On a Friday, before we all pack up for the weekend and retreat to our iPods and musical monasteries, here are some of Max Jones’s memories of a time before Google and even Gunther Schuller, expressed lyrically but not pedantically:
In those times [the early thirties] anything in the jazz garden seemed lovely. Criticism had hardly raised its head, jazz history was obscure, and we accepted the styles as they came to us, on record or in person. Instruction, from John Hammond, an early guru, was printed in the Melody Maker and let us know that, say, a rival to Coleman Hawkins (Chu Berry) was “out of this world.” But we had little analysis or weighty criticism to go on, and tell us how to react. So we listened to all we could, relying on our ears to form our taste; I imagine we were none the worse for it…
My studies helped me acquire knowledge of jazz history and pre-history, of territory styles and New Orleans traditions, but seriously restricted my outlook. Time taught me the errors of purism.
These statements are offered without judgment or temporal prejudice. Happy listening!