Creating Jazz Counterpoint: New Orleans, Barbershop Harmony, by Vic Hobson

By Vic Hobson

The booklet Jazzmen (1939) claimed New Orleans because the birthplace of jazz and brought the legend of blood brother Bolden because the “First guy of Jazz.” a lot of the data that the e-book trusted got here from a hugely arguable resource: Bunk Johnson. He claimed to have performed with Bolden and that jointly that they had pioneered jazz.

Johnson made many recordings conversing approximately and enjoying the track of the Bolden period. those recordings were taken care of with skepticism as a result of doubts approximately Johnson’s credibility. utilizing oral histories, the Jazzmen interview notes, and unpublished archive fabric, this publication confirms that Bunk Johnson did play with Bolden. This affirmation, in flip, has profound implications for Johnson’s recorded legacy in describing the song of the early years of recent Orleans jazz.

New Orleans jazz used to be various from ragtime in a few methods. It was once a tune that was once jointly improvised, and it carried a brand new tonality―the tonality of the blues. How early jazz musicians improvised jointly and the way the blues grew to become part of jazz has formerly been a secret. a part of the explanation New Orleans jazz built because it did is that each one the favorite jazz pioneers, together with blood brother Bolden, Bunk Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Johnny Dodds, and child Ory, sang in barbershop (or barroom) quartets. This booklet describes in either ancient and musical phrases how the practices of quartet making a song have been switched over to the tools of a jazz band, and the way this, in flip, produced jointly improvised, blues-inflected jazz, that precise sound of latest Orleans.

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Extra info for Creating Jazz Counterpoint: New Orleans, Barbershop Harmony, and the Blues

Example text

Boy I got busy and really made the grade. ”40 Beulah Baptist Church is listed in Soards’ City Directory until 1902. 41 Maps and directories show no other Baptist church or chapel in the area. It seems likely that was where Bunk Johnson took his music lessons. If he did, he can only have done so between the early 1890s and 1902, as by this time the church had closed. Just Bunk? 39 Bunk consistently told enquirers that he left school the year before the Robert Charles Riot. In 1944, Robert Goffin visited New Orleans to research La Nouvelle-Orléans Capital du Jazz (1946).

80 Despite the coincidence in title, there is no obvious connection between this song and “On Emancipation Day” (1902), a song by Will Marion Cook and Paul Laurence Dunbar, from the musical In Dahomey. There are, however, two published tunes that are similar to “Buddy Bolden’s Blues”: “The St. ” In The Art of Ragtime: Form and Meaning of an Original Black American Art, William J. Schafer and Johannes Riedel argue that: The melodies of different strains of a rag are apt to contrast sharply, but they are similar in that they follow lyrical, vocal lines.

80 Despite the coincidence in title, there is no obvious connection between this song and “On Emancipation Day” (1902), a song by Will Marion Cook and Paul Laurence Dunbar, from the musical In Dahomey. There are, however, two published tunes that are similar to “Buddy Bolden’s Blues”: “The St. ” In The Art of Ragtime: Form and Meaning of an Original Black American Art, William J. Schafer and Johannes Riedel argue that: The melodies of different strains of a rag are apt to contrast sharply, but they are similar in that they follow lyrical, vocal lines.

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