Pioneers of Jazz: The Story of the Creole Band

Pioneers of Jazz The Story of the Creole Band Thanks to the pioneering tours of the Creole Band jazz began to be heard nationwide on the vaudeville stages of America from to This seven piece band toured the country exporting for the f

  • Title: Pioneers of Jazz: The Story of the Creole Band
  • Author: Lawrence Gushee
  • ISBN: 9780195161311
  • Page: 320
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Thanks to the pioneering tours of the Creole Band, jazz began to be heard nationwide on the vaudeville stages of America from 1914 to 1918 This seven piece band toured the country, exporting for the first time the authentic jazz strains that had developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century The band s vaudeville routines were deeply rooted in the minstrel shoThanks to the pioneering tours of the Creole Band, jazz began to be heard nationwide on the vaudeville stages of America from 1914 to 1918 This seven piece band toured the country, exporting for the first time the authentic jazz strains that had developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century The band s vaudeville routines were deeply rooted in the minstrel shows and plantation cliches of American show business in the late 19th century, but its instrumental music was central to its performance and distinctive and entrancing to audiences and reviewers.Pioneers of Jazz reveals at long last the link between New Orleans music and the jazz phenomenon that swept America in the 1920s While they were the first important band from New Orleans to attain national exposure, The Creole Band has not heretofore been recognized for its unique importance But in his monumental, careful research, jazz scholar Lawrence Gushee firmly establishes the group s central role in jazz history.Gushee traces the troupe s activities and quotes the reaction of critics and audiences to their first encounters with this new musical phenomenon While audiences often expected and got a kind of minstrel show, the group transcended expectations, taking pride in their music and facing down the theatrical establishment with courage Although they played the West Coast and Canada, most of their touring centered in the heartland Most towns of any size in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana heard them, often repeatedly, and virtually all of their appearances were received with wild enthusiasm After four years of nearly incessant traveling, members of the band founded or joined groups in Chicago s South Side cabaret scene, igniting the craze for hot New Orleans music for which the Windy City was renowned in the early 1920s The best known musicians in the group cornetist Freddie Keppard, clarinetist Jimmy Noone and string bassist Bill Johnson would play a significant role in jazz, becoming famous for recordings in the 1920s Gushee effectively brings to life each member of the band and discusses their individual contributions, while analyzing the music with precision, skillful and exacting documentation Including many never before published photos and interviews, the book also provides an invaluable and colorful look at show business, especially vaudeville, in the 1910s.While some of the first jazz historians were aware of the band s importance, attempts to locate and interview surviving members three died before 1935 were sporadic and did little or nothing to correct the mostly erroneous accounts of the band s career The jazz world has long known about Gushee s original work on this previously neglected subject, and the book represents an important event in jazz scholarship Pioneers of Jazz brilliantly places this group s unique importance into a broad cultural and historical context, and provides the crucial link between jazz s origins in New Orleans and the beginning of its dissemination across the country.

    One thought on “Pioneers of Jazz: The Story of the Creole Band”

    1. This book is not great. It's obsessed with its central argument, to the point that it ignores having a compelling narrative. Really all it is, is a list of dates and newspaper clippings. Having said all that, it was great as a reference work on a topic I wanted to know more about. I now know more than I need to, which is exactly where I wanted to be.

    2. For some time I have been fascinated by the thought of what music must have sounded like in the period when Ragtime was becoming Jazz, an era when Jazz was not yet recorded. This book is about The Original Creole Orchestra, one of the first New Orleans bands to travel the country on the vaudeville circuit, bring the sound of New Orleans music to the entire country. Trumpeter Freddie Keppard, a contemporary of King Oliver, was its best known member.This book is incredibly well researched and very [...]

    3. If you want to understand about American music in the 20th century then you should plow through this book. The Creole Jazz Band was already favored by the moldy fig jazz aficionados for Freddie Keppard, the brilliant under recorded cornetist that was the star of the band. What Gushee has done is pull together a remarkable history of the group and re-introduces the world to the amazing Bill Johnson. He does this through a variety of sources and methods and turns that research into a readable inte [...]

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