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The following tape recorded program of the presentation of the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the 20 of a series of programs on the roots of jazz in the United States. On this program. We researched the final formulation of a style of jazz called Dixie.
Eventually bring certain lines of development to a logical or psychological conclusion. If you change then work over until general agreement seems to dictate that perfection. May become a style of expression. The baroque the rococo the classic The Impressionist. These are styles of art. They immediately imply the knowing mind and entire familiar conditions. A certain order of material a stress on some characteristics of an art while others are being underplayed. Even a particular philosophical underpinning can be in part or in whole. In the history of jazz. None of its branches of exploration have come to a more complete.
The setting of any style is a synthesis. Something has always gone on before. This is the case with Dixieland for almost 50 years from the 1890s until the late 1930s. The negro and white musicians from New Orleans had played their music. It was a rough unshod and musician only music itself. Reflecting early a more basic more emotionally oriented forces in the lives of the negro The musicians were unscrewed for the most part in the techniques of writing and reading the musical language. Their instrumental techniques where as improvised as the music they produced there was a life a willful mess about New Orleans music which was bound to appeal to any musician who had half a kernel of an original mind. It was this captivating freshness this lack of regard or just complete ignorance of the classic rules of music which made the spread and acceptance of this music a certainty. But its
freshness and unusual ness is gone. In Dixie time the characteristic of New Orleans music which still figures in a Dixieland work has an amazing sense of good taste and aesthetic balance of instrumentation and artistic juxtaposition of solo and Doc Castro coloring the New Orleans negro explored these avenues completely. And after 50 years of many sidetracks many lion slides this heritage emerged in the late 1930s in the form of small negro bands under one of the ablest and oldest of New Orleans musicians. So anybody say.
The music you've just heard was recorded in the late 30s but it represents the essence of the music of New Orleans negroes 40 years earlier. Rex Harris says as he learned from the great clarinetist of the New Orleans classic period. So he is passing on the tradition to the younger generation of jazz players. Almost half a century later and Bob Wilder who is one of Sidney but she's most adept students says as a listener Sidney has the intuitive ability to sense the value of any music he hears. I've never heard him say that's an awful tone. He loves all music because he sees the way to play it. There are some things you cannot realize about Vishay just from a study of his records for instance in clubs he plays plant you have popped owns and plays them for all he's worth. A plays the melody and when he improvises it's improvising on the melody. That in brief his is theory of jazz. And with that quote we gave an insight into why Sidney Bush was the link
between New Orleans and New York. But there are other reasons too. Not only did he have the New Orleans philosophy with regard to the appropriate limits of improvisation but he also possessed a technical skill and an imaginative artistry with which to execute that New Orleans philosophy. His never ceasing fascination with the Blues motif is a constantly enriching tie to older times. His slow tempo records belie his early position in the development of his orchestras lack the precision of musicianship that was to come with later groups but it made up for that for that lack within us a primitive Rama's of individual and Castro tone and style which contributed so much to the new New Orleans influence of Dixieland music.
The second contributory force to Dixieland was that created by Chicago musicians. Chicago became a jazz center in the 1920s with Charles Pierce and his pick up recording orchestras Bix Beiderbecke and his Wolverines cash market and the Austin Hardy Boys. But all of the Chicagoans had been strongly influenced by both white and Negro New Orleans musicians. They had to so that the major contribution of the Chicago ones was the addition of a saxophone and a piano to the usual three melody instruments trumpet and trombone. A great increase in musicianship reflecting the long standing off a doxie of Western technique and in general a distinct sense of style. The ensemble playing of New Orleans jazz was somewhat replaced by greater attention to solo performances with simple often repetitive but
usually improvised background figures performed by the rest of the band.
The Chicago and musicians moved to New York during the 30s. The record you just heard was one of nobody's sweetheart recorded by Eddie Condon Chicago boys in the late 20s when they arrived in New York. They played in small combos for their own pleasure. And in the late 30s when Jobs became available these same man from Chicago became small groups again. I began to perform in the second the renaissance of Dixieland music the beginning of that Renaissance was what is known today as jam sessions. Here is another recording of Eddie Condon's boys and again they play nobody sweetheart. This time the recording was made in the late 30s almost 15 years after the first when you heard it.
Chicago Jam session where no good drug. Control yet seemingly in that she was movement from beginning to end. They were characterized by instrumental solos inspired by the subtlety of Bix Beiderbecke Frank Cashen. The solo instrument was rarely pushed to far above or below its natural register. No exhibition of virtue Asadi seeking squeaky no appropriate for a clarinet. The emphasis and effort was expended on seeking out new more fully expression that idea improvisation was held close to a melodic structure but great inventiveness was displayed without becoming blatant or remote.
I am. I am. I am. The ass. I am. I am. I and think. See A. Iraq. In. Chaos. Probably no one ever categorized the Chicago Jazz a better than Mugsy spaniel. When I swing minded bandleader constantly pestering him to play high notes Mugsy said
Ah Get yourself a piccolo player and it was Mugsy Spanier who more than anyone else put the finishing touches to the style now known as Dixie when I was Rex Harrison says to Francis Mugsy Spanier must go the palm for his unremitting efforts in behalf of jazz and Studs Terkel comments on Mugsy as a person stop. You know I'm sort of like going to bar my Got any money because I think you might have tryouts I saw were going to York yours but you aren't trying to manage your time with Imus Jon McGraw always known as Mikey McGraw. I saw Frances stand here that night and I want to make sure and I think you're using He's an easy going so right Gary's neck and I was here I know this and are even excellent very good in our ears trying very very pleasant to listen to I think there are people like to hear the play there if
you're any good musician. Play good yes. Muggsy Spanier is Ragtime Band was and still is the epitome of Dixie and the New Orleans punctuation of trombonist judge Bernies who goes back to the days of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings rod class of Des Moines Iowa who studied with touch market and who in turn goes to repolish of the Rhythm Kings and Johnny dyads and Jimmy noone clarinetists from New Orleans. They play their clarinet and finally a magazine so who dates from the teens to Chicago and who knows what taste means both in life as well as in music.
Thank. You. Thank you.
Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. I am. Oh. Dixieland music as played by Muggsy Spanier Sidney Bushay and all the rest of the Chicago and musicians is not always an up tempo music usually to beat. It still maintains a great amount of the
early New Orleans tradition. It reflects a great amount of what we call dirty music blues music. It's sometimes very slow as in mugs the Spaniards own theme song Tin Roof blues. We hear next a recording which displays the slow meditative thoughtful and yet still driving style of Dixieland in Mugsy span use relaxing at the Toro.
And so that's the story of the development of the first really completed style in orchestral jazz. There will be others. A great many efforts falter and die some living longer than others but as long as the freedom exists to express every idea no matter how radical or conservative and as long as the audience is willing to listen and judge through time development cannot stop Dixieland today is not much different than it was 10 to 15 years ago. But it has appeal and probably always will. It has a positive ness a brightness that will always find its admirers. But there will come other styles in jazz finished products which will command enduring attention. And let us not think that Dixieland is the only completed style in jazz as a whole. It is all cast really but the piano style known as boogie woogie and the vocal form known as the Blues have also reached a state of completion. This is not to
say that there will never be improvement in the expression of these great developments the continuing supply of artists who explore these areas is a living testament to a persistent effort to bring greater fruition to the art of jazz. There is much that has been left unsaid and that is the case with those before. There are many music whose work we would do well to explore. It is hoped that we stimulate you to continue the story we have.
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Roots of jazz
Final formulation of Dixieland
Producing Organization
Iowa State University
WOI (Radio station : Ames, Iowa)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program discusses the "final formulation of Dixieland" music.
Other Description
Music-documentary series in 26 parts, covering various aspects of jazz.
Broadcast Date
Dixieland music
Media type
Director: Cleary, Norman
Engineer: Vogel, Dick
Host: Clark, Kenneth Bancroft, 1914-2005
Producing Organization: Iowa State University
Producing Organization: WOI (Radio station : Ames, Iowa)
Speaker: Geesy, Ray
Writer: Cleary, Norman
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 56-24-20 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:04
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Chicago: “Roots of jazz; Final formulation of Dixieland,” 1956-11-11, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 19, 2022,
MLA: “Roots of jazz; Final formulation of Dixieland.” 1956-11-11. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 19, 2022. <>.
APA: Roots of jazz; Final formulation of Dixieland. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from