Monday, August 25, 2014

Blue Yodel

I attended portions of two jam sessions last Monday.  The performances at the Blue Room and the Brick attracted approximately the same number of musicians and listeners.

The venues are one mile apart.  Many readers of Plastic Sax might suggest that the folk, country and bluegrass performed at the Brick every Monday is worlds removed from the jazz performed at the Blue Room.  Not only do I disagree with that assessment, I propose that musicians from the simultaneous jam sessions consider engaging in occasional interdenominational collaborations.

There are plenty of precedents.  Louis Armstrong and Lil Harden recorded "Blue Yodel No. 9" with Jimmie Rodgers in 1930.  Charlie Parker is reported to have enjoyed the country music of the day.  Béla Fleck is among today's musicians who ignore the boundaries between bluegrass and jazz.  The Kansas City jazz artist Matt Otto has spoken about the folk elements in his music.

Not only would hearing a banjo player wearing overalls sitting in with a jazz band at the Blue Room and listening to a jazz saxophonist playing with a bluegrass band at the Brick be interesting, such musical fraternization might generate new interest in both scenes.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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