Social constructions of ‘authenticity’ and the sounds of the Kid Thomas Valentine Band
The case of ‘Basin Street Blues’—an approach from sociological musicology and cultural studies
Keywords:Kid Thomas Valentine, New Orleans jazz revivalism, Popular Musicology, The Grain of the Voice
The Kid Thomas Band (1926–1987) may lay legitimate claim to be the most significant of all the old-style New Orleans jazz bands, in terms of ‘authenticity’, longevity and contemporary significance. This article seeks to illuminate social constructions of authenticity in New Orleans revivalist jazz through an analysis of major aspects of the musical detail of selected recordings of ‘Basin Street Blues’ by the Kid Thomas Band. It compares and contrasts the Kid Thomas Band New Orleans ‘dance hall’ sound of 1957 with the ‘concert hall’ sound of 1971, with particular reference to social constructions of authenticity embedded within second-wave New Orleans jazz revivalism of the 1960s and 1970s, as supplemented by the current views of selected New Orleans revivalist jazz enthusiasts, musicians, writers, promoters and record producers with over half a century’s participation within worldwide New Orleans revivalist jazz social worlds.
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