"My grandfather, that's about the furthest I can remember back," wrote the renowned New Orleans reed player Sidney Bechet in his autobiography, Treat It Gentle. "Sundays when the slaves would meet--that was their free day--he beat out rhythms on the drums at the square--Congo Square they called it.... He was a musician. No one had to explain notes or feeling or rhythm to him. It was all there inside him, something he was always sure of." Within eyesight of Congo Square, Buddy Bolden--who legend and scattered first-person accounts credit as the earliest jazz musician--performed with his pioneering band at Globe Hall. The geographical proximity is misleading. The cultural gap between these two types of music is dauntingly wide. By the time Bolden and Bechet began playing jazz, the Americanization of African music had already begun, and with it came the Africanization of American music--a synergistic process that we will study repeatedly and at close quarters in the pages that follow. Anthropologists call this process "syncretism"--the blending together of cultural elements that previously existed separately. This dynamic, so essential to the history of jazz, remains powerful even in the present day, when African-American styles of performance blend seamlessly with other musics of other cultures, European, Asian, Latin, and, coming full circle, African. (New York Times)
The Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex scene is where Lookout Jazz currently lives and performs. The five musicians who comprise Lookout Jazz come from diverse backgrounds, and all enjoyed successful careers in fields other than music. But even though they devoted time to the other endeavors to pay the bills, music was always "there inside" them, like it was in Sidney's Grandfather.
Jazz encompasses many different styles, and Lookout Jazz demonstrates its versatility through the diversity of the types of music performed. The group can configure musical sets that are appropriate for virtually any event or venue
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