Archive for the ‘Styles’ Category

Author: Jon Ozment



“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.”


Author: Cow Cow Davenport

Source: The Jazz Record, n° 5, April 15, 1943


“The word “Boogie” was derived from our old grandmothers’ use of the word meaning the devil. When the kids broke the rules in any way such as fighting, running away or disobeying in any way we were told that the ” Boogie man” was going to get us. The blues was considered bad music as it usually alluded to love affairs. In those days, only the lowest class of people in the towns, or people who were known to be without self-respect, would dare to be heard singing the blues.”


Author: Art Hodes

Source: Jazz Journal May 1959, p. 10-12


Arthur W. Hodes (1904-1993) known professionally as Art Hodes, was an American jazz pianist. Born in Ukraine,  he  settled with his family in Chicago, Illinois when he was a few months old. His career began in Chicago clubs, but he did not gain wider attention until moving to New York City in 1938. In that city he played with Sidney Bechet, Joe Marsala, and Mezz Mezzrow.

Later Hodes founded his own band in the 1940s and it would be associated with his home town of Chicago. He and his band played mostly in that area for the next forty years.

Read HERE an article he wrote in 1959 on Cow Cow Davenport

Author: Cow Cow Davenport

Source: The Jazz Record, December 1944


“When I was a boy down in Alabama, the people who played music played only guitars. The guitars were carried swung on the neck with a long string, and people called them easy riders. My father didn’t like that idea of his son being an easy rider so he wouldn’t let me learn music. In those days the musicians had all the girls, and daddy despised it; so he didn’t allow me to play in his house. He had purchased a piano, though. My mother was pianist for a church they organized. My mother admired me because I could play, and my daddy hated me because I could play. He was going to make out of me what he wanted me to be, that was a pread1er. He sent me to Selma University, a Baptist college in Alabama.”


Author: Natalie Curtis Burlin

Some early studies on Negro folk song have received very little attention. One of them is the work produced by Natalie Curtis Burlin (1875-1921): Negro Folk-Songs, 1918. Natalie Curtis Burlin was an American ethnomusicologist who dedicated most of her efforts to the study of the native American folk, but was later in life also fascinated with African American music. She strove to record, not change, the music she heard, noting in the foreword to the first volume: “These notations of Negro folk-songs are faithful efforts to place on paper an exact record of the old traditional plantation songs as sung by Negroes… . I have added nothing and I have striven to omit nothing.” 


Author: Karl Gert zur Heide

Source: Doctor Jazz Magazine 213, Summer 2011


Karl Gert zur Heide on early blues and the role of May Rainey


Author: Guy B. Johnson
Source: Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, vol. 22 (1927-28), pp 12-20
Reprinted and commented in: Alan Dundes, Mother Wit; from the laughing Barrel, 1990, pp-258-266


Double meaning and the metaphoric style were among the main features of African verbal art, and they have been transported to the blues. In this article, Guy B. Johnson (1901–1991),  sociologist and social anthropologist and a distinguished student of black culture in the rural South, deals with one of the subjects of metaphoric verbal art: sex (both the act and the designation of the sexual organs).