Paul Whiteman in "The Jazz Republic: Music, Race, and American Culture in Weimar German" by Jonathan Wipplinger.

Paul Whiteman in "The Jazz Republic: Music, Race, and American Culture in Weimar German" by Jonathan Wipplinger.

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 31st, 2018, 1:54 am #1

A caricature.

WhitemanTheJazzRepublicMusicRaceandAmericanCulture nWeimarGerman.jpg
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 31st, 2018, 1:56 am #2

At the end of June 1926, Paul Whiteman and his orchestra gave five concerts in the Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Berlin, Germany. 
An account of the program for the first concert from "The Jazz Republic: Music, Race, and American Culture in Weimar German" by Jonathan Wipplinger.
The concert began with Ferde Grofé’s “Mississippi,” which is described as a musical depiction of a trip down the Mississippi river, modulating in style as it takes the listener south towards New Orleans in four movements. The second piece was “Five Popular American Melodies”: the jazz standard “Tiger Rag,” Fritz Kreisler’s “Caprice Viennois,” Zez Confrey’s “Dizzy Fingers,” “Spain,” likely by Gus Kahn, and concluding with Ray Henderson’s “I am Sitting on Top of
the World.” The medley was followed by Chester Hazlett’s saxophone solo of the song “Nadine” by B. Hinton. Fourth came “Castles in the Air,” and the fifth piece was “Meet the Boys,” a standard of Whiteman concerts in which individual
band members were featured. Also included, though not listed in the program, was Whiteman’s smash hit of 1926, “Valencia,” which was referred to in many reviews of the concert. The program then indicated that an intermission
would take place. However, this intermission, as well as the concluding piece, a number to be picked by audience, was skipped for the premiere concert, something that caused some confusion on the part of reviewers. Instead, the program at the premiere ended with what was to be the highlight of the concert: George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, which as the notes for this piece make clear, became famous after Whiteman debuted it as part of his Aeolian
Hall concert in 1924.
The premiere began at 10:00 p.m. and continued until after midnight. It was warmly received by the audience, though according to Whiteman’s biographer, the jazz king had been particularly nervous about the reaction, given what he perceived as the cold demeanor of the Berliners.
Here is the cover of the program. CoverProgramConcertBerlin1926.JPG
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Joined: March 16th, 2018, 10:44 am

March 31st, 2018, 11:50 am #3

No jazz played, then. 
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Joined: March 15th, 2018, 4:56 pm

March 31st, 2018, 4:54 pm #4

The 'Injun' on the drumhead, and the death mask in laurels? I'm sure they were meant to mean something to the reader in 1926 Berlin.
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Joined: March 16th, 2018, 10:44 am

April 3rd, 2018, 10:41 am #5

I’d like to point out that Berliners had heard jazz before Whiteman’s visit. On 25 May 1925 a revue called the Chocolates Kiddies opened in Berlin. The eleven piece orchestra for the revue was led by Sam Wooding. Most of the musicians were classically trained - the reed players alone doubled on twenty one woodwind instruments.  Included in the band were jazz musicians such as Garvin Bushhell, Gene Sedric and the superb trumpeter Tommy Ladnier.  Before the band left New York, Wooding told them that the rehearsals were more important than the actual job, and insisted that the numbers should be played until all the parts had been committed to memory as no music sheets would be allowed on stage.
The venue programme consisted of: Plantation at Sundown: Harlem in New York Negro life: Sam Wooding, a Symphonic jazz concert: Harlem Cabaret.
As with the the Whiteman Orch, the programme played by the Wooding band was part ‘symphonic jazz.’:  Tchaikovsky’s Second Hungarian rhapsody; Princess Marittza; Verdi’s Rigoletto; Rhapsody In Blue, and In a Persian Market, plus many semi-classical tunes, and popular tunes of the countries learnt on the subsequent tours..  The jazz tunes played included, Alabama Bound, St Louis Blues, Limehouse Blues, Memphis Blues, Tiger Rag.  The whole show was a great success and toured Europe for the next two years, playing in every European country, with the exception of Italy. The revue played before royalty in Sweden, and  was a particular success in Russia.
These tours are described in fascinating detail in the superb biography of Tommy Ladnier Travelling Blues: The Life and Music of Tommy Ladnier  by Bo Lindsröm and Dan Vernhettes .
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