getting all the way down

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Georgian, Georgia
Hi, I am reading the Miles Davis autobiography and have a little difficulty in understanding some of the phrases.

''And you know how they were playing for them black folks at the Riviera. Because black people in St. Louis love their music, but they want their music right. So you know what they were doing at the Riviera. You know they were getting all the way down''

I wonder what he means by Getting all the way down.

Thank you
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  • Sparky Malarky

    English - US
    Getting down can have a number of meanings. According to Urban Dictionary, it means (1) dancing, (2) sex, (3) partying, and so on.

    In this context, I would say the audience was probably dancing, and was certainly enjoying the music.


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Urban Dictionary records current slang as contributed by today's speakers. This text speaks of an earlier era, and "get down" was strongly associated with black music and musicians.

    The "they" in "they were getting all the way down" refers, I believe, to the musicians, not to people who may have been dancing to the music (although there may have been people dancing). In this context, it means getting serious, getting deeply into the music, producing the authentic sound demanded by the audience who, the author tells us, "want their music right".
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