Thursday, May 03, 2007

One More Thing About James Reese Europe

I hope it is okay for me to quote from Howard Pollack's book here! After all, I am trying to encourage people to read it. Anyway, he describes a James Reese Europe concert at which the band included "ten pianos and eighty-five mandolins, bandores, harp-guitars, and banjos, so that the sound somewhat resembled a Russian balalaika orchestra." Now that's another show I wish I could have seen. Mr. Pollack also makes some interesting points about how early jazz was equated at the time - for its polyrhythms and dissonance, just to name a couple of aspects - with certain European musical trends, such as the innovations of Stravinsky and Schoenberg. Won't my erstwhile nemesis the famous intellectual be distraught to hear such a thing?