Showing posts with label Dixieland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dixieland. Show all posts

Thursday, September 21, 2017

SWING JAZZ Guitar Solos - George Barnes Had A Unique DIXIELAND Style!

George Barnes was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 17, 1921, and came from a household that was full of artists! He began to play the guitar at 9 with his father who was his very first teacher. Barnes was raised in Chicago, a city that had actually ended up being a major center of jazz music advancement. He stated that his primary musical influences were Jimmy Noone (in whose band he played at the age of 16), Benny Goodman, and Louis Armstrong.

One of several studio portraits of Broonzy.
One of several studio portraits of Broonzy.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
As a youth George Barnes was associated with the excellent blues guitarist Lonnie Johnson who obviously had a major influence on him. He also listened to numerous records by the French gypsy jazz guitar player Django Reinhardt. At 14 Barnes already had his own jazz quartet. He won a Tommy Dorsey Amateur Swing Contest when he was 16 and at 17 was working on the Chicago NBC personnel staff as a guitar player, conductor, and arranger which was a truly amazing accomplishment!

During the seven years that preceded 1942, George Barnes was regularly included in tape-recording sessions with lots of legendary folk and blues artists including Big Bill Broonzy, Washboard Sam, and Blind John Davis. Upon leaving the military after the war, Barnes returned to a life which ended up becoming one of the busiest in jazz history. In 1951 he moved from Chicago to New York City. Here his phenomenal musical talents won him a job with Decca Records as arranger, guitarist, and composer.

Because of his multiple skills, George Barnes was much in demand for many years as a backing guitar player for top vocalists and jazz artists consisting of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Louis Armstrong. He made many historical jazz recordings with his own numerous quartets and quintets however his most important contribution to jazz guitar history was his creative guitar duets with Carl Kress (and later Bucky Pizzarelli after the death of Kress) in addition to the quintet he led collectively with cornetist Ruby Braff.

Always a strong individualist, George Barnes had a really distinct sound partly due to his personally developed archtop jazz guitar constructed without the typical "F" sound holes. This instrument was made specifically for him by the Guild Guitar Company. He likewise utilized an unwound 3rd string which was unusual for a guitarist of his generation. In 1975 Barnes transferred to Concord, California. There he devoted his time to playing in jazz clubs, recording, and teaching until his death following a cardiac arrest on September 5, 1977.




Thursday, July 6, 2017

Origins of JAZZ MUSIC

There are a lot of people nowadays who enjoy great jazz music. In fact, almost every home has somebody who loves to listen to its cool rhythm and its moving beat. However, jazz music did not come along that easy since it all started. In fact, based on the origin of jazz, this type of music genre had its share of low times before it hit the popularity spot. While jazz is now being enjoyed by a lot of people, there was a time in its history when it was not as accepted as it is today.

Papa Dré's Dixie Paraders
Photo  by    FaceMePLS   (cc)
Somehow, the popularity of jazz or its unpopularity at the onset had to do with its being clearly identified as black music. But now, when the issues of racial discrimination is slowly starting to wane, anyone can say that jazz music, which is being played not only by black people but also by white, is here to stay.

In general, the origin of jazz was believed to have started in New Orleans before it spread to Chicago and then on to Kansas City, then to New York City and finally the West Coast area. Both the vocals and the instrumental sides of the blues are known to be essential components that we can still predominantly see in this music genre today. There have been and there still are many types of the genre and this was all started with the ragtime that officially started in New Orleans or what is also known as the Dixieland jazz. Then, after this, there came the swing jazz, which was also known as the bop or bebop. Cool or progressive jazz followed thereafter, which was also then succeeded by the hard bop or the neo-bop.

Then, there was the third stream and the mainstream modern and the jazz type that a lot of people like to dance, which is the Latin jazz. Of course, rock and roll also made its influence on this music genre with the coming out of the jazz rock, which was followed lastly by the avant-garde or what is commonly known as the free jazz.

The origin of jazz actually started out in the later years of the 19th century and this was derived from the work songs of the blacks, their sorrow songs, their field shouts, their hymns and their spiritual songs, the melodic, rhythmic and harmonic elements of which were seen to have been dominated by African influence. However, because it was seen as a music genre that was improvisational, emotional and spontaneous in nature and because it was mainly associated with the blacks, jazz did not garner the level of recognition that it deserved.



It was the European audiences that showed warmer reception to jazz, making the jazz musicians of America go to this country to work on their trade. Jazz only gained a wider audience when adaptations or imitations of it were made by white orchestras. It was in the later part of the 1930's when it was known to have become a legitimate entertainment and this was when Benny Goodman initiated concerts at the Carnegie hall of groups having mixed racial origins.




Tuesday, March 29, 2016

LOUIS ARMSTRONG: Transformation From Reform School to Infamous Trumpets

Head and shoulders portrait of jazz musician L...
Head and shoulders portrait of jazz musician Louis Armstrong. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Trumpets have been in existence since primitive times, but they did not really gain the recognition they deserved until the infiltration of jazz into the music world. When Buddy Bolden altered his own music style in the 1890's, it had the first inklings of what jazz music would become with its hearty spirit and spontaneity. He eventually lead the first genuine New Orleans jazz band. Continuing to invent jazz music was Freddie Keppard and Joe "King" Oliver playing the cornet as the lead instrument.

Then along came Louis Armstrong from a poor section of New Orleans where the heroes of the neighborhood were gamblers and pimps. His first music instrument, within the family of trumpets, was a long, tin horn that he would blast while working on a coal delivery wagon to let clients know the wagon was coming. At age 10 Louis Armstrong had earned enough money to buy a battered cornet in a pawnshop. By age 11 he had left school, left his job, and organized a street corner quartet. Unfortunately while on the street he committed some minor crimes and was sent to reform school at the age of 12. While in reform school Louis Armstrong joined the band and developed his talent. He became the leader of the band which changed his reputation. By the age of 13 he was back on the street and found small jobs to keep himself out of trouble.

As a teenager Louis Armstrong worked with professional musicians and joined Fate Marable's band playing on a riverboat in Mississippi. By his early twenties he could outplay any trumpets at cutting contests where soloists improvised until one was clearly outperforming the others. With the addition of 23 year old Lois Armstrong to the Fletcher Henderson band in New York, the band began to really swing with their new featured soloist. A year later he formed his own group in Chicago called the Hot Five. He organized the band and music around the solos which became one of the key characteristics of modern jazz.


Louis Armstrong became known as the father of modern jazz trumpets and the first modern jazz soloist. He greatly extended the range of trumpets as he could hit high notes that none of his peers could reach. His main contribution to jazz was his sense of rhythm which had a natural beat that made anyone listening want to get up and dance. Louis Armstrong taught the world how to really swing. He also taught jazz musicians how to extend the melodic line with improvisations on trumpets. Louis Armstrong used trumpets to belt out loud, sharp cutting sounds that commanded his listeners to pay attention. He had made trumpets the leading instruments with cornets virtually disappearing from the jazz scene.

Trumpets were not the only driving force in Louis Armstrong's career. Not only did he extend the range of trumpets, but he also showcased the extension of his own range of talents. He had a unique compositional and vocal ability, he was comedic, he had charisma, and he had charm. All of these talents wrapped up together made for a famously popular musician and showman.

    By Dianna Joseph
    Dianna Joseph is the owner of DJ Music Store. She is a saxophonist, novice pianist, and novice guitarist. In addition, she is an occupational therapist who works with a host of disabilities utilizing sensory integration and neurodevelopmental therapy in combination with music and a variety of other techniques to assist these persons in achieving the highest level of function and quality of life possible.
    Article Source: EzineArticles