Jazz, sometimes sweet and happy, other times strident and complex, filled the Lamont Forum Room last night, as over 50 persons attended the first meeting of the Harvard New Jazz Society.
When the first wave of excitement had passed, Thomas B. Wilson, Jr. '54, provisional president of the new club, and Joel T. Camche '54, provisional musical director, told the enthusiastic members that the constitution of the new club had been approved by the Student Council, and that Dean Watson had given the group permission to use the Burr A lecture hall for a forum-concert next Tuesday evening.
Taking part in a discussion of jazz, said Wilson, will be George Wein, proprietor of Storyville and Mahogany Hall, Boston jazz emporiums; Nat Hentoff, disk jockey on station WMEX, and writer for "Metronome" and "Downbeat," prominent jazz periodicals; and "Symphony Sid," disk jockey on station WCOP, and one of the formost proponents of modern jazz music.
This panel will pose such questions as: "What is jazz?" "What is the difference between Dixieland, swing, and modern?" "What is be-bop and progressive?" The three critics will answer these questions from their different points of view, and will talk about jazz as a commercial venture, as popular culture, and as an indigenous folk expression.
A group of local Dixieland musicians will also be present next Tuesday evening, and will present a concert after the forum.
"The ladies are invited too," said Wilson, and added that a complementary arganization to the Harvard club will be formed at Radcliffe.
Joel T. Camche '54, provisional music director of the society, said that plans were under way to sponsor dances, and other social gatherings, "where the music is fine enough so that one will not have to depend on dark lights or liquor to get enjoyment."
Election of officers will also take place at the Tuesday meeting.