"St. Louis Blues" - Kid Ory

"St. Louis Blues" (PDF) from the Kid Ory album, Kid Ory Plays the Blues.
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Oftentimes, simplicity is all you need.  For trombonists, the use of alternate slide positions is essential for playing difficult phrases with ease because alternate positions simplify what would normally require frenetic slide movement.  Some call this cheating, others call it economical.

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The beauty of simplicity is that it is all that is necessary to get the job done, and ultimately all that the audience would expect in order to be satisfied, which is not to diminish the quality of the product.  An fine example of this practice was on display during the Steve Jobs era of Apple and its focus on product design.  The computer in those days was designed to increase productivity by removing the unnecessary clutter.  These days, however, the focus seems to be on adding new features to create the illusion of simplicity, the a bundle of Apps meant to unify the opt-in user experience.

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"St. Louis Blues" is an ornately simple melody to a basic blues form, including a tango section that provides just the right amount of variety.  And these are the rhythms that make people want to dance, to put some hip into it, which is all the audience wants to hear on a night out on the town.  So do not try to over-complicate this music with new features.  Simply keep that hot rhythm boiling, and maybe throw in some bluesy wails to garnish, and just learn how to get out of the way so that people can get down and get busy.

But enough about degenerate society, am I right?  #JazzIsAFourLetterWord #KISS

Here is a YouTube video of Wycliffe Gordon playing "St. Louis Blues" with some students.

Recommended reading: Creole Trombone: Kid Ory and the Early Years of Jazz by John McCusker.  Published by University Press of Mississippi.