitar that is represented in the
        > recordings of guys like Bobby Leecan, Lonnie Johnson, Blind Lemon
        > Jefferson and others. He wasn't considered a professional musician,
        > that was preserved only to Classical musicians playing in community
        > ensembles Classics music. Lang rather than pro musician was like any
        > one of the white musician, for them Jazz was a "power to the people"
        > thing.
        > tommersl


        I am not sure I altogether understand your last post. To my mind, a
        professional musician is a person who makes his living playing music;
        the opposite is an amateur musician. Lang made his living playing
        music, and a very good living at that. He was supposedly making
        $1,000.00 per week for his theater appearances with Crosby, this at a
        time when a workingman lucky enough to have a job made $25.00 per week.
        I don't know how to respond to your statement that for white musicians
        Jazz was a power to the people thing. I've never heard it said before.
        My instincts tell me it was more likely a "show me the money" thing,
        which, of course, is not restricted to white musicians.
      • David W. Littlefield
        ... I find it helpful to distinguish between professional and Pro, Pro implying high quality in playing skills, and basic attitude/deportment. --Sheik
        Message 3 of 22 , Jul 17, 2007
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          At 01:47 PM 07/17/07, you wrote:
          >I am not sure I altogether understand your last post. To my mind, a
          >professional musician is a person who makes his living playing music;
          >the opposite is an amateur musician. Lang made his living playing
          >music, and a very good living at that. He was supposedly making
          >$1,000.00 per week for his theater appearances with Crosby, this at a
          >time when a workingman lucky enough to have a job made $25.00 per week.

          I find it helpful to distinguish between professional and Pro, "Pro"
          implying high quality in playing skills, and basic attitude/deportment.

          --Sheik
        • heckman_michael
          ... week. ... attitude/deportment. ... Lang had it covered both ways. I am curious to learn who the people were who did not consider him Professional-pro.
          Message 4 of 22 , Jul 17, 2007
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            --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "David W. Littlefield" <dwlit@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > At 01:47 PM 07/17/07, you wrote:
            > >I am not sure I altogether understand your last post. To my mind, a
            > >professional musician is a person who makes his living playing music;
            > >the opposite is an amateur musician. Lang made his living playing
            > >music, and a very good living at that. He was supposedly making
            > >$1,000.00 per week for his theater appearances with Crosby, this at a
            > >time when a workingman lucky enough to have a job made $25.00 per
            week.
            >
            > I find it helpful to distinguish between professional and Pro, "Pro"
            > implying high quality in playing skills, and basic
            attitude/deportment.
            >
            > --Sheik

            Lang had it covered both ways. I am curious to learn who the people
            were who did not consider him Professional-pro.
            >
          • tommersl
            ... Jazz wasn t considered as a serious profession musically as Classical music. Read the Consider the Critic article by Roger Pryor Dodge, he lists and
            Message 5 of 22 , Jul 17, 2007
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              --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "heckman_michael"
              <heckman_michael@...> wrote:
              >
              > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "David W. Littlefield" <dwlit@>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > At 01:47 PM 07/17/07, you wrote:
              > > >I am not sure I altogether understand your last post. To my mind, a
              > > >professional musician is a person who makes his living playing music;
              > > >the opposite is an amateur musician. Lang made his living playing
              > > >music, and a very good living at that. He was supposedly making
              > > >$1,000.00 per week for his theater appearances with Crosby, this at a
              > > >time when a workingman lucky enough to have a job made $25.00 per
              > week.
              > >
              > > I find it helpful to distinguish between professional and Pro, "Pro"
              > > implying high quality in playing skills, and basic
              > attitude/deportment.
              > >
              > > --Sheik
              >
              > Lang had it covered both ways. I am curious to learn who the people
              > were who did not consider him Professional-pro.
              > >
              >

              Jazz wasn't considered as a serious profession musically as Classical
              music. Read the "Consider the Critic" article by Roger Pryor Dodge, he
              lists and quotes several quotes from articles and books of the time
              many of those didn't consider Jazz very much as something you go pro,
              or music at all.

              Sample quotes : "American music is not Jazz. Jazz is not music" / Paul
              Rosenfeld, 1929.

              "Jazz is not a musical form; it is a method of treatment. It is
              possible to take any conventional piece of music, and "jazz it". The
              actual process is one of distorting, of rebellion against normalcy."
              Sigmund Spaeth, 1928.

              I believe Dodge was concerned that people didn't rank Jazz as a
              respectable and professional musical form with significance even at
              the time he wrote it (1939), at least the quotes he brought shows
              disrespect of most writers to Jazz or belittling and misunderstanding
              it by most writers.
              tommersl
            • spacelights
              Lang s a fascinating artist, and his versatility in many group settings does show a high level of professionalism. I feel that influence , though often
              Message 6 of 22 , Jul 18, 2007
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                Lang's a fascinating artist, and his versatility in many group
                settings does show a high level of professionalism. I feel that
                "influence", though often invoked, is something quite subtle and
                complex... Eddie's early solo sides tend to be rhythmically a bit
                stiff; this changes decidedly in his duos with Johnson, but not on
                sides with Frank Signorelli or others (Lang's works with Venuti are
                somewhat unique).

                I'm intrigued by Eddie's work with Clarence Williams and King Oliver,
                backing Eva Taylor on "I'm Busy And You Can't Come In" and the bizarre
                "Jeannine I Dream Of Lilac Time", and Williams' Novelty Four session
                ("What You Want Me To Do?" finds him in a beautiful jazz/Italian
                ballad mode).

                I think Johnson's importance as an early jazz guitarist tends to be
                overshadowed by his massive blues output; his sides with Armstrong in
                1927, and then Ellington and the Chocolate Dandies (both in 1928) seem
                exemplary.
              • heckman_michael
                ... Spaeth, for one, changed his mind. Somewhere around here I have a 1935 book of his in which he regards jazz, by then known as swing, more favorably. In
                Message 7 of 22 , Jul 18, 2007
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                  >
                  > "Jazz is not a musical form; it is a method of treatment. It is
                  > possible to take any conventional piece of music, and "jazz it". The
                  > actual process is one of distorting, of rebellion against normalcy."
                  > Sigmund Spaeth, 1928.
                  >
                  Spaeth, for one, changed his mind. Somewhere around here I have a 1935
                  book of his in which he regards jazz, by then known as swing, more
                  favorably. In particular, he cites Bix as having been "most musical".

                  As to Spaeth's original quote above, Bix toward the end of his life
                  said pretty much the same thing.
                • David Brown
                  Spaeth s seminal History Of Popular Music In America 1948 contains a whole chapter Ragtime To Jazz but only 8 pages -- in a book of 600 -- actually
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jul 18, 2007
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                    Spaeth's seminal 'History Of Popular Music In America' 1948 contains a
                    whole chapter 'Ragtime To Jazz' but only 8 pages -- in a book of 600 --
                    actually discuss jazz form, history, influence and musicians. But he's not
                    bad.

                    'Jazz aficionados -- try desperately to invest jazz with a cosmic
                    significance and to credit its best interpreters with a divine status'.

                    He lists Bix, Muggsy and the Austin Highs by name.

                    'It is hardly necessary to concentrate on any individual ( jazz) composers
                    with perhaps one exception the negro genius Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton.'

                    He then lists Bolden, Bunk, Oliver and Louis finding fairly that the latter

                    'inherited the qualities of his predecessors and colleagues and surpassed
                    them all in reputation. Even his gradual commercialisation could not destroy
                    his individual gifts.'

                    A further list of clarinettists includes Big Eye Louis Nelson, George Lewis,
                    Noone, Tio, Duhé, Picou and Bechet but asserts that 'Johnny Dodds must be
                    given precedence'.

                    Trombonists listed are Ory, Dutrey and, admirably, Jim Robinson and the
                    good Doctor also manages to recognise and name the 3 greatest classic blues
                    singers Ma Rainey, Bessie and Chippie Hill. He also singles out N.O.R.K.
                    for praise.

                    That is a pretty good batting average -- cricket rather than the other --
                    and charitably one assumes that Spaeth had actually listened and was not --
                    as may be suspected -- cribbing received knowledgeable opinion. His lack of
                    racial bias is also admirable and suggests an independence from most
                    'informed' criticism of early jazz in 1948.

                    Dave




                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • tommersl
                    ... Why do you think he changed his mind? tommersl
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jul 18, 2007
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                      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "heckman_michael"
                      <heckman_michael@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > >
                      > > "Jazz is not a musical form; it is a method of treatment. It is
                      > > possible to take any conventional piece of music, and "jazz it". The
                      > > actual process is one of distorting, of rebellion against normalcy."
                      > > Sigmund Spaeth, 1928.
                      > >
                      > Spaeth, for one, changed his mind. Somewhere around here I have a 1935
                      > book of his in which he regards jazz, by then known as swing, more
                      > favorably. In particular, he cites Bix as having been "most musical".
                      >
                      > As to Spaeth's original quote above, Bix toward the end of his life
                      > said pretty much the same thing.
                      >

                      Why do you think he changed his mind?
                      tommersl
                    • heckman_michael
                      ... 1935 ... more ... musical . ... life ... There is a very old song entitled Don t Bite the Hand That s Feeding You . Spaeth became a popular radio
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jul 19, 2007
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                        > > >
                        > > Spaeth, for one, changed his mind. Somewhere around here I have a
                        1935
                        > > book of his in which he regards jazz, by then known as swing,
                        more
                        > > favorably. In particular, he cites Bix as having been "most
                        musical".
                        > >
                        > > As to Spaeth's original quote above, Bix toward the end of his
                        life
                        > > said pretty much the same thing.
                        > >
                        >
                        > Why do you think he changed his mind?
                        > tommersl
                        >

                        There is a very old song entitled "Don't Bite the Hand That's Feeding
                        You". Spaeth became a popular radio entertainer in the 1930s. He was
                        the "Tune Detective" and demonstrated relationships between classical
                        melodies and popular knock offs. He testified in court as an expert
                        in cases alleging musical plagiarism, most notably in the suit
                        involving Rum and Coca Cola.

                        All of which brings me back to Eddie Lang, the professional musician.
                        You said "they" didn't consider him a "professional". I think you
                        were really saying the snobs didn't consider him a musician. Either
                        way, it misses my point which was that, in order to make a living, he
                        could play blues for Bessie Smith, ricky tick for Paul Small and
                        schmaltz for Bing, and make it all sound good. Therefore, the effect
                        of Lonnie Johnson, if any, on his playing would have been limited to
                        the occasions calling for a bluesy technique.
                      • tommersl
                        ... That s an open door, Charlie Spand s Back to the Woods, it must be regarded as a Blues contact, unless it isn t what you call occasion calling for a
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jul 19, 2007
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                          --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "heckman_michael"
                          <heckman_michael@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > > > >
                          > > > Spaeth, for one, changed his mind. Somewhere around here I have a
                          > 1935
                          > > > book of his in which he regards jazz, by then known as swing,
                          > more
                          > > > favorably. In particular, he cites Bix as having been "most
                          > musical".
                          > > >
                          > > > As to Spaeth's original quote above, Bix toward the end of his
                          > life
                          > > > said pretty much the same thing.
                          > > >
                          > >
                          > > Why do you think he changed his mind?
                          > > tommersl
                          > >
                          >
                          > There is a very old song entitled "Don't Bite the Hand That's Feeding
                          > You". Spaeth became a popular radio entertainer in the 1930s. He was
                          > the "Tune Detective" and demonstrated relationships between classical
                          > melodies and popular knock offs. He testified in court as an expert
                          > in cases alleging musical plagiarism, most notably in the suit
                          > involving Rum and Coca Cola.
                          >
                          > All of which brings me back to Eddie Lang, the professional musician.
                          > You said "they" didn't consider him a "professional". I think you
                          > were really saying the snobs didn't consider him a musician. Either
                          > way, it misses my point which was that, in order to make a living, he
                          > could play blues for Bessie Smith, ricky tick for Paul Small and
                          > schmaltz for Bing, and make it all sound good. Therefore, the effect
                          > of Lonnie Johnson, if any, on his playing would have been limited to
                          > the occasions calling for a bluesy technique.
                          >


                          That's an open door, Charlie Spand's Back to the Woods, it must be
                          regarded as a Blues contact, unless it isn't what you call "occasion
                          calling for a bluesy technique", in that case I would like to hear the
                          difference between the guitar player's technique on that session and
                          occasion calling for Blues technique.

                          As to the pro musician thing, I'm not sure what is your definition to
                          it. Michael Jackson? Madona? I think Lang and other white Jazz players
                          were playing Jazz also because they couldn't get themselves a job in a
                          pro Classical orchestras. That's power to the people. Jazz wasn't
                          considered by the highly considered music researchers, musicians and
                          critics of the time, the academia and other major music institutions,
                          those saw Jazz at the time Lang lived (pre 1933) as a music not
                          serious, a trend, a dance craze, not really as a pro musical genre, I
                          challenge anyone to bring quotes from that time stating that Jazz is a
                          serious and pro music. Spaeth actually is a classic example : someone
                          who belittled Jazz and would not hire Jazz musicians (would he use the
                          word musicians for something he doesn't think is straight music?) for
                          a pro and serious musical campaign. Today we know the importance of
                          Jazz music but Lang lived at a different time, and he wasn't living
                          the life of a pro musician, at least the society wasn't thinking he
                          is, and it was voiced by major critics like Spaeth.

                          tommersl
                        • spacelights
                          Hi tommersl: I think you may be confusing professional with legitimate (or what was called legitimate at the time, namely classical music). Also
                          Message 12 of 22 , Jul 19, 2007
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                            Hi tommersl:

                            I think you may be confusing "professional" with "legitimate" (or what
                            was called legitimate at the time, namely classical music). Also
                            generalizations like "the people" and "society" may obscure your
                            argument somewhat...?

                            --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "tommersl" <tommersl@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > That's an open door, Charlie Spand's Back to the Woods, it must be
                            > regarded as a Blues contact, unless it isn't what you call "occasion
                            > calling for a bluesy technique", in that case I would like to hear the
                            > difference between the guitar player's technique on that session and
                            > occasion calling for Blues technique.
                            >
                            > As to the pro musician thing, I'm not sure what is your definition to
                            > it. Michael Jackson? Madona? I think Lang and other white Jazz players
                            > were playing Jazz also because they couldn't get themselves a job in a
                            > pro Classical orchestras. That's power to the people. Jazz wasn't
                            > considered by the highly considered music researchers, musicians and
                            > critics of the time, the academia and other major music institutions,
                            > those saw Jazz at the time Lang lived (pre 1933) as a music not
                            > serious, a trend, a dance craze, not really as a pro musical genre, I
                            > challenge anyone to bring quotes from that time stating that Jazz is a
                            > serious and pro music. Spaeth actually is a classic example : someone
                            > who belittled Jazz and would not hire Jazz musicians (would he use the
                            > word musicians for something he doesn't think is straight music?) for
                            > a pro and serious musical campaign. Today we know the importance of
                            > Jazz music but Lang lived at a different time, and he wasn't living
                            > the life of a pro musician, at least the society wasn't thinking he
                            > is, and it was voiced by major critics like Spaeth.
                            >
                            > tommersl
                            >
                          • tommersl
                            ... In order to avoid obscure arguments, I suggested reading Consider the Critic article by Roger Pryor Dodge. After reading it, I believe a clear picture of
                            Message 13 of 22 , Jul 19, 2007
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                              --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "spacelights" <spacelights@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Hi tommersl:
                              >
                              > I think you may be confusing "professional" with "legitimate" (or what
                              > was called legitimate at the time, namely classical music). Also
                              > generalizations like "the people" and "society" may obscure your
                              > argument somewhat...?
                              >
                              > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "tommersl" <tommersl@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > That's an open door, Charlie Spand's Back to the Woods, it must be
                              > > regarded as a Blues contact, unless it isn't what you call "occasion
                              > > calling for a bluesy technique", in that case I would like to hear the
                              > > difference between the guitar player's technique on that session and
                              > > occasion calling for Blues technique.
                              > >
                              > > As to the pro musician thing, I'm not sure what is your definition to
                              > > it. Michael Jackson? Madona? I think Lang and other white Jazz players
                              > > were playing Jazz also because they couldn't get themselves a job in a
                              > > pro Classical orchestras. That's power to the people. Jazz wasn't
                              > > considered by the highly considered music researchers, musicians and
                              > > critics of the time, the academia and other major music institutions,
                              > > those saw Jazz at the time Lang lived (pre 1933) as a music not
                              > > serious, a trend, a dance craze, not really as a pro musical genre, I
                              > > challenge anyone to bring quotes from that time stating that Jazz is a
                              > > serious and pro music. Spaeth actually is a classic example : someone
                              > > who belittled Jazz and would not hire Jazz musicians (would he use the
                              > > word musicians for something he doesn't think is straight music?) for
                              > > a pro and serious musical campaign. Today we know the importance of
                              > > Jazz music but Lang lived at a different time, and he wasn't living
                              > > the life of a pro musician, at least the society wasn't thinking he
                              > > is, and it was voiced by major critics like Spaeth.
                              > >
                              > > tommersl
                              > >
                              >

                              In order to avoid obscure arguments, I suggested reading "Consider the
                              Critic" article by Roger Pryor Dodge. After reading it, I believe a
                              clear picture of what was Jazz considered to be at different times. It
                              is a classic article IMO no less than "negro jazz" and "harpsichords"
                              two other classic and essential articles. It seems that the argue of
                              the time was "is jazz a music?" and those that accepted Jazz as
                              legitimate were mostly keeping their enthusiasm after Stravinsky,
                              Gershwin, Whiteman and the likes. Only few were talking about real
                              Jazz musicians like Oliver,Morton, Armstrong, Dodds, Bix and Eddie
                              Lang too name a few. I recommend avoiding obscurity by reading the
                              article.
                              tommersl
                            • heckman_michael
                              ... Michael Jackson! Madonna! Even in the conservatories there is a distinction made between singers and musicians. Lang et al played jazz because they
                              Message 14 of 22 , Jul 20, 2007
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                                > As to the pro musician thing, I'm not sure what is your definition to
                                > it. Michael Jackson? Madona? I think Lang and other white Jazz players
                                > were playing Jazz also because they couldn't get themselves a job in a
                                > pro Classical orchestras. That's power to the people. Jazz wasn't
                                > considered by the highly considered music researchers, musicians and
                                > critics of the time, the academia and other major music institutions,
                                > those saw Jazz at the time Lang lived (pre 1933) as a music not
                                > serious, a trend, a dance craze, not really as a pro musical genre, I
                                > challenge anyone to bring quotes from that time stating that Jazz is a
                                > serious and pro music.

                                Michael Jackson! Madonna! Even in the conservatories there is a
                                distinction made between singers and musicians.

                                Lang et al played jazz because they couldn't get jobs playing classical
                                music? Well, yes and no. Venuti was supposedly offered a chair in the
                                Detroit Symphony, but he was a violinist. Adrian Rollini was giving
                                classical piano recitals at the age of 12. Musicians choosing to play
                                trumpets, trombones and saxophones do so realizing that symphony calls
                                for those instruments are relatively few, and the parts for those
                                instruments very limited as to scope. They picked those instruments
                                with playing in a dance band in mind. Why? Maybe they liked the music
                                better. Maybe because playing in a dance band does not require years of
                                study and discipline in order to be a moderate success. Maybe because
                                there is the possibility of making more money and meeting more girls
                                than the orchestra musicians. Heifetz and Horowitz made a lot of money
                                but a Whiteman musician probably made more money than the second
                                violins playing behind those stars.

                                You say jazz wasn't highly regarded by critics and academics. True, but
                                Stravinsky, Milhaud and Ravel liked it. Critics get paid to criticize
                                and show off how smart they are. Thus, we read that Brahms was
                                lugubrious; Wagner was unlistenable; Stravinsky was a fraud. To the
                                critic's mind, he is more important than the mere musicians he writes
                                about. Jazz, with its low class origins, was an easy target to sneer at
                                without having to go to the trouble of trying to analyze it and
                                understand it. As to academics: I recall reading about more than one
                                eminent composer who, as a student had his work dismissed by the grand
                                poohbah who complained that the student's work did not follow rules a,
                                b, c2 and 3, f and h. Something new = something bad.

                                In the end, who cares? The music will live on or fade away without
                                regard to what anybody says. And we certainly have wandered from your
                                statement that Lang was influenced by Lonnie Johnson.
                              • Joel Fritz
                                A lot of the Creole players from New Orleans had classical training. Lil Armstrong s original ambition was to become a classical pianist. Jelly Roll Morton
                                Message 15 of 22 , Jul 20, 2007
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                                  A lot of the Creole players from New Orleans had classical training.
                                  Lil Armstrong's original ambition was to become a classical pianist.
                                  Jelly Roll Morton wanted only musicians who could read well.

                                  The idea of the original jazz players being a bunch of noble savages is
                                  a myth. Some of them were ear players. It was very difficult for
                                  people who were to get a job in a dance band.

                                  Lonnie Johnson had wide musical experience. Before WWI he played in a
                                  family group in NO that played popular music for dancing. He'd been a
                                  musician for quite a while before he made his first blues record. He
                                  was a decent mandolin and violin player.

                                  Eddie Lang's knowledge of harmony shows that he either learned a large
                                  amount on his own or was a schooled musician.

                                  Your friend,
                                  Barrelhouse Solly I

                                  It's never too late to do something your parents didn't want you to do.
                                  When that time comes Barrelhouse Solly will be there for you. He cares.

                                  Music: http://www.myspace.com/barrelhousesolly
                                  Fractious Felines: http://ratemykitten.com/my/?gallery=willie_mctell


                                  heckman_michael wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > > As to the pro musician thing, I'm not sure what is your definition to
                                  > > it. Michael Jackson? Madona? I think Lang and other white Jazz players
                                  > > were playing Jazz also because they couldn't get themselves a job in a
                                  > > pro Classical orchestras. That's power to the people. Jazz wasn't
                                  > > considered by the highly considered music researchers, musicians and
                                  > > critics of the time, the academia and other major music institutions,
                                  > > those saw Jazz at the time Lang lived (pre 1933) as a music not
                                  > > serious, a trend, a dance craze, not really as a pro musical genre, I
                                  > > challenge anyone to bring quotes from that time stating that Jazz is a
                                  > > serious and pro music.
                                  >
                                  > Michael Jackson! Madonna! Even in the conservatories there is a
                                  > distinction made between singers and musicians.
                                  >
                                  > Lang et al played jazz because they couldn't get jobs playing classical
                                  > music? Well, yes and no. Venuti was supposedly offered a chair in the
                                  > Detroit Symphony, but he was a violinist. Adrian Rollini was giving
                                  > classical piano recitals at the age of 12. Musicians choosing to play
                                  > trumpets, trombones and saxophones do so realizing that symphony calls
                                  > for those instruments are relatively few, and the parts for those
                                  > instruments very limited as to scope. They picked those instruments
                                  > with playing in a dance band in mind. Why? Maybe they liked the music
                                  > better. Maybe because playing in a dance band does not require years of
                                  > study and discipline in order to be a moderate success. Maybe because
                                  > there is the possibility of making more money and meeting more girls
                                  > than the orchestra musicians. Heifetz and Horowitz made a lot of money
                                  > but a Whiteman musician probably made more money than the second
                                  > violins playing behind those stars.
                                  >
                                  > You say jazz wasn't highly regarded by critics and academics. True, but
                                  > Stravinsky, Milhaud and Ravel liked it. Critics get paid to criticize
                                  > and show off how smart they are. Thus, we read that Brahms was
                                  > lugubrious; Wagner was unlistenable; Stravinsky was a fraud. To the
                                  > critic's mind, he is more important than the mere musicians he writes
                                  > about. Jazz, with its low class origins, was an easy target to sneer at
                                  > without having to go to the trouble of trying to analyze it and
                                  > understand it. As to academics: I recall reading about more than one
                                  > eminent composer who, as a student had his work dismissed by the grand
                                  > poohbah who complained that the student's work did not follow rules a,
                                  > b, c2 and 3, f and h. Something new = something bad.
                                  >
                                  > In the end, who cares? The music will live on or fade away without
                                  > regard to what anybody says. And we certainly have wandered from your
                                  > statement that Lang was influenced by Lonnie Johnson.
                                  >
                                  >
                                • tommersl
                                  ... Just anyone holding an instrument and making money form it is a pro musician? If thats the definition, its the same like saying someone has a profession,
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Jul 23, 2007
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "heckman_michael"
                                    <heckman_michael@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > > As to the pro musician thing, I'm not sure what is your definition to
                                    > > it. Michael Jackson? Madona? I think Lang and other white Jazz players
                                    > > were playing Jazz also because they couldn't get themselves a job in a
                                    > > pro Classical orchestras. That's power to the people. Jazz wasn't
                                    > > considered by the highly considered music researchers, musicians and
                                    > > critics of the time, the academia and other major music institutions,
                                    > > those saw Jazz at the time Lang lived (pre 1933) as a music not
                                    > > serious, a trend, a dance craze, not really as a pro musical genre, I
                                    > > challenge anyone to bring quotes from that time stating that Jazz is a
                                    > > serious and pro music.
                                    >
                                    > Michael Jackson! Madonna! Even in the conservatories there is a
                                    > distinction made between singers and musicians.
                                    >
                                    Just anyone holding an instrument and making money form it is a pro
                                    musician? If thats the definition, its the same like saying someone
                                    has a profession, without any quality, just someone dealing with
                                    something and making a living from it is a "pro".

                                    --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "heckman_michael"
                                    <heckman_michael@...> wrote:
                                    > Lang et al played jazz because they couldn't get jobs playing classical
                                    > music? Well, yes and no. Venuti was supposedly offered a chair in the
                                    > Detroit Symphony, but he was a violinist. Adrian Rollini was giving
                                    > classical piano recitals at the age of 12. Musicians choosing to play
                                    > trumpets, trombones and saxophones do so realizing that symphony calls
                                    > for those instruments are relatively few, and the parts for those
                                    > instruments very limited as to scope. They picked those instruments
                                    > with playing in a dance band in mind. Why? Maybe they liked the music
                                    > better. Maybe because playing in a dance band does not require years of
                                    > study and discipline in order to be a moderate success. Maybe because
                                    > there is the possibility of making more money and meeting more girls
                                    > than the orchestra musicians. Heifetz and Horowitz made a lot of money
                                    > but a Whiteman musician probably made more money than the second
                                    > violins playing behind those stars.
                                    >
                                    Maybe a few of the more sophisticated musicians that played popular
                                    instruments were offered some sort of a position at orchestras,
                                    generally how much of such an offer is serious for someone who is
                                    playing a music considered to be "distortion of strict music" at the
                                    time? Maybe a gimmick.

                                    --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "heckman_michael"
                                    <heckman_michael@...> wrote:
                                    > You say jazz wasn't highly regarded by critics and academics. True, but
                                    > Stravinsky, Milhaud and Ravel liked it.

                                    Stravinsky had several troubles in his career. I think he was only
                                    later becoming a considered musician, at the time there were argues
                                    around his capabilities.

                                    --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "heckman_michael"
                                    <heckman_michael@...> wrote:
                                    > Critics get paid to criticize
                                    > and show off how smart they are. Thus, we read that Brahms was
                                    > lugubrious; Wagner was unlistenable; Stravinsky was a fraud. To the
                                    > critic's mind, he is more important than the mere musicians he writes
                                    > about. Jazz, with its low class origins, was an easy target to sneer at
                                    > without having to go to the trouble of trying to analyze it and
                                    > understand it. As to academics: I recall reading about more than one
                                    > eminent composer who, as a student had his work dismissed by the grand
                                    > poohbah who complained that the student's work did not follow rules a,
                                    > b, c2 and 3, f and h. Something new = something bad.

                                    There are opinions in art, and I think you are free to choose or share
                                    with opinions of certain critics, you can argue with academia
                                    professors that don't like something someone does, but in the bottom
                                    line, their influence on the way real pro music is accepted is
                                    enormous. Same for the media. And look how it is today "Anything that
                                    sounds new is good". Minimalism today is considered much better and
                                    advanced than someone who plays music with a detailed texture. The
                                    extremists are ruling and thats how modern Classical and Jazz Music
                                    looks like today. I think we should thank those who preached to play a
                                    continuum of a tradition and not a post-modernized music,in that they
                                    were slowing the down the hill route of Classical as well as Jazz music.
                                    tommersl
                                  • Dan Van Landingham
                                    You ve given me something to think about.Critics were individuals,in my opinion,a vindictive lot who sabotaged the careers of composers out of their own lack
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Jul 23, 2007
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      You've given me something to think about.Critics were individuals,in my opinion,a vindictive lot who sabotaged the careers of composers out of their own lack of talent.Tschaikowsky bore the brunt on many harsh reviews of his works.I was a fan of his when I was younger,but after I heard more and more of his pieces regardless of style,I was unimpressed with him.The first taste I had of his work was an old circa 1938-41 Victor Red Seal 78 rpm set of his first piano concerto(Victor number DM-800).The original set is long since gone but I did find another set several months ago.The opening theme was beautiful but after the "Tonight We Love" theme,it was downhill all the way.I would just dub off the first half of the first movement and fade out the rest.I cared little for the remaining movements.Tschaikowsky,to me,was an easy man to knock,as we say here in America,and the more I listened to his other works,I became less and less impressed with the exceptions of excerpted pieces
                                      from "Swan Lake","Sleeping Beauty" and the "Nutcracker".In jazz I wasn't that much different:While I loved the OKeh recordings of Satchmo,I cared less about some of the big band things he did for RCA in 1932-33 and the Deccas he cut between 1935 and '45 and the RCAs Satchmo cut in 1946-47.The All Stars left me cold dispite the presence of Teagarden,Hackett,Bigard and those who came along later such as Billy Kyle,Trummy Young and drummers Sid Catlett and Danny Alvin.I once played some of their stuff for my late friend John Enders who was a a big fan of Bix's,Teagarden's and Satchmo's recordings from the '20s through the '40s.Satchmo's recording of "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It" and John found it silly as did I.I'll take the Hank Williams recording any day.I had another friend who worked with Henry Busse,Hampton,and several others.He was a classically trained trombonist but was a good saxist and trumpeter.I detected a bit of snobbery in him where classically trained musicians
                                      were concerned.What was implied was a sense of "gutlessness" the classical musicians had.I felt that way toward trumpeters after I heard Bunny Berigan,Satchmo and men like Ralph Marterie,Charlie Spivak,Ziggy Elman,Mannie Klein and Harry James.That's my viewpoint for what it's worth.

                                      tommersl <tommersl@...> wrote:
                                      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "heckman_michael"
                                      <heckman_michael@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > > As to the pro musician thing, I'm not sure what is your definition to
                                      > > it. Michael Jackson? Madona? I think Lang and other white Jazz players
                                      > > were playing Jazz also because they couldn't get themselves a job in a
                                      > > pro Classical orchestras. That's power to the people. Jazz wasn't
                                      > > considered by the highly considered music researchers, musicians and
                                      > > critics of the time, the academia and other major music institutions,
                                      > > those saw Jazz at the time Lang lived (pre 1933) as a music not
                                      > > serious, a trend, a dance craze, not really as a pro musical genre, I
                                      > > challenge anyone to bring quotes from that time stating that Jazz is a
                                      > > serious and pro music.
                                      >
                                      > Michael Jackson! Madonna! Even in the conservatories there is a
                                      > distinction made between singers and musicians.
                                      >
                                      Just anyone holding an instrument and making money form it is a pro
                                      musician? If thats the definition, its the same like saying someone
                                      has a profession, without any quality, just someone dealing with
                                      something and making a living from it is a "pro".

                                      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "heckman_michael"
                                      <heckman_michael@...> wrote:
                                      > Lang et al played jazz because they couldn't get jobs playing classical
                                      > music? Well, yes and no. Venuti was supposedly offered a chair in the
                                      > Detroit Symphony, but he was a violinist. Adrian Rollini was giving
                                      > classical piano recitals at the age of 12. Musicians choosing to play
                                      > trumpets, trombones and saxophones do so realizing that symphony calls
                                      > for those instruments are relatively few, and the parts for those
                                      > instruments very limited as to scope. They picked those instruments
                                      > with playing in a dance band in mind. Why? Maybe they liked the music
                                      > better. Maybe because playing in a dance band does not require years of
                                      > study and discipline in order to be a moderate success. Maybe because
                                      > there is the possibility of making more money and meeting more girls
                                      > than the orchestra musicians. Heifetz and Horowitz made a lot of money
                                      > but a Whiteman musician probably made more money than the second
                                      > violins playing behind those stars.
                                      >
                                      Maybe a few of the more sophisticated musicians that played popular
                                      instruments were offered some sort of a position at orchestras,
                                      generally how much of such an offer is serious for someone who is
                                      playing a music considered to be "distortion of strict music" at the
                                      time? Maybe a gimmick.

                                      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "heckman_michael"
                                      <heckman_michael@...> wrote:
                                      > You say jazz wasn't highly regarded by critics and academics. True, but
                                      > Stravinsky, Milhaud and Ravel liked it.

                                      Stravinsky had several troubles in his career. I think he was only
                                      later becoming a considered musician, at the time there were argues
                                      around his capabilities.

                                      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "heckman_michael"
                                      <heckman_michael@...> wrote:
                                      > Critics get paid to criticize
                                      > and show off how smart they are. Thus, we read that Brahms was
                                      > lugubrious; Wagner was unlistenable; Stravinsky was a fraud. To the
                                      > critic's mind, he is more important than the mere musicians he writes
                                      > about. Jazz, with its low class origins, was an easy target to sneer at
                                      > without having to go to the trouble of trying to analyze it and
                                      > understand it. As to academics: I recall reading about more than one
                                      > eminent composer who, as a student had his work dismissed by the grand
                                      > poohbah who complained that the student's work did not follow rules a,
                                      > b, c2 and 3, f and h. Something new = something bad.

                                      There are opinions in art, and I think you are free to choose or share
                                      with opinions of certain critics, you can argue with academia
                                      professors that don't like something someone does, but in the bottom
                                      line, their influence on the way real pro music is accepted is
                                      enormous. Same for the media. And look how it is today "Anything that
                                      sounds new is good". Minimalism today is considered much better and
                                      advanced than someone who plays music with a detailed texture. The
                                      extremists are ruling and thats how modern Classical and Jazz Music
                                      looks like today. I think we should thank those who preached to play a
                                      continuum of a tradition and not a post-modernized music,in that they
                                      were slowing the down the hill route of Classical as well as Jazz music.
                                      tommersl






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                                    • tommersl
                                      ... While I loved the OKeh recordings of Satchmo,I cared less about some of the big band things he did for RCA in 1932-33 and the Deccas he cut between 1935
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Jul 24, 2007
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Dan Van Landingham
                                        <danvanlandingham@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        While I loved the OKeh recordings of Satchmo,I cared less about some
                                        of the big band things he did for RCA in 1932-33 and the Deccas he cut
                                        between 1935 and '45 and the RCAs Satchmo cut in 1946-47.The All Stars
                                        left me cold dispite the presence of Teagarden,Hackett,Bigard and
                                        those who came along later such as Billy Kyle,Trummy Young and
                                        drummers Sid Catlett and Danny Alvin.I once played some of their stuff
                                        for my late friend John Enders who was a a big fan of
                                        Bix's,Teagarden's and Satchmo's recordings from the '20s through the
                                        '40s.Satchmo's recording of "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It" and John
                                        found it silly as did I.I'll take the Hank Williams recording any
                                        day.I had another friend who worked with Henry Busse,Hampton,and
                                        several others.He was a classically trained trombonist but was a good
                                        saxist and trumpeter.I detected a bit of snobbery in him where
                                        classically trained musicians
                                        > were concerned.What was implied was a sense of "gutlessness" the
                                        classical musicians had.I felt that way toward trumpeters after I
                                        heard Bunny Berigan,Satchmo and men like Ralph Marterie,Charlie
                                        Spivak,Ziggy Elman,Mannie Klein and Harry James.That's my viewpoint
                                        for what it's worth.
                                        >

                                        The date when the peak was behind and the downhill was on is
                                        interesting. I think Sachmo already realized that he need less
                                        swinging band and more room for solos including singing when he got
                                        rid of his hot demanding swinging band with Dodds and Ory in the late
                                        1920's. But at the time his music wasn't yet sweet, he had excellent
                                        musicians with him who could solo and swing with him even less
                                        intensively than before because the solos, but still music that is
                                        heading for qualities. It seems to me his Decca stuff was the turning
                                        point of huge decline because the orchestra was just a back up band
                                        from that time and on, that served only to give him surroundings. The
                                        later few recording like those with Bechet in 1940 I believe that he
                                        was aware of all of this and went for what the market asked for.
                                        tommersl
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