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FOOTLIGHT NOTES
no. 425

updated
Saturday, 5 November 2005

The Original Dixieland 'Jass' Band, 1917

The Original Dixieland Jazz Band

music sheet cover for The Original Dixieland Jazz Band's
'Ostrich Walk', published by Leo Feist Inc, New York, 1917

(photo: unknown, USA, 1917)

'Victor Dance Special
'Including the First Records by a "Jass" Band
'The "Jass" Band is the newest thing in Cabarets, adding greatly to the hilarity thereof.
'They say the first instrument of the first "Jass" band consisted of an empty lard can, by blowing into which sounds were produced resembling those of a Saxophone with the croup. Since then the "Jass" band has grown in six and ferocity, and it was only with the greatest difficulty that it was possible to make the original Dixieland Jass Band stand still long enough to make a record.
'That's one great difficulty with a "Jass" band - you never know what it's going to do next; but you always can tell what those who hear it are going to do - They're going to "shake a leg."
(The Daily Review, Decatur, Illinois, Sunday, 22 April 1917, p.12d, Victor Talking Machine Company advertisement)

'And the very latest thing in dance music is the Original Dixieland "Jass" Band - said to have power and penetration enough to make a mummy dance. The "Jass" Band plays a double-faced dispeller of the blues - a record of a fox trot, "Livery Stable Blues" and one of "Dixieland Jass Band" - a one-step.'
(Trenton Evening Times, Trenton, New Jersey, Saturday, 28 April 1917, p.7f)

'"A brass band gone crazy!"
'That's the way a wag describes the original Dixieland "Jass" Band. Beyond that description we can't tell you what a "Jass" Band is because we don't know ourselves.
'As for what it does - it makes dancers want to dance more - and more - and yet more! Just have another look at the picture above [not shown] - you can almost hear the hilarious music of the "Jass" Band in your ears.
'You'll want to hear the first Victor Record by this organized disorganization - it's a "winner." "Livery Stable Blues," a fox trot, and "Dixieland Jass Band One-Step" are played with charming ferocity and penetration.'
(Indiana Evening Gazette, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Thursday, 10 May 1917, p.5a, Victor Talking Machine Company advertisement)

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