Creole Trombone: Kid Ory and the Early Years of Jazz

Creole Trombone: Kid Ory and the Early Years of Jazz

by John McCusker


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Edward "Kid" Ory (1886-1973) was a trombonist, composer, recording artist, and early New Orleans jazz band leader. Creole Trombone tells his story from birth on a rural sugar cane plantation in a French-speaking, ethnically mixed family, to his emergence in New Orleans as the city's hottest band leader. The Ory band featured such future jazz stars as Louis Armstrong and King Oliver, and was widely considered New Orleans's top "hot" band. Ory's career took him from New Orleans to California, where he and his band created the first African American New Orleans jazz recordings ever made. In 1925 he moved to Chicago where he made records with Oliver, Armstrong, and Jelly Roll Morton and captured the spirit of the jazz age. His most famous composition from that period, "Muskrat Ramble," is a jazz standard. Retired from music during the Depression, he returned in the 1940s and enjoyed a reignited career.

Drawing on oral history and Ory's unpublished autobiography, Creole Trombone is a story that is told in large measure by Ory himself. The author reveals Ory's personality to the reader and shares remarkable stories of incredible innovations of the jazz pioneer. The book also features unpublished Ory compositions, photographs, and a selected discography of his most significant recordings.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781617036262
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
Publication date: 07/17/2018
Series: American Made Music Series
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

John McCusker, New Orleans, is a photographer for The Times-Picayune. He was part of the the team that shared the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Journalism for covering Hurricane Katrina.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction Who Was Kid Ory? 3

Chapter 1 1886-1896: Le Monde Creole en Campagne 6

Chapter 2 ca. 1897-1900: Music 24

Chapter 3 1900-1904: Orphan 42

Chapter 4 1905-1907: Walking with the King 52

Chapter 5 1908-1910: Kid 64

Chapter 6 1910-1916: New Orleans 80

Chapter 7 1917-1919: Creole Jazz 112

Chapter 8 1919-1925: California 134

Chapter 9 1925-1933: Chicago Sideman 156

Chapter 10 1933-1973: Epilogue 184

Appendix I Autobiography 189

Appendix II Autobiography 191

Appendix III Selected Discography 193

Appendix IV Lost Compositions 200

Notes 210

Index 240

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