The united states of jazz

by Alan Kurtz

The United States of Jazz

When, in the course of musical events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the bands which have connected them with another, a decent respect requires that they should explain themselves.

We hold these truths to be self-evident:

– That all jazz is created equal, endowed by its creators with certain unalienable Grooves, including Swing, Ad Liberty and the Pursuit of Copyright.

– That to secure these Grooves, Styles are instituted, deriving their powers from the Consent of the Grooved.

– That whenever any Style becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Grooved to abolish it. Indeed, when a long train of Stylistic abuses reduces us to Ennui, it is our duty to derail that train.

Thus are we now constrained to dispel unswinging Styles, with their history of repeated injuries to the ear and goal of establishing a Tyranny of Tedium upon us.

We, the delegates of the United States of Jazz, do therefore solemnly declare these Free and Independent States absolved from all allegiance to unswinging Styles. And to affirm this Declaration before all the world and for all eternity, we do swear upon our autographed picture of Louis Armstrong.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, each of the honorable States so conjoined has been assigned a representative Track dedicated by musicians in good standing to the objects of their Affection or Derision, as the case may be. Partisans of such States may condone or condemn the corresponding Track or its Review by affixing their Comments to the bottom of each page linked below.

     • Alabama – John Coltrane: "Alabama"
     • Alaska – Nancy Wilson: "Midnight Sun"
     • Arizona – Charlie Byrd: "On the Trail"
     • Arkansas – Bιla Fleck: "Arkansas Traveler"
     • California – Wes Montgomery: "California Dreaming"
     • Colorado – Cal Tjader: "Colorado Waltz"
     • Connecticut – Billie Holiday: "Yankee Doodle Never Went to Town"
     • Delaware – Marty Nau Group featuring Phil Woods: "Delawareness"
     • Florida – Fats Waller: "Florida Flo"
     • Georgia – Toots Thielemans: "Georgia on My Mind"
     • Hawaii – King Oliver: "Everybody Does It in Hawaii"
     • Idaho – Art Tatum: "Idaho"
     • Illinois – Illinois Jacquet: "Illinois Blows the Blues"
     • Indiana – Joey DeFrancesco: "(Back Home Again in) Indiana"
     • Iowa – Jimmy Giuffre: "Iowa Stubborn"
     • Kansas – Christian McBride: "Little Sunflower"
     • Kentucky – George Russell: "Kentucky Oysters"
     • Louisiana – Bix Beiderbecke: "Louisiana"
     • Maine – Terry Gibbs: "Main Stem"
     • Maryland – Vince Guaraldi: "Maryland, My Maryland (O Tannenbaum)"
     • Massachusetts – Gene Krupa featuring Anita O'Day: "Massachusetts"
     • Michigan – Jelly Roll Morton: "Michigan Water Blues"
     • Minnesota – Artie Shaw: "Minnesota (aka Aesop's Foibles)"
     • Mississippi – Nina Simone: "Mississippi Goddam"
     • Missouri – Lorez Alexandria: "Show Me"
     • Montana – Oliver Lake: "Montana Grass Song"
     • Nebraska – Scott Joplin: "The Corn Huskers"
     • Nevada – Gil Evans: "La Nevada"
     • New Hampshire – Taylor Haskins: "Live Free or Die"
     • New Jersey – Naked City featuring John Zorn: "New Jersey Scum Swamp"
     • New Mexico – Horace Silver: "Enchantment"
     • New York – Frank Sinatra: "(I Like New York in June) How About You?"
     • North Carolina – Bix Beiderbecke: "There's a Cradle in Caroline"
     • North Dakota – Cassandra Wilson: "Red River Valley"
     • Ohio – Bill Charlap Trio: "Ohio"
     • Oklahoma – Count Basie & Joe Williams: "Alright, OK, You Win (I'm in Love with You)"
     • Oregon – Stan Kenton: "Eager Beaver"
     • Pennsylvania – Glenn Miller: "Pennsylvania 6-5000"
     • Rhode Island – Blossom Dearie: "Rhode Island Is Famous For You"
     • South Carolina – Anita O'Day with Gene Krupa: "Just a Little Bit South of North Carolina"
     • South Dakota – Terry Gibbs & Buddy DeFranco: "South Dakota"
     • Tennessee – Mose Allison: "The Tennessee Waltz"
     • Texas – Tex Beneke and the Glenn Miller Orchestra: "Texas Tex"
     • Utah – Mike Melvoin: "This Is the Place"
     • Vermont – Johnny Smith Quintet featuring Stan Getz: "Moonlight in Vermont"
     • Virginia – Paul Whiteman featuring Bing Crosby: "I'm Coming Virginia"
     • Washington – Duke Ellington: "Washington Wobble"
     • West Virginia – Louis Armstrong & Sidney Bechet: "Coal Cart Blues"
     • Wisconsin – Woody Herman: "Woodchopper's Ball"
     • Wyoming – Paul Marshall: "Cowboy Jazz"

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April 06, 2008 · 0 comments

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