Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 6, No. 9 July 14, 1943
Swing In Session
Swing In Session
At Victoria we have heard three programmes of jazz and swing in mixed proportions. The first was a session by Doug Yen. This was not a great session, nevertheless it was a fair start with such items as Louis Armstrong's "Basin St. Blues" and Muggsy Spanier's "The Lonesome Road," etc. Numbers like "Anvil Chorus" and others catering for the rude popular taste fell deafly on these ears.
The next was a Training College effort by Mr. Bateman, which promised to be a good show because it was rumoured that a lot of overseas records were to be played. But what records! Harry James' exhibitionism. Gene Krupa's fleshiness, hid all that is great in jazz. Duke Ellington's "Warm Valley," a superb platter, was camouflaged by them.
The best session so far was Mr. Yen's recent one. It was labelled as Jazz and was jazz. There were but two sides of doubtful quality. Teddy Powell's "Ode to Spring" might well have been included in the session above. Highlights were Louis Armstrong's "Body and Soul," Jimmy Mc-Partland's "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise;" and Duke Ellington's "Blue Goose." We need more programmes of this sort. Unfair as it is to criticise the comperes, I must say that where Mr. Bateman was strained and awkward, Mr. Yen tended to be too loose. Informality is a characteristic in jazz since the listener's contact with the performers is informal, but Mr. Yen carried it too far. His knowledge of each record seemed to be too extensive for the short time in which he had to speak. Mr. Bateman should check up on some of his concepts of the art. An example of a bad error was: "The march was derived from the Blues." Both are outbranchinga from Negro Folk Music.
Mr. Yen's obvious quality in selection of records should qualify him to choose a very fine programme devoid of any bowing to popular taste; devoting more attention to what a university college should at least be conscious