[JPL] 50 great moments in jazz

Jazz Promo Services jazzpromo at earthlink.net
Mon Jan 26 16:35:26 EST 2009

>From Dan Morgenstern:

James Reese Europe's was the first black band to make records (many singers
before), in late 1913 and l914, for Victor. These are fascinating historical
documents but the music isn't jazz yet--it's late ragtime, a music in
transition, but if compared to ODJB, clearly not the same idiom. Europe's
story is indeed a fascinating one, and when, after making these records, at
which time he was the musical director for the famed dance team of Vernon
and Irene Castle (band is also in a film with them, silent, of course), he
put together a military band and went to France with it in WWI, what they
played came closer, and when they returned home and made records again, in
1919, these included Memphis Blues and the ODJB's Clarinet Marmalade, and
Europe toured and was billed by his label, Pathe, as the King of Jazz. A
sensation in France, the band made a stir as it commenced touring in the US,
but tragically, Europe was stabbed in the neck by a drummer in the band,
later judged insane, and bled to death, aged just 39. The book mentioned is
a great must read for anyone interested in 20th Century American music, but
those pre-ODJB Europe discs just ain't jazz--closest thing is a terrific
drum solo by Buddy Gilmore on Castle House Rag. (A somewhat bizzare
footnote: The crazy drummer, Herbert Wright, was incarcerated in an asylum,
but freed in late 1920s; he settled in Boston, where Europe had died, and
became Roy Haynes' first teacher.)

Jackson, Bobby wrote:

> I've interviewed Professor Karlton Hester years ago who himself is a musician.
> He is an ethnomusicologist who teaches at San Francisco State University, I
> believe. It was a thoroughly fascinating conversation and account of many
> issues regarding this music.

I've spoken to Professor Hester at several IAJE conferences. In fact, he
gave a talk at one of the IAJE conferences. I have the 4 volume set he wrote
called From Africa To Afrocentric Innovations Some Call Jazz. I have read
the first volume. It is an extremely interesting read.

Eric Jackson Mon - Thurs 8 pm - mid. 89.7 FM WGBH Boston www.wgbh.org/jazz

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