Archive for the ‘Jazz & Blues’ Category

Author: Jon Ozment

Source: http://www.jonozment.com

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“It is common knowledge that the blues was one of the major components of jazz from the beginning. However, ragtime was the other major component, though its contribution is less appreciated. Increasing our understanding of the origins of jazz and the contributions of early jazz artists requires detailed study of all aspects of the relevant context. This paper endeavors to illuminate an important area of the historical and musical context by identifying and analyzing the formal elements of early jazz performances, thereby uncovering the extent to which ragtime contributed to the creation of jazz. Perceiving the influence of earlier styles helps us to appreciate the richness of jazz and acknowledge its true place in the panoply of American musical traditions.”

READ THE ESSAY HERE

Author: Karl Gert zur Heide

Source: Doctor Jazz Magazine 205, June 2009

(http://www.doctorjazz.nl/data/data/djm205.html)

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« For a blues fan, Cow Cow Davenport is a household name, and his « Cow Cow Blues » is a blues classic. Like jazz icon Jelly Roll Morton (1890-1941), Davenport (1894/95-1955) came from the Deep South of the USA, worked as a comedian, sang and played piano, composed songs and instrumentals, entertained in brothels, and was associated with women who could also sing the blues. Both men made some of their best recordings by cutting piano rolls for the Vocalstyle company in Cincinnati – Morton in 1924, Davenport in 1925/1926.
Besides their association with “the life” (in red-light districts), they shared another habit: crisscrossing the country and the barrelhouse circuit and with vaudeville acts and minstrel shows. This essay will throw more light on the tent-show aspect of Davenport’s career.”

CONTINUE READING HERE

Author: Frank Youngwerth

Source: http://delmark.com/rhythm.htm

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“It’s not exactly news anymore if a hip-hop group samples an old jazz record, but I was still pretty stunned to hear the Creators, a British production collective, cutting up the haunting, chime-laden intro to Joe “King” Oliver’s “St. James Infirmary” on a track released last year called “The Music.” The original Victor 1930 recording, something of a hit in its day, had been my own introduction to the legendary New Orleans cornetist’s music thirty-odd years ago; yet ever since, it’s rarely been heard or reissued in this country.

And not without reason, for it belongs to a group of recordings that every so often embarrasses the jazz anthology compiler or disc jockey who unsuspectingly draws from it–it’s a King Oliver-fronted record that doesn’t feature Oliver. Not one, but two other fine trumpeters, ex-Ellingtonian Bubber Miley and Henry “Red” Allen, take solos on “St. James Infirmary,” with Oliver thought merely to be playing lead on the last chorus.”
CONTINUE READING HERE

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Author: Paul Fritz Laubenstein
Source: The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 16, No. 3. (Jul., 1930), pp. 378-403

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If you are in the mood for some historical reading which concludes a.o. that “Jazz and Blues reveal the bankruptcy of the Negro’s music divorced as they are from religion”, then start reading HERE

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Author: Olly Wilson
Source: Black Music Research Journal, Vol 3 (http://jazzstudiesonline.org/?q=node/434)

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Wilson squarely confronts the challenge of defining what “black music” is in all its vastness and diversity. He argues that it should not be thought of as a set of specific characteristics, but a conceptual approach to making music, “the manifestations of which are infinite.” Wilson refers to both aesthetic theory and detailed analysis of musical works to highlight the common threads he believes run through all black music.

CONTINUE READING HERE

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Author: Charlie Hore

Source: Issue 61 of INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM JOURNAL Published Winter 1993

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“Jazz music has become one of the 20th century’s most important and enduring art forms. Yet it survives today in a paradoxical state. On the one hand, the audience for jazz is now larger and more diverse, both socially and geographically, than ever before. Millions of people who don’t see themselves as jazz fans regularly listen to live jazz, and most people who regularly buy records or CDs own some jazz. Pubs and bars which feature live music will often have jazz one night, rock the next, and folk the night after; and much the same audience will turn up to hear all three. On the other hand, jazz as a constantly innovative and evolving artform is in decline, and has been for the last 20 years. Throughout the 1970s and the 1980s, there were no fundamental developments in the music on the scale of bebop or 1960s ‘new jazz’. During that period not one new musician emerged who even remotely approached the stature of figures like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis or John Coltrane. This is in no way  intended to denigrate the many fine artists playing today; it is rather to state the simple fact that jazz has lost its position at the leading edge of musical development to other musical
forms.

The point of this article is to attempt an explanation of this decline by looking at the ways in which jazz and other forms of black music grew out of the black American experience, and how these musical forms have changed as a result of changes in black lives and experiences.”

CONTINUE READING HERE

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