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 knowledge that the booklet depended on 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 speaking approximately and enjoying the tune 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 utilizing oral histories, the Jazzmen interview notes, and unpublished archive fabric, this booklet confirms that Bunk Johnson did play with Bolden. This affirmation, in flip, has profound implications for Johnson’s recorded legacy in describing the tune of the early years of recent Orleans jazz.

New Orleans jazz was once various from ragtime in a couple of methods. It was once a track 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 in the past been a secret. a part of the explanation New Orleans jazz built because it did is that every one the trendy 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 publication describes in either old 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 distinctive sound of recent Orleans.

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

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Bunk consistently said that he first played with Bolden in Johnson Park. From this, we can be sure that he did not play with Bolden in 1895, because 34 Just Bunk? Johnson Park and neighboring Lincoln Park opened for business in 1902. If, as Bunk said, he first played with Olivier in Lincoln Park and then with the Bolden band in Johnson Park, he had also provided the earliest possible date when this could have occurred. On March 31, 1902, George W. ”10 It is not clear how long it took George W. Johnson to develop the site and make it ready for baseball games.

Louis Tickle,” this raises the question: did Buddy Bolden learn the tune from Robichaux? If he did, he can only have done so after 1904. If he played his theme song before 1904, it would seem that Jelly Roll Morton could be correct and Theron C. Bennett may indeed have “stolen” Bolden’s theme song. Bennett was a Missouri-born pianist who first published in 1902 and by 1904 was working as a composer and arranger for the Victor Kremer Company. How did he come to know the melody? 89 Ben Harney is perhaps best known for composing “You’ve Been a Good Old Wagon” (1895).

4). 30 The Bolden Legend Example 3: Barney and Seymore, “The St. Louis Tickle” (1904) Example 4: Jelly Roll Morton, “Buddy Bolden’s Blues” (1939). “Buddy Bolden’s Blues,” Words and Music by Ferd “Jelly Roll” Morton, © 1939, 1940, 1950 TEMPO MUSIC PUBLISHING Co. © Renewed EDWIN H. MORRIS & COMPANY, A Division of MPL Music Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with Permission of Hal Leonard Corporation. The chord of A-diminished-seventh contains two notes that are not in the key of E b-major (G b and A-natural) and these notes, therefore, have accidentals.

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