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October 18, 1959 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1959-10-18
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- '. '.

New Sound Develops



Continued from Page 5
v more instruments-the trom-
le, clarinet, drums and possibly
string bass and piano he pro-
ced a sound whic.h was -fresh
d different. Before long, the
eet bands were playing for
ierals, excursion boats, parades
d any other event which
>ught people together.
rhe bands learned much about

harmony and how the rhythm
and melody could be combined in
exciting manners. After a while,
the influence of ragtime was felt.'
In the popular music field the de-
velopment of ragtime caused an
alteration of the beat and influ-
enced the bands toward a direction
which brought back some of the
African and the European ele-
ments. The music became dance-


able and ragtime became a na-
tional pastime.
TE WHITE musicians in New
Orleans became interested in
this new music of the Negro. The
early .New Orleans band-leader.
Buddy Bolden becameban idol of
both the Negro and white jazz
lovers. Noted jazzhistorian Mar-
shall Stearns calls this white mu-
sicians awakening a "cultural'
clambake." A fitting term, since
it was the dawn of a breakdown of
racial barriers as well as the.
beginning of the Jazz Age,_ as
novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald labeled
the Roaring Twenties.
In 1917, a group of white musi-
cians wandered north from their
New Orleans home and ended up
in New York. The Original Dixie-
land Jazz Band made coast tol
coast headlines with this newi
music. It seemed so strange that
the nightclub patrons had to be
told to dance to it. The ice was
broken-Dixieland was born as far
as the general public was con-I
cerned. From then on the jazz!
centers of styles read like an
American geography book. New
Orleans spawned many of the
musicians,- but as the music be-
came available on records, the
large cities produced their own
The first city to be influenced
by the New Orleans music was the
one up the river-Chicago. Here,
in 1920, the names of King Oliver
and one of his New Orleans-born
employes, Louis Armstrong, gained

A New Music Grows
From Many Cultures

Integrating the solo break with dance music


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recognition which produced the
second wave'~of white musicians
and encouraged other Negro as-
pirants toI take up the horn and
blow. Though still associated with
the seamier side of the American
culture, people began to ;realize
that this was something exciting
and vital.
CHICAGO produced the pulse-
beat of jazz during the twen-
ties. Besides Armstrong, Jelly Roll

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Morton and his pioneering bands
played in Chicago as did Sidney
Bechet, Earl "Father" Hines,
Johnny Dodds and many other
New Orleans-oriented musicians.
Through their collective influence
the names of Benny Goodmap,
Gene Krupa, Eddie Condon, Jess
Stacy, Red Nichols and many more
became associated with jazz.
The best example of the New
Orleans influence on Chicago
would be the group of high school
students who listened to the rec-
ords of the "greats," imitated and
then developed their own style.
They were collectively known as
the Austin High Gang and perhaps
best of all represent the Chicago
style or adaptation of Dixieland
of the twenties.
However, the money was not ~to
be made in Chicago and slowly the
towers of Manhattan attracted the
better musicians. New York had
seen the Paul Whiteman band di-
lute jazz into "polite dance music"
in 1924. With dance music becom-
ing more popular, the big bands
started. emerging around the city.
The most important jazz group
was the Negro band of Fletcher
Henderson. He was in the"process
of learning what it meant to make
a big band swing. Popular among
the whites, the Henderson band
was the first important and suc-
cessful band in New York to inte-
grate the dance music of the
masses with the "hot" solo break.
Henderson later became a guiding
light in the Benny Goodman
bands as an arranger after most
of the big jazz bands lost the
public eye and dried up.
ONE GREAT exception to this
was the Duke Ellington or-
chestra which opened at the Cot-
ton Club in Harlem in 1927. Due
Concluded on Next Page
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THE ORIGINS of jazz are as
diverse as the America where*
it was born. To say that jazz
originated in this area or that is
to limit something which can't be
limited. It is obvious that the pri-
mary influences have been initially
African and secondly European,
for these areas were the homes of
those who contributed to the foun-
dations of jazz.
4 When the- slaves from Africa
came to America in the seven-
teenth century, the elements of
the music they brought included a
heavy emphasis on drums and the.
beat. Dancing and other forms of
expressive movement (clapping
and stamping) were used in many
handed-down tribal rituals and
group entertainment gatherings.
As the Negro culture became in-
creasingly assimilated with the
American white man's, the Mexi-
cans, Spanish, French, Irish, Eng-T
lish, German, South American,
North American and Middle East-
ern folkways also came together
on the American continent. The
Negro, who mixed with this cross-
current of the world and felt a
Dave Giltrow is a jazz en-
thusiast who has attended
several festivals and concerts,
as well as read many bookson
the subject. He is chief pho-
tographer for the Michigan-

LF.C.-U. of M. BANDS present

gnawing desire to be part of this
society which rejected him, re-
.acted in two ways.
His first reaction was to retain
those things unique to his culture.
From a musical standpoint, this
-was a; continuance of his tribal
dances, his methods- of producing
music and his religious practices.
THE SECOND reaction was to
adopt the.white's European in-
struments and melodies into his
African musical tradition, and re-
ligion played a significant part of
this this process.'The modification
of Protestant hymns resulted in
spirituals and' gospel songs. The
addition of a rhythmic aspect into
a hymn is distinctly African; the
hymns- are -European. This mold-
ing of two cultural elements
marked the first milestone in de-
veloping jazz as we know it today
--rhythm with a dominating mel-
Most of this slow process of link-
ing the various cultures occurred
in the South - primarily New
Orleans. Nineteenth century New
Orleans saw the trading of slaves,
the French and Spanish influence
and the end, of slavery. Minstrel
shows, the large crews of Negro
labor and Congo Square became
important parts of the city.
Congo Square was the Negro
congregating place. In the heart
of the colored man's section, the
practice of voodoo, old African
drum rhythms and the gospel
songs were evident in the hot

Jazz is communication without formal it


evening air of the summertime.
The minstrel shows would provide
entertainment for the white au-
diences as the Negro was usually
satisfied with making fun of him-
self for their benefit. Minstrels
provide the chance for public ex-
pr'ession of the Negro's desire to be
accepted. As a pioneering effort it
is important because it was early
jazz's only formal way of intro-
ducing itself to the public.
RIFTING through the night air
in both the large city and the
small farm shacks of the country,
were the plaintiff sounds of the
harmonica, the irregular plucking
of a banjo, or the refrain of an
anonymous sad song which was
the accumulation of years of dis-
couragement, disillusionment and
disappointment. The blues became
a way of expressing the problems



of Negro life. The slave made up
his own lyrics or revised the old
ones to fit his feelings. Jazz ad-
vanced another step by becoming
something personal, something
The teeming nineteenth century
New Orleans was abundantly pop-
ulated with human labor. The
Negro work crews used music to
add diversion and efficiency to
their labor. The songs became
mixed with the slaves' two diver-
gent desires - retaining identity
and seeking acceptance. The lyrics
were often jabs at the boss. The
existence of the song during the
working hours indicated a desire
-under the surface-to be ac-
cepted by his boss. Thus the work-
ers would sing together to increase
their efficiency and also to express
dissatisfaction toward their sta-
The work song gives to jazz a



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322''S. Stati

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