Monday, March 10, 2014

the last book I ever read (Stanley Crouch's Kansas City Lightning, excerpt three)

from Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker by Stanley Crouch:

Said the novelist Ralph Ellison, who once held won the first trumpet chair with the estimable Blue Devils at rehearsals in Oklahoma City, “We didn’t care about the big bands in the East because they didn’t have that Southwestern swing, which we then called ‘stomp music.’ It was dance music first and foremost. The Southwestern musicians were from many different places, from the Southwest, from the Deep South, some, like Basie, from places as far removed as New Jersey. But wherever they came from, they all developed a way to lope through the rhythm. It was fanciful and it had fervor. I remember heading Fletcher Henderson when he came through Oklahoma City in the early thirties. He had Rex Stewart and he had the young Coleman Hawkins and they were all fine musicians—but that band did not stomp.”

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