The Book Of Jazz - online reference book

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

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Teople don't realize," says the trombonist and bandleader Wilbur De Paris, "that in the early days brass band and orchestral playing were very closely related. The musicians I remember from my childhood were mainly brass band men, because there weren't many jobs for strictly orchestra mm" To De Paris, "orchestra" in this context refers to the dance band* Born m 1900 in Crawfordsville, Indiana, De Paris, who toured with his musician father from infancy, can recall many of the groups that played in the brass band style, in many parts of the United States, during his childhood. The conventional instrumentation included one or two cornets, a clarinet, a trombone, guitar, bass and drums. Their polyphonic interpretations, according to Louis Armstrong and others who heard them, had some qualities in common with the jazz of the later day.
The Negro bands played at picnics, rode in advertising wagons and frequently marched through the urban streets. White musiĀ­cians were developing bands along parallel lines* Jack "Papa" Laine, who formed his first band in 1888 and claims to have been one of the first to perform ragtime, led the Reliance Brass Band, which played for parades and carnivals. The most widely publicized of the brass bands were all led by trumpeters or cornetists. The most powerful, both in the strength of his legend and in the reputed clarity and carrying power of his horn, was Charles "Buddy" Bolden, born in 1878 in New Orleans. Bolden, with whom music may have been a sideline (his other activities included the editing of a scandal sheet and the operation of a