Archive for May 10, 2009

The Anachronic Jazz Band

Posted in Jazz with tags , , on May 10, 2009 by telescoper

I heard a record by this band ages and ages ago (probably in the 70s) and was delighted to be reminded of them by finding this little clip on Youtube. It’s a bit of an oddity, but I think it’s  both fun and fascinating.

The Anachronic Jazz Band is, I think, now defunct but they were from Paris originally. The style they played in could probably be described as like the New York style of the late 1920s, with definite touches of Bix Beiderbecke. On the other hand, the tunes they played all came from the era of modern jazz, such as this one which is the Charlie Parker classic Anthropology. I’ve already posted a version of it  by Bud Powell, in fact..

You might think that an uncompromising bebop number like this would pose unsurmountable challenges for a traditional jazz outfit, but I think they pull it off rather well. I think though that they were probably helped by the fact that this tune, like many modern jazz compositions, is actually based on a chord progression belonging to a much more familiar tune. In this case the harmonies actually derive from George Gershwin’s standard I Got Rhythm….

Anyway, perhaps the efforts of this fine little band go some way to showing that there’s more continuity between traditional and modern jazz than one might suppose…