Dixieland

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Dixieland, sometimes referred to as hot jazz or traditional jazz, is a style of jazz based on the music that developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century.

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States. It originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".

New Orleans Largest city in Louisiana

New Orleans is a consolidated city-parish located along the Mississippi River in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of Louisiana. With an estimated population of 391,006 in 2018, it is the most populous city in Louisiana. Serving as a major port, New Orleans is considered an economic and commercial hub for the broader Gulf Coast region of the United States.

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One of the first uses of the term "Dixieland" with reference to music was in the name of the Original Dixieland Jass Band (which shortly thereafter changed the spelling of its name to "Original Dixieland Jazz Band"). Their 1917 recordings fostered popular awareness of this new style of music.

Original Dixieland Jass Band American jazz band

The Original Dixieland Jass Band (ODJB) was a Dixieland jazz band that made the first jazz recordings in early 1917. Their "Livery Stable Blues" became the first jazz record ever issued. The group composed and recorded many jazz standards, the most famous being "Tiger Rag". In late 1917 the spelling of the band's name was changed to Original Dixieland Jazz Band.

A revival movement for traditional jazz, formed in reaction to the orchestrated sounds of the swing era and the perceived chaos of the new bebop sounds of the 1940s (referred to as "Chinese music" by Louis Armstrong) [1] , pulled "Dixieland" out from the somewhat forgotten band's name for the music they championed. The revival movement included elements of the Chicago style that developed during the 1920s, such as the use of a string bass instead of a tuba, and chordal instruments, in addition to the original format of the New Orleans style. That reflected the fact that virtually all of the recorded repertoire of New Orleans musicians was from the period when the format was already evolving beyond the traditional New Orleans format. "Dixieland" may in that sense be regarded as denoting the jazz revival movement of the late 1930s to the 1950s as much as any particular subgenre of jazz. The essential elements that were accepted as within the style were the traditional front lines consisting of trumpets, trombones, and clarinets, and ensemble improvisation over a 2-beat rhythm.

The swing era was the period of time (1933–1947) when big band swing music was the most popular music in the United States. Though this was its most popular period, the music had actually been around since the late 1920s and early 1930s, being played by black bands led by such artists as Duke Ellington, Jimmie Lunceford, Bennie Moten, Cab Calloway, Earl Hines, and Fletcher Henderson, and white bands from the 1920s led by the likes of Jean Goldkette, Russ Morgan and Isham Jones. An early milestone in the era was from “the King of Swing” Benny Goodman's performance at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles on August 21, 1935, bringing the music to the rest of the country. The 1930s also became the era of other great soloists: the tenor saxophonists Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Lester Young; the alto saxophonists Benny Carter and Johnny Hodges; the drummers Chick Webb, Gene Krupa, Jo Jones and Sid Catlett; the pianists Fats Waller and Teddy Wilson; the trumpeters Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge, Bunny Berigan, and Rex Stewart.

Bebop style of jazz

Bebop or bop is a style of jazz developed in the early to mid-1940s in the United States, which features songs characterized by a fast tempo, complex chord progressions with rapid chord changes and numerous changes of key, instrumental virtuosity, and improvisation based on a combination of harmonic structure, the use of scales and occasional references to the melody.

Louis Armstrong American jazz trumpeter, composer and singer

Louis Daniel Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo, Satch, and Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer, vocalist, and actor who was among the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in the history of jazz. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.

History

A traditionalist jazz band plays at a party in New Orleans in 2005. Shown here are Chris Clifton, on trumpet; Brian O'Connell, on clarinet; Les Muscutt, on banjo; Chuck Badie, on string bass; and Tom Ebert, on trombone. BrianOConnell05.jpg
A traditionalist jazz band plays at a party in New Orleans in 2005. Shown here are Chris Clifton, on trumpet; Brian O'Connell, on clarinet; Les Muscutt, on banjo; Chuck Badie, on string bass; and Tom Ebert, on trombone.

The Original Dixieland Jass Band, recording its first disc in 1917, was the first instance of jazz music being called "Dixieland", though at the time, the term referred to the band, not the genre. The band's sound was a combination of African American/New Orleans ragtime and Sicilian music. [2] The music of Sicily was one of the many genres in the New Orleans music scene during the 1910s, alongside sanctified church music, brass band music and blues. [3]

The Music of Sicily refers to music created by peoples from the isle of Sicily. It was shaped by the island's history, from the island's great presence as part of Magna Grecia 2,500 years ago, through various historical incarnations as a part of the Roman Empire, then an integral part of the Kingdom of Sicily, and, finally, as an autonomous region of the modern nation state of Italy.

Much later, the term "Dixieland" was applied to early jazz by traditional jazz revivalists, starting in the 1940s and 1950s. The name is a reference to the "Old South", specifically anything south of the Mason-Dixon line. The term encompasses earlier brass band marches, French Quadrilles, biguine, ragtime, and blues with collective, polyphonic improvisation. While instrumentation and size of bands can be very flexible, the "standard" band consists of a "front line" of trumpet (or cornet), trombone, and clarinet, with a "rhythm section" of at least two of the following instruments: guitar or banjo, string bass or tuba, piano, and drums. Louis Armstrong's All-Stars was the band most popularly identified with Dixieland during the 1940s, although Armstrong's own influence during the 1920s was to move the music beyond the traditional New Orleans style.

Quadrille dance

The quadrille is a dance that was fashionable in late 18th- and 19th-century Europe and its colonies. The quadrille consists of a chain of four to six contredanses, courtly versions of English country dances that had been taken up at the court of Louis XIV and spread across Europe. Latterly the quadrille was frequently danced to a medley of opera melodies.

Biguine is a rhythm-centric style of music that originated in Guadeloupe and Martinique in the 19th century. It fuses 19th-century French ballroom dance steps with African rhythms.

Ragtime – also spelled rag-time or rag time – is a musical style that enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1919. Its cardinal trait is its syncopated or "ragged" rhythm.

The definitive Dixieland sound is created when one instrument (usually the trumpet) plays the melody or a recognizable paraphrase or variation on it, and the other instruments of the "front line" improvise around that melody. This creates a more polyphonic sound than the arranged ensemble playing of the big band sound or the straight "head" melodies of bebop.

Trumpet musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family

A trumpet is a brass instrument commonly used in classical and jazz ensembles. The trumpet group contains the instruments with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpet-like instruments have historically been used as signaling devices in battle or hunting, with examples dating back to at least 1500 BC; they began to be used as musical instruments only in the late 14th or early 15th century. Trumpets are used in art music styles, for instance in orchestras, concert bands, and jazz ensembles, as well as in popular music. They are played by blowing air through nearly-closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound that starts a standing wave vibration in the air column inside the instrument. Since the late 15th century they have primarily been constructed of brass tubing, usually bent twice into a rounded rectangular shape.

Big band Music ensemble associated with jazz and Swing Era music

A big band is a type of musical ensemble of jazz music that usually consists of ten or more musicians with four sections: saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and a rhythm section. Big bands originated during the early 1910s and dominated jazz in the early 1940s when swing was most popular. The term "big band" is also used to describe a genre of music, although this was not the only style of music played by big bands.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the earlier group-improvisation style fell out of favor with the majority of younger black players, while some older players of both races continued on in the older style. Though younger musicians developed new forms, many beboppers revered Armstrong and quoted fragments of his recorded music in their own improvisations.

The Dixieland revival in the late 1940s and 1950s brought many semi-retired musicians a measure of fame late in their lives as well as bringing retired musicians back onto the jazz circuit after years of not playing (e.g., Kid Ory and Red Nichols). Many Dixieland groups of the revival era consciously imitated the recordings and bands of decades earlier. Other musicians continued to create innovative performances and new tunes. For example, in the 1950s a style called "Progressive Dixieland" sought to blend polyphonic improvisation with bebop-style rhythm. Spike Jones & His New Band and Steve Lacy played with such bands. This style is sometimes called "Dixie-bop". Lacy went on to apply that approach to the music of Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, and Herbie Nichols.

Etymology

While the term Dixieland is still in wide use, the term's appropriateness is a hotly debated topic in some circles [4] . For some it is the preferred label (especially bands on the USA's West coast and those influenced by the 1940s revival bands), while others would rather use terms like Classic jazz or Traditional jazz. Some of the latter consider Dixieland a derogatory term implying superficial hokum played without passion or deep understanding of the music and because "Dixie" is a reference to pre-Civil War Southern States. Many black musicians have traditionally rejected the term as a style distinctive from traditional jazz, characterized by the staccatic playing in all-white groups such as The Original Dixieland Jazz Band in contrast to the slower, syncopated back-beat style of playing characterized by musicians like King Oliver or Kid Ory.

Dixieland is often today applied to bands playing in a traditional style. Bands such as those of Eddie Condon and Muggsy Spanier were tagged with the Dixieland label, reflecting the grouping of the Chicago and New Orleans styles of traditional jazz under the same label.

Main forms

Chicago style

"Chicago style" is often applied to the sound of Chicagoans such as Jimmy McPartland, Eddie Condon, Muggsy Spanier, and Bud Freeman. The rhythm sections of these bands substitute the string bass for the tuba and the guitar for the banjo. Musically, the Chicagoans play in more of a swing-style 4-to-the-bar manner. The New Orleanian preference for an ensemble sound is deemphasized in favor of solos [5] . Chicago-style Dixieland also differs from its southern origin by being faster paced, resembling the hustle-bustle of city life. Chicago-style bands play a wide variety of tunes, including most of those of the more traditional bands plus many of the Great American Songbook selections from the 1930s by George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin. Non-Chicagoans such as Pee Wee Russell and Bobby Hackett are often thought of as playing in this style. This modernized style came to be called Nicksieland, after Nick's Greenwich Village night club, where it was popular, though the term was not limited to that club.

West Coast revival

The "West Coast revival" is a movement that was begun in the late 1930s by Lu Watters and his Yerba Buena Jazz Band in San Francisco and extended by trombonist Turk Murphy. It started out as a backlash to the Chicago style, which is closer in development towards swing. The repertoire of these bands is based on the music of Joe "King" Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and W.C. Handy. Bands playing in the West Coast style use banjo and tuba in the rhythm sections, which play in a two-to-the-bar rhythmic style [6] .

Much performed traditional Dixieland tunes include: "When the Saints Go Marching In", "Muskrat Ramble", "Struttin' with Some Barbecue", "Tiger Rag", "Dippermouth Blues", "Milenberg Joys", "Basin Street Blues", "Tin Roof Blues", "At the Jazz Band Ball", "Panama", "I Found a New Baby", "Royal Garden Blues" and many others. All of these tunes were widely played by jazz bands of the pre-WWII era, especially Louis Armstrong. They came to be grouped as Dixieland standards beginning in the 1950s.

Dutch "Old-style jazz"

Largely occurring at the same time as the "New Orleans Traditional" revival movement in the United States, traditional jazz music made a comeback in the Low Countries. However, most Dutch jazz bands (such as The Ramblers) had long since evolved into the Swing-era while the few remaining traditional jazz bands (such as the Dutch Swing College Band) did not partake in the broader traditional revival movement, and continued to play ragtime and early jazz, greatly limiting the number of bands aspiring jazz musicians could join or (as they were using instruments unavailable to most Dutch musicians such as double basses and the piano) were forced to improvise, resulting in a new form of jazz ensemble generally referred to "Oude Stijl" ("Old Style") jazz in Dutch.

Influenced by the instrumentation of the two principal orchestral forms of the wind band in the Netherlands and Belgium, the "harmonie" and the "fanfare", traditional Dutch jazz bands do not feature a piano and contain no stringed instruments apart from the banjo. They include multiple trumpets, trombones and saxophones accompanied by a single clarinet, sousaphone and a section of Marching percussion usually including a washboard.

The music played by Dutch jazz bands includes both the original New Orleans tunes, as well as the songs of the revival era. In terms of playing style, Dutch jazz bands occupy a position between revivalist and original New Orleans jazz, with more solos than the latter but without abandoning the principle of ensemble playing. With the average band containing up to 15-players, Dutch jazz bands tend to be the largest ensembles to play traditional jazz music.

Styles influenced by traditional jazz

Musical styles showing influences from traditional jazz include later styles of jazz, rhythm and blues, and early rock and roll. Traditional New Orleans second-line drumming and piano playing are prominent in the music of Fats Domino. The New Orleans drummer Idris Muhammad adapted second-line drumming to modern jazz styles and gained crossover influence on the R&B style of James Brown. Soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy combined New Orleans style polyphonic improvisation with bebop. Bassist Charles Mingus paid homage to traditional jazz styles with compositions such as Eat Dat Chicken and My Jellyroll Soul. The contemporary New Orleans Brass Band styles, such as the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Primate Fiasco, the Hot Tamale Brass Band and the Rebirth Brass Band have combined traditional New Orleans brass band jazz with such influences as contemporary jazz, funk, hip hop, and rap. The M-BASE (Multi-Basic Array of Synchronous Extemporization) improvisational concept used by ensembles including Cassandra Wilson, Geri Allen, Greg Osby, Steve Coleman, Graham Haynes, Kevin Eubanks and others is an extension of the polyphonic improvisation of New Orleans jazz.

Revival

The Dixieland revival renewed the audience for musicians who had continued to play in traditional jazz styles and revived the careers of New Orleans musicians who had become lost in the shuffle of musical styles that had occurred over the preceding years. Younger black musicians largely shunned the revival, largely because of a distaste for tailoring their music to what they saw as nostalgia entertainment for white audiences with whom they did not share such nostalgia. [7] [8] The Jim Crow associations of the name "Dixieland" also did little to attract younger black musicians to the revival.

The Dixieland revival music during the 1940s and 1950s gained a broad audience that established traditional jazz as an enduring part of the American cultural landscape, and spawned revival movements in Europe. Well-known jazz standard tunes such as "Basin Street Blues" and "When the Saints Go Marching In" are known even to non-jazz fans thanks to the enduring popularity of traditional jazz. The Vietnam-era protest song "Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag" is based on tonal centers and the "B" refrain from the New Orleans standard "Muskrat Ramble". Traditional jazz is a major tourist attraction for New Orleans to the present day. It has been an influence on the styles of more modern players such as Charles Mingus and Steve Coleman.

New Orleans music combined earlier brass band marches, French quadrilles, biguine, ragtime, and blues with collective, polyphonic improvisation. The "standard" band consists of a "front line" of trumpet (or cornet), trombone, and clarinet, with a "rhythm section" of at least two of the following instruments: guitar or banjo, string bass or tuba, piano, and drums. The Dixieland sound is created when one instrument (usually the trumpet) plays the melody or a variation on it, and the other instruments improvise around that melody. This creates a more polyphonic sound than the heavily arranged big band sound of the 1930s or the straight melodies (with or without harmonizing) of bebop in the 1940s.

The "West Coast revival," which used banjo and tuba, began in the late 1930s in San Francisco. The Dutch "old-style jazz" was played with trumpets, trombones and saxophones accompanied by a single clarinet, sousaphone and a section of Marching percussion usually including a washboard.

Partial list of Dixieland musicians

Some of the artists historically identified with Dixieland are mentioned in List of jazz musicians. Some of the best-selling and famous Dixieland artists of the post-WWII era:

Festivals

The International Dixieland Festival in Dresden Internationales Dixieland Festival 2012 Dresden 8.JPG
The International Dixieland Festival in Dresden

Periodicals

There are several active periodicals devoted to traditional jazz: the Jazz Rambler, a quarterly newsletter distributed by San Diego's America's Finest City Dixieland Jazz Society, The Syncopated Times, which covers traditional jazz, ragtime, and swing; and to an extent Jazz Journal an online-only publication based in Europe covering a variety of jazz styles. [10]

Quotations

Arguably the happiest of all music is Dixieland jazz. The sound of several horns all improvising together on fairly simple chord changes with definite roles for each instrument but a large amount of freedom, cannot help but sound consistently joyful.

By the mid-1930s the word 'Dixieland' was being applied freely to certain circles of white musicians. First by the trade press, then by the public. By the end of the decade it all but lost any direct 'Southern' association.

See also

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Nick LaRocca American jazz musician

Dominic James "Nick" LaRocca, was an early jazz cornetist and trumpeter and the leader of the Original Dixieland Jass Band. He is the composer of one of the most recorded jazz classics of all-time, "Tiger Rag". He was part of what is generally regarded as the first recorded jazz band, a band which recorded and released the first jazz recording, "Livery Stable Blues" in 1917.

Swing music, or simply swing, is a form of popular jazz music developed in the United States that dominated in the 1930s and 1940s. The name swing came from the 'swing feel' where the emphasis is on the off–beat or weaker pulse in the music. Swing bands usually featured soloists who would improvise on the melody over the arrangement. The danceable swing style of big bands and bandleaders such as Benny Goodman was the dominant form of American popular music from 1935 to 1946, a period known as the swing era. The verb "to swing" is also used as a term of praise for playing that has a strong groove or drive. Notable musicians of the swing era include Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, Larry Clinton, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Woody Herman, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Harry James, Louis Jordan, and Cab Calloway.

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Trad jazz

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Music of New Orleans

The music of New Orleans assumes various styles of music which have often borrowed from earlier traditions. New Orleans, Louisiana, is especially known for its strong association with jazz music, universally considered to be the birthplace of the genre. The earliest form was dixieland, which has sometimes been called traditional jazz, 'New Orleans', and 'New Orleans jazz'. However, the tradition of jazz in New Orleans has taken on various forms that have either branched out from original dixieland or taken entirely different paths altogether. New Orleans has also been a prominent center of funk, home to some of the earliest funk bands such as The Meters.

1940s in jazz jazz music-related events during the 1940s

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Outline of jazz Overview of and topical guide to jazz


The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to jazz:

Jazz in Belgium

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The trombone is a musical instrument from the brass instrument family. Trombone's first premiere in jazz was with Dixieland Jazz as a supporting role within the Dixie Group. This role later grew into the spotlight as players such as J.J. Johnson and Jack Teagarden began to experiment more with the instrument, finding that it can fill in roles along with the saxophone and trumpet in Bebop Jazz. The trombone has since grown to be featured in standard big band group setups with 3 to 5 trombones depending on the arrangement. Even today the trombone is still growing in popularity with groups and in music with different techniques being attempted and brought up. The trombone is not easy to play for left handed people, although well known trombone player Slide Hampton was a professional player that used a left-handed grip and style. A person who plays the trombone is called a trombone player or a trombonist.

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