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For many years Mary Lou Williams continued my apartment was the site of the evening jam sessions that ended only with morning people game in any time of the night. She not only played but exchanged views on music and especially we experimented by Paul and Lonnie as Monk are among the most of us visitors as well as Oscar pedophile Sarah Vaughan tad Damron Jack Teagarden Dizzy Gillespie Errol Garner Illinois cat Mel Torme and many others. And ironic includes respect for the personality of others. The search for a personal expression and care to build a solid musical foundation. Mary the Williams gives us an excellent example of professional and artistic consciousness and achievement and that is why Mary Lou has always been a contemporary jazz musician. The third quotation is from a young man still in his middle twenties whose early experience in Jazz began at the age of 13 when he played in the Dixieland style with other youngsters near Scarsdale New York where he lived and he studied with the New Orleans Giants sativa Shea for many months became the only
musician to master many aspects of the Shea style. In fact in time he sounded startlingly like his teacher. This youngster organized a Dixieland band and it was fabulous they successful in the limited field in which Dixieland bands can be particularly in the college areas and especially around Boston. But he voluntarily left it giving the leadership to another man in the band. Like hundreds of jazz men before him he became conscious that he was becoming restricted in the potentialities for jazz communication and the language he was using and that he had been oblivious to the organic changes in jazz that had been evolving. He went to study with Lee Cohen it's the latest on a school based on the firm knowledge of jazz theory and practice from early jazz to the most contemporary forms. In addition to a sound background in classical music this young man Bob Wilbur is developing an important style of his own.
He is unimpressed with the critiques from former admirers who accuse him of abandoning Dixieland for what they call the intellectual ised aridity of modern jazz. His answer in a sense is a classic statement on the subject. Listeners of this kind I'm quoting from an article on him in Downbeat listeners of this kind are confusing the feeling. Those who say that modern jazz is intellectual and arid they confuse the feeling the music evokes in the listener with the emotions expressed by the performer through his playing. The easier it is for the listener to comprehend the melodic rhythmic harmonic and tonal aspects of any music the easier it will be for him to get an emotional impact from it. For example Tennessee Waltz as opposed to a bar talk quartet. With regard to the number of admirers each has a modern jazz requires much more LISTENING TO GET WITH IT. For the average listener than Dixieland because he is not as familiar with the
techniques employed he has heard harmonics and melodies used in Dixieland and popular music for the last 30 years or more. So naturally he is well acquainted with them. There is just as much emotional impact to be gotten from Parker Tristan O etc.. If the listener will allow himself to become as familiar with the techniques employed as he is with the techniques of Dixieland. Well while answering his critics is however a concern that his emphasis on modern jazz in his own work will not be misconstrued as any lessening of his respect for authentic non imitative New Orleans music. Those musicians he points out who are the pioneers and important contributors during the height of New Orleans jazz bash a Henri foster kid or a George pops Foster Alma Simeon etc. where the modern jazz musicians in their youth they experimented with new ideas and techniques. They did not imitate what had been done before then. These musicians and others still have this approach. Therefore their music is as vital and
modern as ever. The same holds true of any jazz style. For example the continued vitality of Hackett Bobby Hackett Bud Freeman Clayton Duke Ellington. Whether a musician plays in contemporary or older forms is unimportant compared to his creative approach and originality. Packer interest and the imitators are no more valid than by the back door of Johnny Dodds imitators but of course imitation is not the same as influence. And this brings us to the final quotation from a two part series of articles by Robert Abbott in The New Republic called progress in music. It was concerned with the present state of classical music. But these sections apply also to jazz or for that matter to any form of expression in the arts. He writes that the most valid
reason for personal experimentation in the ides is surely that of purely private need the need of becoming oneself musically as he develops any lively composer. And we can apply this to the jazz performer composer will sooner or later come face to face with a blank wall. A dead end into which is technique and his preconceptions have led him until he has reached this point in his career no matter how brilliantly or rapidly he has advanced. He cannot attain that individuality which distinguishes him from everybody else. He must either find his way out of this situation or relax into a living in an anonymity. It is at this point that he must develop what Hindemith calls the crown and glory of technique the crown and glory of technique is style. And no matter whose shoulders he is standing
on what influences have gone into his style. What new technical resources it may require for its realization. Or what thinking is conditioned his choice. The result will be a new sound called modern. Not because its component parts are original in themselves but because they have been regulated to fit the needs of a single special individual having arrived at this happy condition of being himself. He will show what the theologian calls the outward signs of an inward grace not because he has been given this grace but because he has had the courage to fight for it. To conjure it out of his own mind spirit experience and imagination. Real progress is a private affair concerning only the individual composer. And in jazz the performer composer and his art. This process of attaining the crown and glory of technique
has occurred again and again in jazz history. From those wandering blues singers long before a Jelly Roll Morton to Morton himself through Louis Armstrong Lester Young Charlie Parker and as of now many young jazz musicians two of them are pianist Dave Brubeck and alto as Paul Desmond. I began this chorus with a recording by them as an example of the communicated power of jazz improvisation. I play it again to show also the personal fulfillment that comes to an evolving jazz musician when he begins to achieve the crown and glory of technique which is style when he begins to achieve modernity not because the component parts of his style are original in themselves but because they have been regulated to fit the needs of a single special individual. Desmond Roback I've had the courage to fight for this achievement to conjure it out of their own minds spirit experience and imagination.
They are jazz men. Ft. Oh.
As I am. I am. I am. I am now and. I am. I am. I am. I am. I am. I am. I am.
I am. I am. I am. I am. I am. OK. I am. The owner. I am. I am.
The Evolution of Jazz
Episode Number
Series Wrap Up, Part Two
Producing Organization
WGBH Educational Foundation
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
The series concludes with an overview of what Hentoff didn't cover in previous programs.
Other 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 musicians--United States--Biography.
Media type
Embed Code
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Host: Hentoff, Nat
Producer: Hentoff, Nat
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 55-32-40 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:16:19
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Chicago: “The Evolution of Jazz; 40; Series Wrap Up, Part Two,” 1954-08-13, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 17, 2022,
MLA: “The Evolution of Jazz; 40; Series Wrap Up, Part Two.” 1954-08-13. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 17, 2022. <>.
APA: The Evolution of Jazz; 40; Series Wrap Up, Part Two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from