King Oliver
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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The first black band to be well documented on record was the Creole Jazz Band (1923) organized by Joe "King" Oliver (1885), although by that time Oliver too had already left New Orleans for Chicago (in 1918). King Oliver, who had developed his style at the cornet in Kid Ory's Brownskin Babies since 1914, cemented a group of talents that included Louis Armstrong, clarinetist Johnny Dodds, drummer Walter "Baby" Dodds, trombonist Honore Dutery, pianist Lil Hardin, bassist Bill Johnson. This classic line-up recorded Dippermouth Blues (april 1923), which contains Armstrong's first recorded solo, Armstrong's Weather Bird Rag (1923), Oliver's Sugar Foot Stomp (1923), and Canal Street Blues (1923), which are models of harmonious group playing despite the group improvisation: the piano, the drums and the bass provided the rhythmic foundation over which the cornets lead the melody against the petulant counterpoint of the clarinet and the bass ("tailgate") counterpoint of the trombone. Oliver basically perfected the collective improvisation of New Orleans' marching bands. Oliver also strove to produce sounds with his cornet that reflected his vision, thus becoming the first "sound artist" of jazz. His experiments continued with the Dixie Syncopators (1925-27), a larger band with three saxophones and a tuba (Barney Bigard on reeds, Luis Russell on piano, Albert Nicholas on clarinet): WaWaWa (may 1926), for example, coined the "wah-wah" technique. Doctor Jazz (april 1926) became the most popular of his tunes.

Health problems contributed to his rapid decline. He died in 1938.

A Chicago il 6 Aprile 1923 la Paramount inizio' a registrare la Creole Jazz Band di King Oliver.

Oliver era emigrato da New Orleans, dove aveva suonato in un po' tutte le principali brass band, ed aveva esordito nell' orchestra di William Johnson, la New Orleans Original Band che si esibiva al Royal Gardens dal 1917. La Creole Jazz Band l' aveva formata nel 1920, gia' famoso per il suo stile alla cornetta. Nel 1922 Oliver aveva chiamato al suo fianco Louis Armstrong, stabilendo una formazione con due cornette, clarinetto, trombone, banjo, piano e batteria.

Quel complesso tenne per cinque anni il primato del jazz. Lo stile di Oliver divenne leggendario: il suo accanimento nell' usare bottiglie, bicchieri, tazze e persino secchieli nella campana dello strumento per ottenere suoni sempre piu' emotivi.

Il declino ebbe inizio nel 1926, quando il complesso muto' nome in "Dixie Syncopators". Dopo il 1931 problemi di salute lo portarono rapidamente alla morte, avvenuta nel 1938.

(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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