[Marxism] Leon Botstein

Paddy Apling e.c.apling at btinternet.com
Sun Mar 29 13:42:38 MDT 2009

I HAVE to comment, with some historical reminiscences on this one.

I got into jazz at about age 13 in 1938 and those who initially thrilled me 
with their music - judging by the 78s I bought in those early years - were 
Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke, added to very rapidly by Stephane 
Grapelli and Django Reinhardt. - 1 black, 3 white....

Later in 1946 in the Army in Italy, I found myself giving the occasional 
talks on jazz - and I went to the US Army Library in Duino Castle - along 
the Adriatic coast near Trieste - to borrow jazz records to play at 
recitals.  And what was the music section I perused labeled - "Race Records" 
is its title, I seem to remember - even for records (V-disks) of Bix and 
Benny Goodman  Quartet etc !!.

Yet as at the same as I regarded the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the US Army 
Air Force Band as merely dance music as merely on a par with such British 
dance bands as Ambrose, Roy Fox, Jack Hylton, and Henry Hall and his BBC 
Dabce Orchestra, there was a small group of the US band, introduced at 8 am 
every mourning by Sgt Ray MacKinley which I regarded as the real stuff and 
caused my tank radio to have one of its frequencies set to US Army Radio 
each morning.....

And even in Britain the Gramophone Record Catalogue marked its personnel 
listing with N for the black musicians and most jazz fans in Britain took 
this as an indicator in their choice of which records to sselect !!

But then much later, in the mid-60s when I was an academic of University of 
Reading I well remember enthusing at lunch in Senior Common Room about a 
recital by Barney Kessel that a member of the University Music Department 
sneered "ugh!! electric guitar" - so all this sneering from a classical 
music conductor is really old hat - musical bigotry is something which I had 
thought had disappeared with the end of the 20th-century, but something that 
jazz has had to deal with for a very long time !!

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com>
To: <e.c.apling at btinternet.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 29, 2009 6:30 PM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Leon Botstein

> http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/mydocs/culture/white_jazz.htm
> White Jazz
> White jazz--those were the words that kept running through my head. Why?
> This evening I listened to three of America's finest jazz musicians at
> Birdland: Paul Bley on piano, Gary Peacock on bass and Paul Motian on
> drums. And they all happen to be white.

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