Jazz Is For The Kids

Science dropped by Martini & Jopparelli. Dec-08-2010

This winter I have been mostly listening to Jazz music. Am I getting old? Nah, I am still very energetic and you can find me in my living room trying to emulate Al Minns & Leon James. Breakdance is dead, long live Charleston!

Al and Leon's Shim Sham

Unfortunately, my blog-mate Jopparelli (and his french house obsession), didn’t get my point and he went like this:

charleston style

So, you think I am the old boy here, but you probably don’t know that Jazz, like the Wu Tang Clan, is for the kids. Don’t you believe that? Watch this crazy synchronization of two masterpiece: Disney & Sun Ra Arkestra!

Sun Ra – Pink Elephants

In the first days of cartoons, Jazz was the effective voice of the characters, the way they expressed their self. It was not just a soundtrack, it was a musical accompaniment for any action and for any turning out. Sometimes the Jazz was also performed by very well known artists like Louise Armstrong or Cab Callowey. You can find here an interesting map of the early period.

According to wikipedia, My Old Kentucky Home should be the first recognized cartoon with synchronized sound, but the older one you can find on the web is Steamboat Wille (1928):

Walt Disney Animations Steamboat Willie

A very few years later we have two more cartoons where the use of Jazz becomes absolutely prominent. The Jazz Fool and Congo Jazz:

Mickey Mouse – The Jazz Fool – 1929

Now, I have found very absorbing this argument, but honestly I have a limited knowledge. To definitely know more about that, consult this accurate article: Jungle Jive: Race, Jazz and Cartoons.

Perhaps while you are reeding the article you can listen (or download) to this Classic Jazz radio broadcast.

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