Saturday, July 19, 2014

Jazz Performance Saturday! "Down By the Riverside" - Jericho Dixieland Jazz Band

Publicity photo taken from their Facebook
page. All rights reserved. 
The Jericho Dixieland Jazz Band is based out of San Pietro a Maida, of the Calabria region of Italy! Their performance of  Down By the Riverside was recorded March 3, 2013.
Down By the Riverside is an American spiritual that was first published in 1918 by the Rodeheaver Company in a musical collection called "Rodeheaver's Plantation Melodies: A Collection of Modern, Popular and Old-time Negro-Songs of the Southland."
Although Down By the Riverside has been assumed to be a song that originally emanated from the struggle of slaves for their freedom around the Civil War, unfortunately there is no solid evidence in the written record of this.
The phrase "down by the riverside" is a fairly common one in slave songs. Also, the way the song was written is similar to other call out songs where one will lead the song and others will repeat. The song has long been included in Baptist hymnals and it has been published under various titles such as, Ain't Gonna Study War No More, Goin' to Lay down My Burden, and Ain't Gonna Grieve My Lord No More among others.
It was first recorded by the Fisk Jubilee Quartet as I Ain't Goin' to Study War No More. It has long been played by Traditional jazz bands. Both Bunk Johnson and George Lewis during the traditional jazz resurgence  both recorded the tune as well as many many others.
Here the Jubilee Dixieland Jazz Band play a spirited version of the tune in the "traditional" or Dixieland jazz vein. This band was started in 2005 featuring Lorenzo Varano on trombone; Nicholas Marinaro on trumpet;  Anthony Davoli on bass tuba; Francis Davoli on euphonium;  Gianluca Materazzo on banjo and Joseph Maggisano on vocals and guitar. New members of the band are Francesco Gemelli on alto saxophone; Thomas Maggisano on drums; Luke Roseto on soprano saxophone and Andrea Bonaccurso on banjo.
It is not clear which members are playing in this 2013 performance unfortunately. The original video had some serious shake going on so I have processed it to make it more presentable.   

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