Chicago Musical Essays

Chicago Musical Essays-67
Out on the pavement, too young to get inside, kids from Austin High School like Jimmy Mc Partland, Dave Tough and Eddie Condon kept hoping someone would open the door so they could listen in.

Out on the pavement, too young to get inside, kids from Austin High School like Jimmy Mc Partland, Dave Tough and Eddie Condon kept hoping someone would open the door so they could listen in.Recalling the heady atmosphere of the great musical "melting pot" in Jazz Age Chicago, with a script based on historical and biographical written accounts and recordings, Jim Cullum and the Band lead off with a high energy performance of Joe Oliver's classic, called "Too Late." With Shelly Berg on piano, Topsy Chapman sings blues composed by native Texan Sippie Wallace, plus "Chicago Bound," a song identified with Ida Cox, also known as "The Famous Migration Blues." The self-proclaimed "inventor of jazz," pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton, was at the center of the 1920s' Chicago jazz scene.I am a man of science.” His dismissive reply left me in the same place I started. His mother’s repeated explanations failed to satiate his need for knowledge. Her explanations eventually focused on the existence of the universe. As I walked on I noted that all three never reached any firm basis for their knowledge.

In the downtown Loop the hot spot for jazz was the Friar’s Inn, a basement cabaret where The New Orleans Rhythm Kings held forth.

Their exciting new music drew an odd mix of businessmen, gangsters and jazz-crazed high school students.

For me, if I am able to impact even one of the 500 kids that are in my old school, I’ll feel like I’ve had an influence.”“The goal at the end of the day is to change lives.

In the wake of America's entry into WWI in 1917 the promise of well-paying manufacturing jobs and a better life "up North" lured tens of thousands of rural, southern African-Americans, weary from struggles with racism and economic hardship, to the South Side of Chicago.

In the 1920s Chicago’s South Side "bright-light" district "The Stroll" was the heart of the jazz scene.

Peppered with nightclubs, pool halls, tattoo parlors and vaudeville houses, it was home to the city’s 100,000 African Americans.During the day the city was segregated but at night, differences between black and white became somewhat blurred.Chicago nightlife knew no boundaries and the sound of jazz seemed to seep up out of the sidewalks.Chicago-based creative agency PVTSTCK have been able to create a rarefied vibe when it comes to their collective of talent. Vangogh, Ikon, Jofred, Bugatti and Chinza/Fly (producer’s of A$AP Ferg’s work) are but a few of the envelope-pushing acts that have built and been built by the PVTSTCK brand.There’s only one way to describe them–they’re a tribe. Play a song by any pvtstck artist and you’ll likely hear another one featured in the track, whether on vocals, as the producer or laying down a hook.I found that my question was more often a topic of prevarication than discourse. “God is the uncreated creator.” The memorized rebuttal carried with it contempt towards my lack of knowledge of theological canon.Plato never pushed beyond his postulate that the universe was eternal and immutable. I left the conversation refusing to accept any axioms of my existence. I asked him my fabled question, expecting a meek response.To be heard.”“We are all minorities–nothing but a statistic.My cousins are all in gangs; my brother dealt drugs.There were segregated nightclubs, of course, but increasingly, cabarets were "black and tans" where the races mixed freely.Black vaudeville houses put on midnight shows where whites sat in the balconies, just as blacks would do in white theaters Chicago’s cabarets and vaudeville theaters put on great shows.


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