By Peter Hewitt —

Duke Ellington is supposed to have said: “There are only two kinds of music: good and bad.”

Assuming he’s right, into the Good category would go the music of King Oliver’s Jazz Band, which played in and around New Orleans in the teens and twenties. What a great group it was.

King Oliver played cornet, as did a youngster, barely out of short pants, named Louis Armstrong. There was a trombone and a clarinet. Also a rhythm section consisting of a drummer, a tube player (as in oompah, oompah, oompah), and a banjo player (as in plank, plank, plank). I believe the piano player was Lillian Harden, who later became Louis’ wife.

Their first records were acoustical, made by a very primitive process with a very tinny-sounding result. About the mid-twenties, electrical recording equipment arrived, and — all of a sudden — the music sounded real — and wonderful.

I suspect that most of their classics are available today on CDs or some newer electronic medium.

Don’t miss ‘em.

Peter Hewitt is a former resident of Dublin who retired to RiverMead along with several other Dublin residents.

Peter’s Pondering