Another From the Archives: A JATP Jazz Bash

Here’s another item we found of interest from our Downbeat collection. It’s a review by D. Leon Wolf in the Nov. 18, 1946 issue of Downbeat. The headline: Granz Bash a Caricature on Jazz: Everything Bad in Jazz Found Here.” Here’s how the article starts off: “Of all the wretched music ever inflicted upon this earnest devotee of le jazz hot, nothing, I regret to say, has yet to equal Norman Granz’s Jazz at the Philharmonic concert the night of Oct. 24. Everything that is rotten in contemporary hazz was to be found in this musical catastrophe.” 

Wolf’s view of some of the musicians:  Illinois Jacquet: “The lousiest tenor in the country making over $50 a week, barring none.” Rex Stewart: “Granz, if he had the guts, should have yanked him off the stage during his second number, the most sickening and obscene demonstration ever perpetrated before a mixed audience.” Another The Bean sounded like a little sewing machine, playing everything at top speed and buzzing along with scarcely a trace of his old feeling . . . more than a trace of re-bop has crept into his playing.” Here Wolf sums it up: “I’m no alarmist, no musical reactionary, but where the heck is jazz going anyway, when Jazz at the Philharmonic is supposed to be It?”

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