TRADITIONAL JAZZ HISTORY
Dixieland is a popular name that refers to the earliest
styles of jazz originated in New Orleans during the late
1910s and Chicago during the 1920s. Dixieland or
Traditional jazz is collectively improvised small group
music where the players simultaneously improvise over
a song’s structure. It is often considered to be the first
true style of jazz. Dixieland music is a mixture of music
that incorporates work songs, brass band marches, folk, blues, gospel, popular music and ragtime. Famous
Dixieland tunes include: "Muskrat Ramble,” "Struttin' With Some Barbecue,” "Tiger Rag,”"Dippermouth Blues,”
"Basin Street Blues,” "Just A Closer Walk With Thee,”
and many others. "Bill Bailey" is the second most
requested tune in Dixieland music, the first being
"When the Saints Go Marching In.”
New Orleans style bands are fronted by trumpet or
cornet, clarinet and trombone. The rhythm section typically includes banjo, tuba and drums. The Chicago Style
augments the front line with the addition of a saxophone.
The Chicago style also differs from the New Orleans style
by replacing the tuba with string bass, the banjo with
guitar and adding piano.
There is a distinct difference with how the New Orleans and Chicago style rhythm sections accompany the frontline players. In the New Orleans style the rhythm section plays
in a flat-four style. That is, all four beats within a measure
are played with equal emphasis. The Chicago style is
played with a two beat feel where beats two and four
receive more emphasis. The Chicago style is also
performed more aggressively than that of New Orleans.
Among the great innovators that contributed to the development of this music are Louis Armstrong, Joe
“King” Oliver, Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney
Bechet, Kid Ory, Johnny Dodds, Baby Dodds,
Bix Beiderbecke and Nick LaRocca to name a few.