The Book Of Jazz - online reference book

Its Nature, Instruments, Sources, Sounds, Development & Performers

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In The Book of Jazz he has a lot of information that has never been put together in this particular (and very useful) way. First there is the part about the backgrounds of jazz, which was always supposed to have originated in the bordellos of New Orleans. Personally, I never did go along with that theory. I figure jazz to be a parallel for what happened in, say, the different cultures of the Caribbean. For example, the musicians in Haiti may play their drums one way, and in Jamaica or Cuba another way, but no matter how different they are, there is a basic root for all their music. Maybe in one place they call it a rhumba, some place else it's a mambo, and in Trinidad they have the calypso, but essen­tially it all springs from the same thing.
In the same way all the different forms of jazz grew up sep­arately. Ifs a long distance from Trinidad to Cuba, and a long distance from New Orleans to New York, and people didn't travel much in those days or have the communications we have now, but I'm quite sure that there were the same sort of guys up in the North who had the same influences—African influences—that they had down in the South. I can t see where it could have all originated in any one city.
This past summer, when I was teaching at the Music Inn School of Jazz in Lenox, Massachusetts, I was talking to Rex Stewart, the cornet player, who gave a lecture up there. It was very enlightening. He said that when Buddy Bolden and those guys were playing in New Orleans there were plenty of musicians up in the North and the East that were wailing them up some, too. This reminds me of when people walk up to me and try to start an argument by telling me, "Say, Dizzy, Charlie Parker said he invented bebop." And I'll tell them, 'Well, yes, he did; his con­tribution is what he put into it, but I wouldn't say that Charlie Parker was the originator of my style, or Monk's style or Kenny Clarke's or any of the guys who were supposed to have had any­thing to do with inventing this music" In the same way I think Leonard Feather has pointed out some important misunder­standings about the origins of jazz.
I found a whole lot of knowledge, in fact many things I didn't know, in the instrumental chapters that show the progress and evolutions of the various instruments. I've never seen a book on