Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

32

Culture Clubs: Part IV: When Jazz Met Europe

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
The Karasiński & Kataszek Jazz -Tango Orchestra was established in 1923, playing Warsaw venues and later touring as far as the Middle East. A number of well-established bands of the 1920s and early 30s emulated the dance orchestra style of Benny Goodman, whose mother emigrated from Poland to the U.S. The arts flourished in pre-occupation Poland as German jazz emigres fled oppression and many of the Polish bands were provided the opportunity to stabilize their incomes by supplying music for the country's burgeoning film industry. The venues that drew top jazz entertainment in the pre-occupation years were Qui Pro Quo (1919—1932), the Warsaw Barber Cabaret which functioned from 1935 to 1939 and the Cyganeria Café in the Kraków Ghetto. The Cyganeria—during the German occupation—became a favorite nightspot of Nazi officials, leading to its bombing by an underground resistance group in 1941, months before the ghetto was liquidated. Following the war Poland fell under Soviet control and jazz remained suppressed until Stalin's death in 1953. With a gradual easing of repression, the arts began a resurgence and in 1958 Dave Brubeck played to an enthusiastic Warsaw audience. By the 1960s, traditional, mainstream and free jazz segments were thriving in Poland.

Among the many jazz clubs that now dot the Polish landscape, few can boast of the progressive lineup of Alchemia. The recent calendar includes reed player Peter Brötzmann, Mats Gustafsson, Ken Vandermark, Hamid Drake and Joe McPhee. Klub Harenda in Krakow features Polish jazz musicians and covers the full spectrum of jazz from Dixieland to free improvisation. The Jazz Café in Warsaw highlights an eclectic blend of regional music and jazz. A case in point is the Motion Trio, a well-known Polish accordion trio who have performed with Bobby McFerrin and Michal Urbaniak among others. Also in Warsaw is Pardon, To Tu, an unpretentious spot that is part book store, part club. The calendar includes more than one genre but jazz occupies a large part of the schedule. Piec Art Acoustic Jazz Club is at the center of Krakow's Old Town and caters to local talent. In the nearby Market Square is the Harris Piano Bar, a breeding ground for Polish jazz acts that have gone on to prominence. The names of the musicians who play the Klub U Muniaka won't be familiar to many Americans but the club is one of the most popular in Poland.

Italy

Italy, like Britain and Germany, first encountered American black music in the pre-jazz era. Creole singers and dancers, performed in Milan's Eden Theater in 1904. They were billed by the Eden as the originators of the cakewalk though credits of that nature seemed to be spread about liberally. Early jazz met with extreme politics earlier in Italy than in other parts of Europe. The Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini was in place in 1922 and despite overall anti-American cultural policies Mussolini was more than tolerant of jazz music. A violinist himself, his son Romano was a jazz pianist of considerable skill with nine recordings to his credit and all are widely available today. A prodigy from a wealthy Genoese family, Pippo Barzizzo studied violin, banjo, saxophone and accordion and played with a top sextet while still in his teens. In 1925 he formed the Blue Star Orchestra, a group that fluctuated between six and seven personnel. A meticulous arranger, Barzizzo personally transcribed all group parts from recordings of Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Frankie Trumbauer and other American artists. Armstrong was among the Americans who toured in pre-war Italy and in 1931 the Orchestra Jazz Columbia, became a joint American-Italian project. The Angelini Orchestra was formed at about the same time and played the country's most famous dance hall, the Sala Gay in Turin. Roman violinist, conductor and arranger and Cinico Angelini (who performed as Angelo Cinico) led the Perroquet Royal Jazz group and others, between the 1930s and 1960s. Angelini became a pivotal figure in the programming of jazz performances on Italian National Radio (RAI Radio). Much of the early history of jazz in Italy was lost in World War II as Milan and Turin—the early centers of jazz—were extensively damaged.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Big in Japan, Part 2: Osaka & the Eri Yamamoto Connection Under the Radar
Big in Japan, Part 2: Osaka & the Eri Yamamoto...
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 4, 2018
Read Big in Japan: A History of Jazz in the Land of the Rising Sun, Part 1 Under the Radar
Big in Japan: A History of Jazz in the Land of the Rising...
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 29, 2018
Read Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands, Part II Under the Radar
Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands, Part II
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 30, 2018
Read Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands, Part I Under the Radar
Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands, Part I
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2018
Read State and Mainstream: The Jazz Ambassadors and the U.S. State Department Under the Radar
State and Mainstream: The Jazz Ambassadors and the U.S....
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 27, 2018
Read Culture Clubs: Part IV: When Jazz Met Europe Under the Radar
Culture Clubs: Part IV: When Jazz Met Europe
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 5, 2018
Read "Culture Clubs: Part IV: When Jazz Met Europe" Under the Radar Culture Clubs: Part IV: When Jazz Met Europe
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 5, 2018
Read "Big in Japan, Part 2: Osaka & the Eri Yamamoto Connection" Under the Radar Big in Japan, Part 2: Osaka & the Eri Yamamoto...
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 4, 2018