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The Small Combos
from later recordings of this type: there is a constant stress on collective improvisation. Solos are usually restricted to an occa­sional two- or four-bar break. The sound of a trumpet- or cornet-led ensemble from start to finish, with all three horns ad libbing at once, produced results that may sound chaotic to most present-day listeners. A corollary result was the inability of the soloists to establish any firm identity: thus a comparison of Livery Stable Blues played by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band on Victor and the New Orleans Rhythm Kings on Riverside reveals little sub­stantial difference, though the latter, if only on the strength of Rappolo's presence, had slightly more to offer.
There are several distinguishing features to be found in both groups. The harmonic structure is extremely limited. Most chords remain unchanged for at least a full measure, and in most in­stances there is little or no use of minor sevenths. The choruses of most tunes played by these bands begin and end with two full bars on the tonic. Rhythmically, there is surprisingly little syncopation; the use of dynamics for rhythmic contrasts also is very limited. Melodically, the improvisations are circumscribed by these harmonic and rhythmic limitations: there is an inclina­tion on the part of all the musicians to resort to such obvious devices as a sustained note in the upper register to establish dramatic tension.
A tendency apparently common to many bands when -*jassw was a brand new novelty was the use of jungle effects, in both the music and the titles. Both versions of Livery Stable Blues contain breaks that suggest animal-like sounds, presumably a sop to the public's concept of jazz as a primitive and slightly comical affair. Other titles of the day were Barnyard Blues, Tiger Rag, Ostrich Walk. There was also a leaning toward the naively exotic with tunes like Oriental, Sphinx, Sudan.
The King Oliver band, its early records disclose, was hardly less concerned with multiple improvisation but tended to offer a little more solo prominence to a few of the men. The Oliver band records began in 1923 (six years after the Original Dixie­land Band but contemporaneous with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings). They show at least a hesitant move toward structural con­cepts, and have a stronger and more syncopated horn leading the