The Story of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band

The Story of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band

The Story of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band

The Story of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band

Excerpt

Perhaps no history of an art is more lacking in documentation than that of jazz. The very meaning of the word is obscure to most persons, and even the dictionaries do not agree. The chief complaint to be found with nearly all these definitions is that they are based on hearsay. To complicate matters, many words today carry hardly the same meaning they did yesterday; and those who danced to the jazz that was popular forty years ago would never recognize the music that is presently described by the word.

Many historians speak of jazz as if it had always existed, as if the radical change in popular music around 1916--a change so revolutionary that a new name was required to distinguish it from the ragtime so prevalent throughout the country at that time--never really occurred.

I believe I have presented new and incontrovertible evidence that the Original Dixieland Jazz Band was the first to popularize the radical new music in the leading metropolitan centers of the world, first to increase its spread by means of the world's first jazz phonograph record; and that these men are, despite the attacks levelled at them a few decades after their retirement, more than entitled to the phrase that was always their billing: The Creators of Jazz.

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