I am adding to Other Places in the right column a link to Mule Walk And Jazz Talk, a web log posted from Madrid by Agustín Pérez. The legend Sr. Pérez erects below the name of his blog leaves no doubt en el que viene de, as they say in downtown Madrid.
Random thoughts, casual writings and specific research on early jazz styles. If you think there is no jazz before Coltrane, you may have come to the wrong place.
Mule Walk And Jazz Talk is bilingual and nicely organized. It is packed with treats, written and visual. Associated with a video clip of Dick Wellstood playing James P. Johnson’s “Caprice Rag,” for example, is this quote from Wellstood.
I would like to say, first, that I don’t like the term “stride” any more than I like the term “jazz”. When I was a kid the old-timers used to call stride piano “shout piano”, an agreeably expressive description, and when once I mentioned stride to Eubie Blake, he replied, “My God, what won’t they call ragtime next?” Terms, terms. Terms make music into a bundle of objects – a box of stride, a pound of Baroque -. [Donald] Lambert played music, not “stride”, just as Bach wrote music, not “Baroque”. Musicians make music, which critics later label, as if to fit it into so many jelly jars. Bastards.
To a three-part transcribed interview from 1952 with the stride (or shout) pianist Joe Turner, Sr. Pérez appends three video clips of Turner in action on French television in the 1960s. I am shamelessly appropriating one clip. But, then, Sr. Pérez appropriated all of them from Dailymotion. In this one, Turner plays his own “Cloud Fifteen,” charmingly, then James P.’s “Carolina Shout, too fast for complete coherency. Still, it is a rare opportunity to see a pianist who deserved wider fame and a plaque from the cigar industry.