jueves, 6 de diciembre de 2007

what is dixieland?

Defining Dixieland Jazz
It's rather sad to relate, but even many Americans (the land where Jazz was born) no longer understand the meaning of the expression "Dixieland Jazz". If we define 'Jazz' as the free improvisation on a melody, then "Dixieland Jazz" is that type of improvisation which we today associate with bands originally playing in America's 'Southland'. (Most folks now think of 'Southland' as New Orleans, LA, but in fact the music was being played over very large areas of the U.S.A. including, Memphis, St. Louis, Texas, Detroit etc., not to mention the lively 'Barrelhouse' music of San Francisco's Barbary Coast.) SIDENOTE: Readers interested in the use of the word "Jazz" in music, may wish to read our entry on the Art Hickman Orch., showing the word used in the old "Barbary Coast" area of San Fancisco, CA. Readers may also wish to peruse our page on Jazz Etymology, showing the word used in old New Orleans, LA.
Before -say the 1880s - composers would write a melody, which in time would be orchestrated for a small orchestra. Bands would always play the tune the same way - precisely as it was orchestrated. Eventually, small groups of musicians took it upon themselves to improvise on the melody - to "Jazz" it up. Early bands were usually very small groups, a "Frontline" of cornet, trombone and clarinet/Saxophone, and a "backline" (rhythm section) of Brass Bass (tuba), Banjo (an American invention), Drums and Piano.
In the South, these bands would play 'ensemble style' - no solos - with different instruments of the frontline varying, 'Jazzing', the melody -while the musicians all played together (no solos). This 'Ensemble Playing', with each instrument 'jazzing up' it's own part, is what came to be called "Dixieland Jazz".
When the music moved to St. Louis, MO, Detroit, MI, and to Chicago, IL, - it changed somewhat, but most notably in two ways. Firstly, due very greatly to the influence of one musician, Bix Beiderbecke, instrumental Soloing became a fixture of Dixieland Jazz. Musicians, such as Louis Armstrong and others, would take Bix's idea and expand on it by making Solos a fixed feature, along with routining the way bands would play, and some other improvements. Secondly, Dixieland changed into a 'harder driving' form. In America's South, the music seemingly 'unfurled' in front of you. A relatively gentle style of playing, - associated with the gentler days of the old South. In the North, - in Chicago - the music reflected life in Chicago, - a hard driving, hustling and bustling city of stock yards, businesses, saloons, gangsters, bootleg 'hooch', and JAZZ. Due to Bix Beiderbecke's influence, soloists were given "space" in each tune, and the music was more forcefully presented to the audience.

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Los Hot5 en el Festival internacional de Jazz de Murcia 2007

Los Hot5 en el Festival internacional de Jazz de Murcia 2007