The Wierd thread
I thought that I would start a new thread that deals with the perculiar and wierd aspects of jazz. I found this clip on Youtube which struck me as being extremely bizarre. It is a 1928 film with sound ( didn't think this nhappened until 1929??) which features the "Sweet" band of Hal Kemp although the star soloist is a banjo player called Eddie Peabody of whom I am ignorant. This seems like a recipe for a musical nightmare but the banjo playing is amazingly "modern" and having enjoyed a recent DVD of Bela Fleck's Flecktones, found it easy to join up the dots. Jazz is sometimes really odd in the way that it throws up incidents of "modernity" in archive recordings or even credible or even adventurous jazz in scenarios which may otherwise seem incredible. in think this is a good example to start with. It begins being pretty wierd as you would never have anticipated Kemp's band producing something as "hot" as this and then the film gets increasingly more surreal from there on. (Peabody's trousers for a start!) The film then includes some really corny music beford Peabody starts "shreading" on his banjo. After this he switches to a bit of slide guitar, offers a banjo version of "Blue skies" in the style of Debussy and Lizst before rounding things off on a minature violin. The whole effect is strangely compelling and makes you question the perceived understanding of what jazz sounded like in the 1920's. The whole of the film is fascinating.
Nice one Ian
I guess most of my choices would be pretty weird. This one's probably too famous a classic to go into that category, but it was on the very first jazz record I bought at age 14, dates from the same year as your sample (if that date is indeed correct), and still sounds amazing to my ears - false harmonies, syncopations and displaced accents that would have made Stravinsky blanch, but above all the interplay between those two was just amazing.
Humphrey Lyttelton used to argue that this was the first "free jazz" record insofar than Armstrong and Hines quickly jettison Joe Oliver's tune. I think that this is one of the greatest pieces of music recorded in the 20th Century. It is strange to think that whilst Louis is considered to have liberated rhythm, there were musicians elsewhere who could create a more fluid approach to their music.
How about this for an unusual track? Like the electric guitar even if the tune sounds like "Cotton eyed Joe."
Later Country 'n' Western fanatics would probably have kittens over that kind of generic mash-up.
Come to think of it my first attraction to "jazz" must have been when, aged 11, I found the first guitar break on Rock Around the Clock more interesting than the rest of it!
Agree but what is interesting is that the further you go back in time, these styles would have been even more similar. I really don't think that there was much notion of "pop" / "commercial" in the 1920's as it would all have been lumped together as not being Classical music. When you broaden the search beyond jazz you discover that there were developments in other styles which took far longer to materialise in jazz. I seem to recall hearing some tracks made by Les Paul on electric guitar in the 1930's which were made whilst Charlie Christian was still in Alphonso Trent's band and had never yet made it to the studio with Goodman. i was listening to this track which has a riff that sounds like something recorded in 1957 and 1927. It is a strange sounding guitar that he is playing on this track too. Never really believed that blues had much infuence on rock (or atleast took it with a pinch of salt) until I heard this record.