Playlist: Early Jazz in Southern California

Early Jazz in SoCal 8tracks cover

(Pictured here: first row, L to R – The Creole Palace nightclub in San Diego, Nordskog Recording Studios in Santa Monica, The Palomar Ballroom in Hollywood; second row, L to R – record label for Jazz Man Records, record label for the Spikes Brothers’ Sunshine label; third row, L to R – bassist Don Tosti, Johnny St. Cyr, Kid Ory, and Louis Armstrong playing on Disneyland’s Mark Twain Riverboat, Paul Howard’s Quality Serenaders.)

Early jazz history in Southern California was the topic of my undergraduate senior thesis, which I completed in June 2016. My thesis examined the history of early jazz in four distinct regions of Southern California: Downtown & South Los Angeles, Westside Los Angeles, Disneyland in Orange County, and San Diego. In the future I’d like to delve into even more regarding Southern California jazz, such as jazz in Hollywood films, and there is a lot more about women present in Southern California’s classic jazz scenes, jazz at the Disneyland Resort, and jazz in San Diego that I’d like to further research. As such, I plan on revisiting and building upon this research topic even more in my future studies.

Listen to the playlist HERE

Tracklist and information about the tracks:

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The End of the Golden Age of Chicago-Style Jazz

It was a music very characteristic of its time, forever preserving the sound of Jazz Age Chicago on shellac records. But the Jazz Age could not live forever and Chicago’s role in the development of jazz could not always keep stranglehold of its power on the music. Jazz, especially, is a music that always moves, always evolves. And when the music moves on, it takes on a new form, it transforms into something new and something more timely for the new era.

And while it is a simple fact that change is inevitable and that pop culture will always shapeshift to better fit the times, this common fact of nature is not the lone force that brought the demise of Chicago-style jazz. Rather, alongside this natural change there were specific factors, societal and musical, that contributed to the fall of the Chicago-style and the rise of swing.

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