King Of Jazz Johnny Dodds G E Lambert

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King Of Jazz Johnny Dodds  by  G E Lambert

King Of Jazz Johnny Dodds by G E Lambert
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HIS LIFEIn the years when New Orleans was the premier centre ofjazz that is from around 1900 to the closing of the Storyvillered light district in 1918 it was a city flooded withmusic. Every possible occasion picnics, advertising, tripson theMoreHIS LIFEIn the years when New Orleans was the premier centre ofjazz that is from around 1900 to the closing of the Storyvillered light district in 1918 it was a city flooded withmusic.

Every possible occasion picnics, advertising, tripson the Mississippi was provided with music- every placeof diversion the bars, theatres, brothels and gamblingjoints had its musicians. Parades by the various organizationshad their brass bands, which also played for theunique New Orleans funerals, and dance orchestras of alltypes were to be heard within the city limits.

In the Creoleand Negro districts there was scarcely a family who didnot boast of several part-time musicians, and there werehundreds of skilled local professionals playing in thevarious parade bands, jazz bands, society bands andriverboat orchestras. To judge from the material collectedby later historians, the doings of the favourite musiciansof the city were looked upon with the same interest which1the mass of people today accord to sporting heroes andpopular cinema or television personalities.

There weretrumpet players known for their vivacious playing andstamina on the long parades, and others who specializedin the dirges played on the way to and at the graveside-one trumpet player will be remembered for his volume andexuberance in the lower-class dance-halls, another for hisunique ability and power of expression on the blues. Amusician who was supreme in his field was known as aKing to his contemporaries- a fast, likeable young musicianwith what would today be called stage presencewould be nicknamed 6Kid*.

But unlike the parallels whichcan be drawn with contemporary heroes of entertainmentor of professional sport, these men were not remote figuresto be seen only when performing, but neighbours withwhom one would associate in everyday life. Music wasan integral part of the lives of the citys inhabitants, andin the days before the standardizing influence of radio,gramophone and TV, the sounds of New Orleans musicwere peculiar to that city.

Not many recordings of importancewere made in New Orleans during the firstboom in jazz recording in the 1920s, but the New Orleansmusicians who moved north, particularly those who emigratedto Chicago, recorded prolifically.On records, it is usually possible to recognize a NewOrleans band, and almost always to pick out a New Orleansmusician of the old school.

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