Chicago Jazz: A Cultural History, 1904-1930 by William Howland Kenney

By William Howland Kenney

The surroundings is the Royal Gardens Cafe. It's darkish, smoky. The scent of gin permeates the room. individuals are leaning over the balcony, their beverages spilling at the buyers less than. On level, King Oliver and Louis Armstrong roll on and on, piling up choruses, the rhythm part construction the beat until eventually tables, chairs, partitions, humans, circulation with the rhythm. The time is the Nineteen Twenties. where is South facet Chicago, a city of dance halls and cabarets, Prohibition and segregation, a city the place jazz might flourish into the musical assertion of an era.
In Chicago Jazz, William Howland Kenney bargains a wide-ranging examine jazz within the Windy urban, revealing how Chicago turned the key middle of jazz within the Twenties, essentially the most important classes within the heritage of the track. He describes how the migration of blacks from the South to Chicago in the course of and after international warfare I set the degree for the improvement of jazz in Chicago; and the way the nightclubs and cabarets catering to either black and white buyers supplied the social atmosphere for jazz performances. Kenney discusses the coming of King Oliver and different greats in Chicago within the overdue young people and the early Nineteen Twenties, specifically Louis Armstrong, who may turn into the main influential jazz participant of the interval. And he travels past South facet Chicago to examine the evolution of white jazz, concentrating on the effect of the South facet institution on such younger white avid gamers as Mezz Mezzrow (who followed the mannerisms of black exhibit company performers, an urbanized southern black accessory, and black slang); and Max Kaminsky, deeply prompted by way of Armstrong's "electrifying tone, his tremendous approach, his strength and straightforwardness, his hotness and depth, his whole mastery of the horn." the private reminiscences of many others--including Milt Hinton, Wild invoice Davison, Bud Freeman, and Jimmy McPartland--bring alive this fascinating interval in jazz history.
here's a new interpretation of Chicago jazz that unearths the position of race, tradition, and politics within the improvement of this bold musical sort. From black-and-tan cabarets and the Savoy Ballroom, to the Friars resort and Austin excessive, Chicago Jazz brings to lifestyles the hustle and bustle of the sounds and sorts of musical leisure within the recognized toddlin' city.

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63 The continuing threat of police raids, far from dampening public enthusiasm for South Side night life, seemed to contribute just the right note of excitement to Chicago's jazz scene, mixing with new styles of personal liberation—clothes, insiders' slang, cigarettes, bootleg gin, marijuana (called "gage"), sexual expressiveness, and interracial mingling—to add drama to the new music. 64 In 1923, prohibitionist Democrat William Dever won the mayoral election, but Thompson would win back City Hall in 1927.

Whether or not. ' Historian Kathy Ogren has shown that professional entertainment networks for black musicians and entertainers in minstrelsy, circuses, tent shows, and medicine shows had begun to take shape on both the national and regional levels before World War I; it would be a mistake, she argues, to interpret black musical entertainment around the turn of the century as "noncommercial folk" music. Much of the evolution in jazz that took place in Chicago during the late teens and twenties, therefore, represented an ongoing cultural process whose fruits leapt to public awareness through Chicago's cabarets, dance halls, and recording studios.

50 per engagement, plus tips, which could double that sum. After World War I, South Side Chicago cabarets paid sidemen a weekly salary of around $40 which also could be supplemented by tips. When groups of white Gold Coast socialites decided to "go slumming" in the cabarets, tips could amount to more than the regular pay. ^ Like other immigrants, musicians felt the excitement Chicago could generate. Pianist Lil Hardin, who moved to Chicago from Memphis in 1918, recalled the northern city's magic many years later: "...

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