Here is the link to the song S.O.L Blues by Louis Armstrong and his hot seven.


It is from 1927. What style of Jazz is this? Dixieland? Or just Blues?

1 Answer 1


There is argument about the use of "Dixieland" as a name for this style, and there is also some confusion about its use, since there was a revival of the style in the late 1930s, going on into 1940s/50s. Some prefer "New Orleans" (my own preference, although not perfect) or "Classic" (? too vague) or "Traditional" (again confusing because of the UK "Trad Jazz" revival of the 1960s)

Anyhow, whatever name you use, the style is usually described as having the following characteristics : (summarising wikipedia on this : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixieland)

  • coming from New Orleans (based on the "riverboat" jazz from there), but spreading to other cities such as Chicago or New York, by bands or musicians from New Orleans

  • having a collective sound, with interplay between the "front line" instruments : trumpet/cornet, trombone, clarinet. One of these instruments may take a solo, but the other weave lines in around it.

  • rhythm section: guitar or banjo, string bass or tuba, drums.

By that definition, if you want to put a genre tag on it, yes, it's "Dixieland".
But Armstrong was a strong soloist and musician who influenced others in Jazz and other music well beyond this particular style.And all Jazz has some bit of Blues in it, just because....

So like the quote in @Wheat Williams' answer : "if it sounds good, you don’t worry what it is, you just go on and enjoy it."

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