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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,LEJ Ken Burns Jazz? Really that stupid? (58* d) RE: BS: Ken Burns? Really that stupid? 09 Jan 01

Conrad makes some good points.Although Burns points out that New Orleans in the 18th Century was a cultural gumbo of Blacks,Creoles,French,Germans and Italians,he cites as the only european contributions the Creole Symphony/Opera Brass influence and the widespead availability of horns leftover from Civil War brass bands.There can be no doubt of the fact that the direct sire of Jazz was the Blues music that came exclusively from the Black music.But the heavy emphasis on Improvisation as the essence of Jazz yields an assumption that all orchestrated (Big Band,for example)Jazz is a mutation of the original intent,and also minimizes traditional classical and orchestral influences.Because WC Handy was principally a composer,and is usually cited as a Father of the Blues,Burns seems to be comfortable with omitting him from his history of Jazz,and this omission is regrettable and misleading.

From a standpoint of getting the flavor and zest of the early innovators,Burns scores high marks.Marsalis' commentaries are also quite on-target in my opinion,and on the whole (despite my comments above) I'm enjoying the series very much.

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