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The evolution of jazz is. A survey of American art form from Scott Joplin to Lenny Tristan over. The evolution of jazz as a tape recorded feature presented under the auspices of Northeastern University by the Lowell Institute cooperative broadcasting Council. Time to associate editor of Downbeat Magazine discusses the growth of jazz from its roots in Europe and Africa. And considers the musical as well as the sociological forces that shaped it. Mr Hentoff last week in discussing the influences that helped shape what was later to be known as jazz in New Orleans in the late 1800s in the early or rather the late 19th you know hundreds in the early part of this century we discussed the negro brass band music and to some extent the French dance and opera
traditions with regard to the Creoles. It should be remembered that they had their own musical heritage. Adelaide event of a writes that the musical characteristics of Creole songs show several influences the syncopated rhythms of the negro the Habbaniyah accent of Spain the lively choir the reels of friends the songs are often in dance forms as the queen Jai. They shuffle the kind of Fandango the bamboo dance deriving from the beat of African drums the great leaders still nonsense dance and topical songs ridiculing someone or something. And also their own adaptations of the formal circumscribed quad reels. Here is a Creole song sung by Adelaide by the way. Well role played there in the translation. I replied it was a beautiful girl. It is she whom he wants everyone advises that she is too
pretty but she is not quite polite but he is not that foolish. She is what he wants and he needs to have it all right. Only asked for his love doesn't demand a muslin gown or embroidered stockings nor cloth top shoes. Not as she did then fine Burgundy wine could be had with pepper gumball theory. She only asked for his love and that's where you can get it sung to a high rhythmic shuffling dance. And with regard to the Creole part which we discussed briefly some time ago as Miss when I writes It's a twat composed largely of what the Creole negro learned by ear adapting the foreign languages to his own way of speaking. It's a soft but full of flavor. Here then is the first Creole song. R R R R R
R R. That they are to the. Yeah we were young when we would leave. Yeah the. Days we. Had a bar brawl they believe on days will be good for their leisure mood today. Where. What we do know from our own brother. Yeah we are on the bell.
You know they're leaving Lou that they are turning in that wasn't it. The second sign to be played as a lullaby. Say Dodo go to sleep. Mother's baby child if my baby sleeps no long sheep will come and eat him. Sure as you're born great big wolf will eat him whole. Where do you known oh my. My. Marriage. Noah here. Was. He a a bit there and oh oh oh I thought of the Schumacher he should leave. You know I would love to watch.
The show. I had thought we. Are unique. He bit a bit well a bit heavier. Oh I thought he was we would be his next song Shama Bhana made TWA has a real Mardi Gras tune song on the last day of the carnival sung by timid lovers who feel the words say better than their own what they feel. It's a combination according to His divine way of the syncopated rhythm of the negro the heart and your rhythm of the Spanish creos. Dear I love you so much. Just as the birds and bees love flowers as the fish loves the river has a little as much. Oh. Yeah I mean hoeing. The man won't let me not
jumping on a dog that never will be known at that moment of blow. Yeah Mohali Come few of them may yearn for. The moment to moment in rock. Don't think Oh don't let men alone with more members of the wrong. Yeah I'm a dog from the old mare that. And this next song when I don't go on I d contains the only martial allusion she says to be found in Louisiana Creole songs still popular in Louisiana and is not considered an unfitting melody to be used as a funeral march on grand occasions. The translation is forward magia Grana deos he gets shot she'll get no relations. Forward March he will get shot for him the worse Grenadiers are not afraid of danger. Those who
were killed bad luck to them. It was. Rude. It. Was. And here is an issue and an initial indication of what happen to the Creole music
when influenced by those reels whose musical ancestry was the field holler and the work song and the spiritual and the blues. The translation of this. Then I saw I don't like that I don't like that woman with big feet I don't like that woman with little legs I don't like that woman in bed a man under a bed I don't like that I'm going to checkout woman with a big mouth I don't like that woman with short hair. I don't like that. You know when I. Mean. I know what it takes.
Can it. Be. It's interesting to note this has a Spanish French Creole words on the jazz beat. Jelly Roll Morton and his Library of Congress recordings recalls a Creole
tune that was quite popular in New Orleans around the turn of the century. But one of the one with one of them in the ring.
Binder. And I'm gonna be one who thought the plan would bring him a BAM. But my feeling for my big. Man that a man of around. Remember you are there for you could go but I am the Figo favorite. To be gone over meaning that I am never good. I know what the right thing in but for our economic damage. But I have everybody got on the way to get on the plane for free. The Creoles also influenced those musical street cries that were for so
long a pleasantly indelible part of New Orleans and other such southern cities indicate again how unusual the daily life of the city was. Here is a street crime. Meet up. Yeah and eat. Concerning the street cries I'd been away rides that I like best in a limited sense and referring to them as a kind of unconscious music in that the salesman didn't realize they were singing. Their cries were designed to call attention to the wares to be so. Words are important too. To lessen the tiresome hawking a variety of words was used
and a little tune unconsciously became easier to repeat than a sharp yell or a loud call. The street vendor has practically passed from the American scene and it's only in the South but in some sections the street cries are still heard. The wear is sold she continues. Maybe the same all over the south but the selling tune differs with the locale. The Charleston shrimp sellers sing shrimp in New Orleans vendor uses the same word but the tune is different. There are endless variations. Those who have written down street cries seldom are able to write the actual song. There are no notes depicting pitches not found on the black keys not on the white but in the cracks. One has to depend on the ear to catch the trick intonations of the real vendor. Hears of selling and calling wares and heat rain and when I go into perfecting the pedler street cry which is indeed his
trademark. Room. A. I preceded the shrimp. I was just a snatch of Creole songs so you can hear the musical zone between them there is a cry for blueberry it's a bit of a bridge then a. Bit
o a. Rig can. Get a bit a bit. Not a bit. And the crib and the Roo. Re ok. Who are. You.
And because the ton of New Orleans was so full of music as Jelly Roll Morton recall most of the man didn't like to leave New Orleans they used to say this is the best town in the world what's the use for me to go any other place. The town was full of the best musicians you ever heard he said. Even the rags bottles and bones man would advertise their trade by playing the blues on the wooden pieces of Christmas horns and playing more low down blues on those Kris horns and the rest of the country ever thought. During the time the Creole musicians were assimilating influences and creating a tradition of their own the descendants of the slaves whose experience with European instruments was quite new dating in those cases from after the Civil War were doing their own adaptations as we've heard in the brass band marches. So if using all their music was the influence of the blues and the blues to the Creole musician was not a very proper form of music but to the non Creole it was the most popular of all
forums. As the New Orleans clarinetist Louis Nelson said you know first Blues the blues always been blues is what cause the fellows to start jazz and for the most part at first the blues survived only among the lowest economic strata the urban population for in the city's popular music held sway. Prejudice against folk music was the common attitude. Blues in early jazz were bar and Charles Edward Smith noted from most white and from a great many Negro homes in New Orleans. But the Blues could not be repressed. And in addition to influencing the brass bands and the tunes played for dancing and later the admixture of Creole Creole negro music's the blues would be found all by themselves in the barrel houses and honky times. Really blaze describes the environment of the barrel house piano the blues that sounded in the barrel houses
and in the cheap boarding and rooming houses were played in song by negro musicians who wandered over the countryside as restless as gypsies. Originally these men walked the dusty roads of the road the rods of freight trains hobo style carrying their guitars by a string around their necks. They played the blues in the simple chords of the church hymns of spirituals from which the blues that originally come as well as most definitely from the works on folk poets they improvised their words as they improvised their melodies singing in a graphically imaged earthy poetry of the world they saw around them and of life as they found it. When these country entertainers came to the towns many of them Sarra piano for the first time they were drawn by an inescapable fascination of the battered rosewood or a walnut upright or square ground her fingers calloused by a long familiarity with the tying entire strings wandered to the yellow keys ignorant of scales of major or minor keys or of any of our musical complexities. Yet genuinely and complex the musical themselves
these men transposed to the keyboard the chords and rhythms of their guitar and that's vowel house music was born under the right hand the Keys sang the blues in a cracked and grieving treble on the left the base walked or plunged in the rhythms of a locomotive Dr. Weil the pianist was often joined by other players in the nondescript Barrel House combination resulted included variously cornet trombone clarinet guitar a banjo mandolin washboard because harmonica musical saw and many other instruments often homemade. But as in all of the folk music the negro and the white have made in America the instrument and anywhere else the instrument is often less important than what is said with it. You are.
And Jelly Roll Morton tells of the honky tonk in New Orleans.
The Evolution of Jazz
Episode Number
New Orleans Jazz, Part One
Producing Organization
WGBH Educational Foundation
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, the first of two explores the jelling of various influences into the jazz that was unique to New Orleans.
Series Description
Jazz historian Nat Hentoff presents a series that traces the history of jazz, from its musical and cultural roots to its contemporary forms. "The Evolution of Jazz" was originally broadcast from WGBH in 1953-1954, and was re-broadcast by the National Educational Radio Network in 1964.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Jazz--Louisiana--New Orleans.
Media type
Embed Code
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Host: Hentoff, Nat
Interviewee: Morton, Jelly Roll, -1941.
Producer: Hentoff, Nat
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 55-32-11 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:19
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Chicago: “The Evolution of Jazz; 11; New Orleans Jazz, Part One,” 1954-01-22, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 28, 2023,
MLA: “The Evolution of Jazz; 11; New Orleans Jazz, Part One.” 1954-01-22. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 28, 2023. <>.
APA: The Evolution of Jazz; 11; New Orleans Jazz, Part One. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from