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ARSCLIST  May 2015

ARSCLIST May 2015

Subject:

Re: Apology if that was unnecessarily heated

From:

Aaron Levinson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 23 May 2015 13:38:52 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (209 lines)

Dave-

First,  I didn't "invalidate"anything so please don't attempt to speak for me that's equally offensive and petulant. I asked you to back up your own assertion of a "significant black audience", I did not make the case for that barometer in the first place I simply asked for YOUR evidence to buttress your contention. 

You failed to provide it and then attempted to back pedal and dismiss its importance. I stand by my simple assertion of trad jazz as atavistic despite you looking it up in the dictionary.  

 Listen you love it and that's great have at it I'm genuinely happy you are doing the work but you seem intent upon elevating it at the expense of other things and that strikes me as both petty and mean-spirited and beneath you and everyone else on this list. 

AA

Sent from my iPhone

> On May 23, 2015, at 1:19 PM, Dave Radlauer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> AA --
> 
> Regardless of what one thinks of the music, marginalizing a musical
> movement by saying no one black listened isn't a valid argument.
> 
> I can find one notable example of a black audience enthralled with
> well-done revival music.  I cite Bob Mielke's Bearcats first and most
> important gig where they jelled and developed their style as a band in
> 1955-56 at the Lark's Club in Berkeley:
> 
> *It was a long room with the bar to one side and the bandstand deep in the
> back of the room.  With an integrated clientele, about half were
> African-American, Lark’s Club was located in a black neighborhood of
> Berkeley and was owned by Bill Nelson, a former trombone player in the
> Jimmy Lunceford orchestra.  *
> 
> But I admit that was an exception.  Was it *Not-Jazz* becaue it I fell in
> the forest and no African American, or respected critic, heard it?  Invalid
> because it broke no stylistic ground?
> 
> *****************
> Innovative = If that is your main criteria, you've made your point.  But is
> that the only value by which to judge?  I have other criteria.
> 
> And I never claimed 'significant artistic innovation' was going on in the
> revival.  You're entitled to your opinions and value judgements about
> music.   But they don't invalidate it as a form of expression.  Anymore
> than the entire genre of classical music is pointless in recreating music
> of the past.
> 
> I think I said -- or meant --  "creating something new within an existing
> form" -- but I will reject your term  *atavistic*:
> *"reverting to or suggesting the characteristics of a remote ancestor or
> primitive type."  *
> 
> Again, that's neither articulate or fact-based, just an old and recycled
> slander.
> 
> AA --
> 
> Regardless of what one thinks of the music, marginalizing a musical
> movement by saying no one black listened isn't a valid argument.
> 
> I can find one notable example of a black audience enthralled with
> well-done revival music.  I cite Bob Mielke's Bearcats first and most
> important gig where they jelled and developed their style as a band in
> 1955-56 at the Lark's Club in Berkeley:
> 
> *It was a long room with the bar to one side and the bandstand deep in the
> back of the room.  With an integrated clientele, about half were
> African-American, Lark’s Club was located in a black neighborhood of
> Berkeley and was owned by Bill Nelson, a former trombone player in the
> Jimmy Lunceford orchestra.  *
> 
> But I admit that was an exception.  Was it *Not-Jazz* becaue it I fell in
> the forest and no African American, or respected critic, heard it?  Invalid
> because it broke no stylistic ground?
> 
> *****************
> Innovative = If that is your main criteria, you've made your point.  But is
> that the only value by which to judge?  I have other criteria.
> 
> And I never claimed 'significant artistic innovation' was going on in the
> revival.  You're entitled to your opinions and value judgements about
> music.   But they don't invalidate it as a form of expression.  Anymore
> than the entire genre of classical music is pointless in recreating music
> of the past.
> 
> I think I said -- or meant --  "creating something new within an existing
> form" -- but I will reject your term  *atavistic*:
> *"reverting to or suggesting the characteristics of a remote ancestor or
> primitive type."  *
> 
> Again, that's neither articulate or fact-based, just an old and recycled
> slander.
> 
> Dave R
> 
> 
> 
> On Sat, May 23, 2015 at 9:13 AM, Aaron Levinson <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> 
>> Dave-
>> 
>> I for one am very curious to see the hard statistical evidence that SF
>> trad bands had "significant black audiences". What does that mean? Half the
>> audience or 3% ? I am pleased that these older cats like Bunk or Wellman
>> found a new career playing music that they loved long after the initial
>> period that produced the first flowering. But the plain fact is that no
>> significant artistic innovation that I am aware of was produced by the
>> movement and it remained largely atavistic from what I can tell.
>> 
>> In the 1950's, during the height of the trad revival Charles Mingus was
>> releasing such classic albums as The Clown, Ah-Um and a host of other
>> groundbreaking recordings. He embraced both New Orleans and Ellington among
>> many others but also stood at the vanguard of forging a new vocabulary. He
>> was in no way dismissive of older jazz forms but he did not "recreate"
>> anything in the process. Jazz (at it's best) has always been a field that
>> respected its own past but concomitantly had both feet planted quite
>> squarely in it's own zeitgeist.
>> 
>> Mingus borrowed freely from these earlier innovators like Armstrong and
>> Duke (who he adored) but he did so in service of making an evolutionary
>> leap. A leap that encompassed all of jazz up to that point and yet was
>> entirely contemporaneous. Listen to "Fables of Faubus" as substantive proof
>> of my assertions. Much of his ensemble work incorporated the controlled
>> mayhem of New Orleans group improvisation but it cannot be mistaken by
>> anyone as anything but integrating these ideas into a totally idiosyncratic
>> and vital context and not in the service of "recreating" a bygone age. In
>> both message and sound it was entirely immersed in the present day.
>> 
>> I am perfectly happy to agree that (overwhelmingly) white people sat back
>> on a sunny day and enjoyed a recreation of a bygone age on a Sunday
>> afternoon in 1956. But to suggest that they were creating something new
>> considering the extraordinary and genuinely innovative work being done by
>> people like Mingus and the Jazz Workshop at the same moment in time seems
>> to me hubristic at best.
>> 
>> One man's opinion,
>> 
>> AA
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> 
>>> On May 23, 2015, at 9:47 AM, Dave Radlauer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Tom --
>>> 
>>> Thanks for your note.
>>> 
>>> << The young guys driving the revival were second generation white guys
>>> playing dixieland, with little or no personal connection to the original
>>> musicians. >>
>>> 
>>> Again, not supported by facts.  There were just as many interactions
>>> between the Frisco guys and Black musicians from New Orleans -- if not
>>> more.  Watters, Helm and those guys sought out black musicians & music
>>> (given the segregation in America at the times), and visited New Orleans.
>>> And the best bands had significant black audiences -- at least in the
>> East
>>> Bay.
>>> 
>>> The whole tradition of Sunday afternoon sessions came from the Watters'
>>> Hambone Kelly's club: Sunday pm was for special guests and jammers like:
>>> James P Johnson, Danny Barker, Mutt Carey (and even Eddie Condon!).  This
>>> tradition led to most of the Jazz Societies, and eventually Festivals
>>> around the country.
>>> 
>>> Many New Orleans/Black guys came west to LA and SF.  And interacted with,
>>> hired, or jammed with the younger revivalists:
>>> A partial list of New Orleans or 'original' black musicians active and
>>> engaged with the young West Coast white guys included:
>>> 
>>> Bunk Johnson - spent a year in SF 1942-43 and played with the white guys
>> &
>>> rump YBJB (& roomed with Burt Bales)
>>> Kid Ory - Club in SF hired all kinds of musicians
>>> Amos White - popular trumpeter at Bill Erickson's Pier 23 jam
>>> Pops Foster - jammed and played with young dixielanders
>>> Wellman Braud - I heard him play with a revival band in the 1980s
>>> Earl Hines - performed, broadcast, hired young white guys
>>> Darnell Howard - close relations with many Frisco jazz guys
>>> Frank Big Boy Goudie - played almost exclusively with 'dixielanders'
>>> 1957-63 - Born near and played NOLA golden age
>>> Clem Raymond - few facts but played and recorded with Oxtot
>>> Sister Lottie Peavy
>>> others
>>> 
>>> And several old NYer/Chicagoans were also active here into the 1950s and
>>> 60s: Muggsy, Marty Marsala, Joe Sullivan, Joe Darensbourg.  But I can
>> tell
>>> you that the impact of early jazz and swing on those guys was just as
>>> profound an experience as it had been for the Chicagoans.
>>> 
>>> There were gradations of 'revival.'  Nor was it simply
>>> Dave Radlauer
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> --
>>> hm# 510-848-8323
>>> cell# 510-717-5240
>>> www.JAZZHOTBigstep.com
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> hm# 510-848-8323
> cell# 510-717-5240
> www.JAZZHOTBigstep.com

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