Jazz and History

(12) The Story of The First Jazz Record
- in Japanese -

The Original Dixieland Ja‚“‚“ Band
Leader, co‚’net FDominic James "Nick" LaRocca
(1889-1961)

On Feb. 26, 1917, Victor released the first Jazz record. It included Original Dixieland Jass Band's "Dixie Jass Band One Step" and "Livery Stable Blues."  Within the year, it became so popular all over the world, and millions of records were sold.

A year before, Victor offered recording opportunity to Freddie Keppard, but he kicked that proposal saying "If I do (record the music), anybody can copy my phrases."


This way, a master missed a chance to leave his name on history that he could be. "The first Jazz record's player in the world."

Curiously, members of ODJB had parents of European immigrants or European Decent. involving two Italian, one Irish and two British, still they could perform Jazz that might be superior to New Orleans Jazz performed by black musicians. Remind that the original American is American Indian.

Dominic James "Nick"LaRocca(cornet/leader) was born on April 11, 1889 in New Orleans and his father was from Salaparuta, Sicily.
Edwin (Eddy) Edwards(Trombone) was born on May 22, 1891 in New Orleans.
Larry Shields(Clarinet) was born on September 13, 1893 in New Orleans.
Henry Ragas(Piano) was born (possibly?) in New Orleans.
Anthony Sbarbaro; known as Tony Spargo(Drums) was born on June 27, 1897

As a matter of fact, other melodies were recorded for Colombia in January of the same year; however, release was delayed. That is because the session was not good enough and Columbia re-recorded it. As a result, Columbia got behind the Victor, and Victor won first prize instead.


J. C. "Jimmy" LaRocca

Present ODJB, 1997

(the cornet Jimmy is holding is the same one his father played)

Moreover, several years ago, a band appeared deceiving ODJBfs name in New Orleans.

What is going on? Who are these guys?

The band caused uproar, but amazing enough, the bandleader was J.C. "Jimmy" LaRocca, who was the eldest son of Nick LaRocca, a bandleader of 80 years ago.

For reincarnation of ODJB, many articles on the U.S. papers and magazines highly praised its both name and performance between 1997 to 1998.

This is pretty dramatic fact, is it?

One day, I found an article that ODJB had a performance in Yokosuka on November 27, 1998.  They should have live in the base. I could not believe that I miss them!


Newest photo of ODJB , 2002

I received an e-mail from Mr. David Hansen, the manager of current ODJB on Oct. 17, 2002. I was so surprised that he found this page from New Orleans.@He was a member of the band he said, he must be great age.

Immediately, I wrote him a reply. They would like to perform in Japan, but they couldn't contact with wise promoter in the past. I'd like to make an opportunity for hearing ODJB in Tokyo in the near future.

ODJB SITE

I received the ODJB Greeting from New Orleans on Dec. 19, 2002. This includes a Greeting movie like below.

ODJB-JimmyLaroccaGreeting

¡

I sent a Season's Greeting to Jimmy for the 2008 new year..

Jimmy immediatelly gave me his reply attaching this photo of 2007.

I'd like to meet him and listen ODJB music.

PROFESSOR KUNIHIRO WAKAYAMA:

THANK YOU FOR THE DRAWING. I HAVE SAVED IT TO MY PHOTOS IN MY COMPUTER AS I DID WITH THE OTHERS.
MAY THE NEW YEAR BRING YOU JOY, HAPPINESS, SUCCESS IN EVERY ENDEAVOR YOU PURSUE.
MY BEST WISHES FOR YOU IN THE COMING YEAR AND BEYOND.


BEST REGARDS
----JIMMY LAROCCA----

¡

Jimmy LaRocca's Original Dixieland Jazz Band
Live at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC on August 4, 2002


Jimmy sent me a X'mas mail of 2012 . Ë@Jimmy's X'mas

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