Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The original spelling of the word Jazz...here are some examples..

Jazz has been a part of our world for near 100 years. It started from the dark alleys and houses of ill repute. I remember hearing Eubie Blake talk about his youth and playing in as he called them, houses of ill repute. A whore house to be more general. But it was in that environmental that much of this music got its start.  Once it got its claws on us, it has never let go.

 But the term Jass or getting Jassed had a decidedly sexual connotation. There is no set story to how it got its name but one can say it always was on a more deviant bend. The term originally offended people and finally by 1919 everyone was pretty much using Jazz as the name for this music, rather than its original JASS.

 I thought it would be fun to show two examples that today are rather rare of the use of the word JASS on record.  Today when you hear Jazz, remember it came from another word all together.  Back when everyone was trying to figure what this new and wonderful music was.

 The Original Dixieland Jass Band first made records for the Victor Company in 1917.  This was the usual and sad story. Most of Jass and Jazz has an African American heritage. Yet here we have a record of a batch of white performers trying to sound black.
The Funny Jas Band from Dixieland is another example of the spelling. This Edison cylinder record is mainly a vocal record with an orchestra trying to sound like a Jass Band. Which is rather funny to hear as they had no idea what a Jass Band sounded like.. So they created their own and unique sound that has fortunately not been repeated.  This recording is from 1916