Fwd (from Norm Cohen):"jazz"

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Thu Apr 3 02:27:19 UTC 2003

   Norm Cohen (no relation) recently sent me a message about "jazz",
and with his permission I present it below my signoff.  It pertains
to the early attestations of "jazz" in a musical sense.

   OED gives 1917 as the earliest attestation of "jazz" in a musical
sense; (set aside the 1909 example as an error).  Meanwhile, Irving
Lewis Allen, _The City In Slang_, 1993, p.71, citing Gunther
Schuller's 1968 _Early Jazz..._, says: "In 1915 jazz was introduced
to New Yorkers in a vaudeville theater by Freddie Keppard's Creole
Band, but few took notice."

Gerald Cohen

>From: "Norm Cohen" <ncohen at teleport.com>
>To: "Cohen, Gerald" <gcohen at umr.edu>
>Subject: "jazz"
>Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2003 08:32:52 -0800
>I came across the following reference to "jass," which while not earth
>shaking provides more evidence for its use in 1916.
>"According to the _Chicago Defender_, in October 1916 African American
>entertainer Estelle Harris was performing Spencer Williams's tune
>"Sihim-Me-Sha-Wabble" with her "jass [sic] singers and dancers" at the South
>Side's Grand Theater, located just across the street from the Elite No. 1."
>footnote reference:  Chicago Defender, Sept. 30, 1916, and Oct. 14, 1916.
>This from an article by Rebecca A. Bryant, "Shaking Things Up: Popularizing
>the Shimmy in America," in American Music v. 20 no. 2 (Summer 2002),168-187.
>The above quote is on p 170.  The "sic" is hers.

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