The Book Of Jazz - online reference book

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

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Specialists have built up a doctrine according to which the superiority of the pioneers over their successors is admitted a priori . . . True, the effort of the New Orleans pioneers to form a new language still deserves respect. Esthetically, however, their work was a failure,
—Andre* Hodeir1
New Orleans was the seat of many procreative forces; the most important in terms of talent and influence were the trumpet players (Oliver, Armstrong, Red Allen) and the clarinetists (Picou, Noone, Bechet, Bigard, Edmond Hall, Irving Fazola).
Beyond doubt Storyville, as the scene of much early jazz creativity, was one of the many areas in which this music was formulated. While the musicians listed above have shown in­disputably the validity of their work, there are others, to be discussed in the ensuing pages, the importance of whose roles has been at least debatable. Their advocates, numbered by the scores among traditionalist jazz experts and by the tens of thou­sands among similarly oriented jazz fans, have built up a cult of such mystic qualities that myth and legend have replaced music and leger-line in an assessment of true values. To them, any impartial subjective or objective appraisal of any of these early jazz figures, for whom their special pleading has done much to shape the documentation of jazz history, would smack of iconoclasm.
In the following pages will be found a series of illustrations of the extraordinary dichotomy that has existed for some 15 to 20