We Called It Music: A Generation of Jazz

Overview

Eddie Condon (1905–1973) pioneered a kind of jazz popularly known as Chicago-Dixieland, though musicians refer to it simply as Condon style. Played by small ensembles with driving beat, it was and is an informal, exciting music, slightly disjointed and often mischievous. The same could be said of Condon's autobiography, We Called It Music, a book widely celebrated for capturing the camaraderie of early jazz. Condon's wit was as legendary as the music he boosted. Here is Condon on modern jazz: "The boopers flat ...

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Overview

Eddie Condon (1905–1973) pioneered a kind of jazz popularly known as Chicago-Dixieland, though musicians refer to it simply as Condon style. Played by small ensembles with driving beat, it was and is an informal, exciting music, slightly disjointed and often mischievous. The same could be said of Condon's autobiography, We Called It Music, a book widely celebrated for capturing the camaraderie of early jazz. Condon's wit was as legendary as the music he boosted. Here is Condon on modern jazz: "The boopers flat their fifths. We consume ours." On Bix Beiderbecke: "The sound came out like a girl saying yes." On the New York subway: "It was my first ride in a sewer." When his memoir was first published—to great acclaim—in 1947, he was well known as a newspaper columnist, radio personality, saloon keeper, guitarist, and bandleader. He was the ideal man to come up with an insightful portrait of the early days of white jazz, and his book offers nonpareil accounts of many of the jazz greats of that era, including Beiderbacke, Fats Waller, Jack Teagarden, Jimmy McPartland, Gene Krupa, Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, and Bing Crosby.These were the days when jazz was popularly associated with Paul Whiteman and Irving Berlin. Condon considered true jazz an outlaw music and himself an outlaw. He and his cohorts tried to get as close as possible to the black roots of jazz, a scandalous thing in the '20s. Along the way he facilitated one of the first integrated recording sessions.We Called It Music, now published with an introduction by Gary Giddins that places the book in historical context, remains essential reading for anyone interested in the wild and restless beginnings of America's great musical art, or in the wit and vinegar of Eddie Condon.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306804663
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1992
  • Series: Quality Paperbacks Series
  • Edition description: 1st Da Capo Press pbk. ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 388
  • Sales rank: 986,616
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Table of Contents

A Pair of English Shoes 1
Narration 13
Momence 32
Chicago Heights 53
Peavey's Jazz Bandits 67
Young Man With Cap 82
Narration 98
Chicago--1924 106
Education and Bix and Bessie 118
35th and Calumet 130
Prosperity 137
The Three Deuces 149
Narration 162
"The Poorest 7-Piece Orchestra on Earth" 167
Handful of Harlem 180
The Blue Blowers 192
A Birthday for Joe 219
Panic and Pancreatitis 236
Nick's and the Revolution 256
Summa Cum Laude 270
Town Hall 280
Narration 294
The Chicago Bands 301
Eddie Condon on Records--An Informal Discography 309
Major and Minor Chords 329
Index 347
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