Friday, 11 December 2009

Buddy Bolden

The name that crops up time and again when researching the origins of jazz is Buddy Bolden. The King of the cornets he was a major figure around the Storyville area in New Orleans at the turn of the century. The amazing thing is that, what they were playing didn't have a specific label at the time. The etymology of the term "jazz" only crops up in and around 1913. The predominant music of the time was rag-time. This was a very formal style of music intended to be passed down by way of sheet music as audio recording was very much in its infancy. It seems that Buddy Bolden and his contemporaries attempted a more improvisational style that eventually influenced a lot of jazz players years later. Mixing the music of rag-time and blues and playing the after midnight scene in the clubs and bars, Buddy Bolden it seems paved the way. Not only a forerunner of the jazz scene but he also performed a song called "Funky Butt", one of the earliest mentions of funk, in a musical sense. He left no audio recordings of his work although there is a legend of a sound cylinder that he and his bands made in the 1890s. Cue a jazz style "Crossroads" movie in search of the lost song...

Actually, there is a movie scheduled for release in 2010

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