29 March 2013


Recently I watched and listened to two well-filmed YouTube performances by traditional jazz bands. While doing so, I jotted down my thoughts. They were:

Band A
Opaque sound, bottom-heavy; bland interpretation; succession of tedious 32-bar solo choruses; lethargic; tempo dragging; textures blurred; musicians looking bored; two players chatting to each other during another's solo chorus; not much sense of teamwork; lack of variety in the dynamics; conventional clichés; signs of strain in the playing.

Band B

Plenty of drive; bustling energy, even in supporting teamwork; clear textures; well-judged tempo; meticulous attention to detail; delicacy of shading; superb ensembles and attack; varied dynamics.

There is such a wide range in the quality of traditional jazz to be seen on YouTube!

Which bands were these? It would be invidious to name them. But I can tell you the first was a well-known elderly English band filmed at an English jazz club. The other was a band directed by a young lady on cornet, filmed in a New Orleans street.