Belle Epoch Music

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Old Topics Archived Thru Sep 2000:Belle Epoch Music
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Archive through June 29, 2000  2   06/29 08:37am

By Billynorm on Friday, July 14, 2000 - 10:43 am: Edit

I'm not sure who would have been more insulted, Bellocq or Lautrec? Artistically speaking, neither should be IMHO. But as far as physical appearance would be concerned... tough call! PRETTY BABY is a great movie! Madame Nell, played by Frances Faye, drank absinthe straight when she woke up! (A day without abs is a day without sunshine!)

For the jazz fans in the Forum, a great deal: Wynton Marsalis has a 7 CD box set of live recordings at NYC's Village Vanguard. Great music, from what little I've heard so far, but the best news is, the list price is less than $40! I'm impressed, anyway!


By Don Walsh on Thursday, July 13, 2000 - 10:15 am: Edit

You may very well know more about this subject than I do; mostly I picked up the little I know by osmosis, from hanging with the people I mentioned. They were in a science fiction group I founded way back in the 60s...anyway during the Jazzfest, notables would stop by Justin (Winston's) place, like Hayakawa, the chancellor of UC Berkeley, and Woody Allen. Justin once broke Allen up with one of my jokes...I wasn't around that night...a long shaggy dog based on TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE...

You know that STORYVILLE was the basis for the movie 'Pretty Baby'? With its absinthe vignettes. Admittedly the real Bellocq looked more like Lautrec than Carradine...

By Billynorm on Thursday, July 13, 2000 - 10:03 am: Edit


Very impressive! I have a copy of Al Rose's STORYVILLE, NEW ORLEANS; great book! Another great book is Donald Marquis' IN SEARCH OF BUDDY BOLDEN. I've heard that COMING INTO SLAUGHTER by Michael Ondaatje is quite enlightening, even though it's a novel.

Unfortunately, I still fail to see why my assertions about Buddy Bolden are vomit-inducing because you really didn't answer my question. Did I understate it too much? He stopped playing in 1907 due to (mental?) illness. The year 1912 was mentioned because that's when absinthe was illegalized in this country & others.

But all of this is moot (in several senses of the word) because I believe Justin was wondering about belle epoque music in France. Since the recording industry was in its infancy back then, there might have been an outside chance for ragtime to have been heard in France, I don't know.

By Don Walsh on Thursday, July 13, 2000 - 07:21 am: Edit

Yes indeed from New Orleans, born and raised, educated there, left in '82. Still visit family and friends, but not often.

However, I will defer to others to debate the history of jazz. You could call on my old pal Justin Winston (the aforementioned former Curator of the Jazz Museum), or Al Rose, author of STORYVILLE, if Al is still alive (he was one of Leon Trotsky's bodyguards...fortunately he is a better musical historian than he was a security guy).

Or Tom the Brit at the Maple Leaf Bar in the Carrolton district, Tom came to N.O. in the 60s to research jazz, stayed on to study the Kennedy Assassination and now is one of the partners in that excellent live jazz bar.

By Billynorm on Wednesday, July 12, 2000 - 11:18 am: Edit

I know you're knowledgeable, but are you originally from New Orleans? Which part of my Buddy Bolden statement deserves to be barfed on? Please do enlighten me!

By Don Walsh on Wednesday, July 12, 2000 - 09:22 am: Edit

Anyone knowledgeable from New Orleans will barf on your assertion about Buddy Bolden...

By Billynorm on Tuesday, July 11, 2000 - 11:20 am: Edit

Ragtime was belle epoque. Jazz came later. One could argue that Buddy Bolden was in his prime before 1912 & he's considered the first to play jazz (or jass).

Yes, I am sipping la bleue from a lovely little glass! Thanks again!


By Fellraven on Monday, July 10, 2000 - 12:59 pm: Edit

But the 1890s and 1900s also saw the early rise of ragtime and jazz in the US I believe.

By Fellraven on Monday, July 10, 2000 - 12:54 pm: Edit

At a definite tangent, I'd suggest Delius could be a pretty good accompaniment. Basically dreamy and impressionistic, music to let your imagination drift along to.

By Chrysippvs on Monday, July 10, 2000 - 09:38 am: Edit

Thanks Will..hope you are still sipping on that la bleue...

maybe I need to while listening to la mer perhaps..

By Billynorm on Monday, July 10, 2000 - 09:03 am: Edit


I think all of the popular music of that era was dance music: polkas, schottisches, waltzes, & can-can. I'm no ethno-musicologist, but it stands to reason that people also went to bistros to dance. As corny as it sounds, Hollywood probably had a good idea as to what was popular; look at MOULIN ROUGE or CAN-CAN as examples. If you wanted examples of the serious music of the era, then I'd say Erik Satie or Claude Debussy.


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