100 Years of Recorded Jazz
Last week the 26th of February marked the day when five young New Orleans musicians known as the Original Dixieland Jass Band recorded the “ Livery Stable Blues “ at the Victor Talking Machine Co. in New York City in 1917. On the other side of the 78 was “ the Dixieland Jass Band One Step “. The record went on to be a million seller propelled jazz into the public consciousness .
The Original Dixieland Jass Band were an overnight sensation touring Europe performing a command performance for King George V amongst other society events.
Trumpeter with the band , Nick La Rocca, courted controversy by claiming that he was the “ creator of jazz “ and that jazz was the invention of white New Orleans musicians who influenced copyist African – American musicians. His derogatory remarks about African – American musicians are still regarded as valueless and inflammatory and much of the controversy surrounding his statements is currently debated in the contemporary music press and internet sites.
Last week John Smyth presented a radio special on Melbourne community radio station 3CR on those heady times and on the changes in jazz sounds and recording techniques and quality reflecting this fascinating story over the last century. John Smyth is a regular presenter of Jazz On A Saturday on radio 3CR ( 855 AM ) which has been sponsored by the Victorian Jazz Club for the last forty years between 4.00 & 5.30 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time. The show can be heard live on 3cr.org.au and his show on the last century of recorded jazz can still be heard on the 3CR website on audio on demand for the next 24 hours.