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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceOther Musicians and Ensembles(Moderator: blast) 100 years old. The first jazz recording.
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Graham Martin
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« on: Aug 22, 2017, 03:48PM »

Original Dixieland Jass Band - Livery Stable Blues. This is the first ever jazz recording, now celebrating its 100 year birthday. And the ODJB also went on to spread the jazz message all round the world. Good!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um4xhfwYnvg

It is of course nonsense to say they invented jazz but they certainly did a lot to popularize it.
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« Reply #1 on: Aug 22, 2017, 04:28PM »

Not enough animal sounds in jazz today.
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 20, 2017, 05:41AM »

Ah, nothin' like some good ol' Jass!
I find it interesting that the playing when compared to later "Dixieland"/trad. jazz has VERY many 'long notes' and is much closer to straight in feel than today's triplets-based swing.
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 20, 2017, 06:28AM »

This tune was also called "Barnyard Blues".  We had a tuba player who could make a really good moo through his tuba, but a lot of the other animal sounds were a bit beyond us.

Notice that EVERYBODY plays behind each soloist.

Thanks for sharing this, Grah.
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 20, 2017, 07:29AM »


Notice that EVERYBODY plays behind each soloist.


It makes for very tedious effect after a few minutes. The whole thing sounds like the "big finish". 

Aside from the animal noises, I'm not sure they really take solos... maybe it was just accidental that someone slightly peeked out above the texture for a bit.  Don't know
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 20, 2017, 11:21AM »

Collective improvisation was the norm until Louis Armstrong pretty much invented the concept the individual soloist.
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« Reply #6 on: Nov 09, 2017, 09:04PM »

Thanks!!!
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« Reply #7 on: Nov 09, 2017, 10:24PM »

Collective improvisation was the norm until Louis Armstrong pretty much invented the concept the individual soloist.

That’s largely true, for a couple of reasons. First, the earliest jazz musicians were mostly not very sophisticated, and didn’t know about arrangements or solos. But an interesting second reason is that bar owners didn’t like to see players idling around on the stand while one of the players was soloing - if the player wasn’t playing, he was slacking on the job. So they’d better all play the whole time. But just as the Livery Stable Blues wasn’t necessarily the first jazz record (Ory might have been first), Armstrong wasn’t necessarily the first soloist. He was the first STAR soloist, though.
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« Reply #8 on: Nov 09, 2017, 10:25PM »

Collective improvisation was the norm until Louis Armstrong pretty much invented the concept the individual soloist.

True. Revolutionary in many ways, not the least of which was redefining the range of the trumpet.
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« Reply #9 on: Nov 10, 2017, 12:40AM »

Interesting, they all sound good and the trombone has a nice sound.  Its more like a straight feel isnt it?

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« Reply #10 on: Nov 10, 2017, 06:01AM »

Well, I'm no historian, but I think that the swing era hadn't begun yet.
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« Reply #11 on: Nov 10, 2017, 11:58AM »

Well, I'm no historian, but I think that the swing era hadn't begun yet.

The advent of "Swing" dates to the mid 1930s.

The first recordings were by the "Original Dixieland Jass Band [sic]" which was a bunch of White New Orleans guys who went to New York to record in 1917.

Basically Jazz was considered to have been developed out of "Ragged Time" (Ragtime") at the end of the 1890s.  Many of the original players were Black and as such didn't have access to recording media.
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« Reply #12 on: Nov 10, 2017, 03:49PM »

That’s largely true, for a couple of reasons. First, the earliest jazz musicians were mostly not very sophisticated, and didn’t know about arrangements or solos. But an interesting second reason is that bar owners didn’t like to see players idling around on the stand while one of the players was soloing - if the player wasn’t playing, he was slacking on the job. So they’d better all play the whole time. But just as the Livery Stable Blues wasn’t necessarily the first jazz record (Ory might have been first), Armstrong wasn’t necessarily the first soloist. He was the first STAR soloist, though.

I do not think it is quite true to say the earliest jazz musicians were unsophisticated. Many of the African Americans in New Orleans had played in marching bands. The New Orleans jazz collective ensemble was a clever copy of that musical style, with the trumpet, trombone and clarinet frontline playing very similar parts to those of the marching band. But they played largely by ear and with the added feel of Ragtime and the Blues (African rhythm (swing?) feel, if you like).

The jazz solo came about by one instrument in the N.O. ensemble naturally coming to the fore with some musical ideas to express, and the other frontline instruments backing off slightly to give that instrument room to be featured. Again, much as is done in a military band with the different sections having some featured sections of the arrangement.

To get all that to happen smoothly is very sophisticated indeed and I have some friends in the UK and Europe who have spent a lifetime trying to reproduce the sounds of the N.O. Ensemble. They say it is much harder than the norm of a jazz sandwich of Melody, Solos, Melody, where the other instruments drop out completely while a jazz solo is taken.

If you think about it, a riff played behind a jazz solo is very much like reintroducing the N.O. Ensemble to a big swing band. :D

On the subject of the first real soloists of note, I think you would have to look to Louis Armstrong's boss and inspiration Joe "King" Oliver, and even back further to Buddy Bolden. Other leaders such as Jelly Roll Morton also included more and more solo space in their playing.

Please note that I am not saying I do not like the later developments in jazz where the solo is now often the most important part. I do very much! But you must give credit where credit is due and most of that is thanks to the New Orleans style jazz and its beginnings with Buddy Bolden in 1895.

     
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« Reply #13 on: Nov 11, 2017, 07:43AM »

I just got off a cruise ship, and I introduced myself to the jazz band/show band. I asked if they could play some Trad Jazz, and they said that was crap music. LOL! They play the more sophisticated stuff in the bebop genre. LOL!

Oh well, at least I asked. They were all from the Ukraine and were very good. I enjoyed listening to them.
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« Reply #14 on: Nov 11, 2017, 09:01AM »

I do not think it is quite true to say the earliest jazz musicians were unsophisticated.

Amen.

The earliest jazz musicians often had spent much time in marching bands, military bands, touring vaudeville and minstrel acts and circuses. Military and circus musicians in particular are known for having been some of the most technically accomplished musicians of their day. I understand many "western music history" books paint jazz musicians as unsophisticated and lacking in technique. This is simply not true. A charismatic and/or individual sound is and has always been important in popular music, and particularly in jazz. In western music, where the musicians compromise their individuality to the needs of the composer and conductor, this individualism is often misunderstood as a negative.

Rhythmically, there's no question. The rhythmic sophistication of jazz musicians was, is and continues to be far ahead of the norm.

I just got off a cruise ship, and I introduced myself to the jazz band/show band. I asked if they could play some Trad Jazz, and they said that was crap music. LOL!

When I was directing, you had to know the music of Armstrong and Parker. Any side-eyed jabs at New Orleans music would get you fired or transferred.
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« Reply #15 on: Nov 11, 2017, 09:08AM »

One thing we might be able to say about the original jazz musicians is that they were a lot less sophisticated (learning-wise) than modern day jazzers.

I doubt they could tell you a chord was an Eb Minor Flat 13, but their ears could pick it out easily.  Unsophisticated, but not untrained.  They got a lot of knowledge on the bandstand.

Zac, I would hope that any decent cruise musician would be able to play anything from Mozart to Prince and do it convincingly.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #16 on: Nov 11, 2017, 09:31AM »

I think that they had the ability, no doubt. I think one - they probably didn't have any charts for Trad Jazz, and two - they always play directly off of charts. Rock, jazz and shows.
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« Reply #17 on: Nov 11, 2017, 01:12PM »

One thing we might be able to say about the original jazz musicians is that they were a lot less sophisticated (learning-wise) than modern day jazzers.

I doubt they could tell you a chord was an Eb Minor Flat 13, but their ears could pick it out easily.  Unsophisticated, but not untrained.  They got a lot of knowledge on the bandstand.

I don't know that that's accurate. True, many "street" musicians would've been foreign to music theory as they started our, but military bandsmen have always (to my knowledge) been schooled in basic theory.  It's a historical fallacy that the early jazz world was on the whole occupied by self-taught musicians. It was a mixture of formally trained and those learning through the oral tradition. Many creole musicians came from families that saw formal music education as a necessity for an educated upbringing. Many of the composers who ushered in this new era of american music for the most part had formal training in composition and were quite adept in advanced harmonic concepts and scoring techniques. Those classical music history texts, in the page or two they devote to jazz, will dwell so much on Armstrong (who did have some training despite what is often written of him) and Ory, who had little in the way "formal" music education yet hardly mention any of the men like Scott Joplin, James P Johnson or Jelly Roll Morton who wrote and codified much of what led to jazz. Fletcher Henderson is only now being seriously dealt with - and why is this? Why do historians of western music feel the need to undermine the accomplishments of other artforms? No one is denying that some of the new musicians weren't "formally trained." It just wasn't the widespread rule that it is often painted as in western history books. Just like today, it was a mixture of "trained" and "self-taught".

And yes, many of them could tell you a particular chord was a B∆13(#11)/D#. Very few jazz musicians in any period would've been unable to tell you what the chord changes were to a song they were playing. Learning always happened on the bandstand - someone lacking this knowledge when they started would've likely learned over time.

Compared to modern jazz musicians, I'd think the "less sophisticated" tag would've applied to many orchestral musicians of the day as well - if we're talking about theory.
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« Reply #18 on: Nov 11, 2017, 01:41PM »

...

Compared to modern jazz musicians, I'd think the "less sophisticated" tag would've applied to many orchestral musicians of the day as well - if we're talking about theory.

This is quite true.  Orchestral musicians of 100 years ago did not have DMA level training.  Most studied privately with one or three teachers, then won an audition.  The music of that period was in a big state of flux, but like today most orchestral performances tended to concentrate on a few "war horses" and ignore new music by those iconoclasts like Stravinsky, Ravel, and Schoenberg.

Mind you, I don't denigrate the talent and creativity of Jazz musicians of 100 years ago.  They broke new ground as much as Mingus, Monk, Coltrane, and Davis.  But to today's kids it's considered really dated and hence "old fogey" music.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #19 on: Nov 11, 2017, 02:06PM »

This is quite true.  Orchestral musicians of 100 years ago did not have DMA level training.  Most studied privately with one or three teachers, then won an audition.  The music of that period was in a big state of flux, but like today most orchestral performances tended to concentrate on a few "war horses" and ignore new music by those iconoclasts like Stravinsky, Ravel, and Schoenberg.

Mind you, I don't denigrate the talent and creativity of Jazz musicians of 100 years ago.  They broke new ground as much as Mingus, Monk, Coltrane, and Davis.  But to today's kids it's considered really dated and hence "old fogey" music.

Every where you go, you only see Old Fogey's watching trad jazz, but there are a lot of young kids out there swing dancing to the trad jazz songs, so there might be somewhat of a turn around heading our way. Who knows?
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