21 August 2015

Post 255: FROM BRASS BAND TO EARLY JAZZ BAND


Towards the end of the Nineteenth Century, there were hundreds of small bands such as this one scattered throughout the United States of America.


Such bands could contain cornets, tubas, percussion, trombones, clarinets, saxophones - and sometimes stringed instruments.


Very often they played for dances, where of course they had to keep a strict tempo and were required to play the tune through four or five times in succession, maybe with different instruments taking the melody with each change of chorus.



It's easy to imagine how players must sometimes have felt like pepping the music up a bit, partly out of boredom. Add to this the developing craze for ragtime music and we can see how easily jazz must have been born.

Jack Laine's Reliance Brass Band
in New Orleans, 1910
The emergence from bands such as those photographed above of this early Twentieth-Century jazz band is not difficult to imagine.