Location: George Town Tasmania Australia
A DANCE TO A DIFFERENT DRUMMER
By the mid and late 1930s jazz had become the defining music of the generation, the generation that was then coming into its teens. Jazz seemed to unleash forces and energies like rock 'n roll did twenty years later. Like rock 'n roll, too, it seemed to possess a physicality; it released pent-up emotions; it was pure pleasure; it was a form of escape and it was entertainment. Swing was the dance, the physical expression of jazz.
As jazz emerged so, too, did Baha'i Administration. In 1937 Baha'i Administration had developed sufficiently to take on a teaching Seven Year Plan. Between Benny Goodman becoming the generation's icon of popular music by playing at Times Square to a packed house of teenagers in the Paramount Theatre in March of 1937 and his band's contest with Chick Webb's band at the Savoy Ballroom in May of 1937, this Seven Year Plan began. And swing had swung in a big way into society. -Ron Price with thanks to "Episode Five: Jazz: Pure Pleasure," ABC TV, 9:30-10:30 pm, 27/10/2001.
It exploded, completely unknown,
overnight, or so it seemed, to
the generation who began that
Plan in '37. In reality, it had
been slowly developing in theory
and form for nearly a century,
well, if you go back to that magic
year of 1844--and before for jazz.
Jazz was becoming popular the way
we would have liked to be popular,
but our Plan was a slow release
model, an experimental disposition,
a dance to a different drummer, with
the light and lyrical, exquisite touch
of an Eddy Wilson, the often sad, slow
pace of a Billy Holliday or a Glen
Miller popular romantic-swing.
Men and women working together,
in harmony, moving toward
elegance and joy:that was one
way of defining what our aim was
too in those early Baha'i Groups
and Assemblies beginning in those
first-days-of-form, days of an
Administrative vision, when we
and they started our dreaming.(1)
(1) When Duke Ellington was asked what he was doing when he was playing jazz on the piano, he said "I'm dreaming." And swing began in those dreams.
27 December 2001
(updated for dancescape
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