Saturday, 2 February 2013

14. Kid Ory: His Best Recordings 1922 - 1944 (Best Of Jazz Series)

A true jazz pioneer, trombonist Kid Ory's place in the history and development in jazz is assured. Born in 1890 he claimed to have heard the legendary Buddy Bolden when he was eight years old. He was on the scene in New Orleans and was leading his own band by 1912. Members of that band included at one time or another, Sidney Bechet, Johnny Dodds, King Oliver, Jimmy Noone and Louis Armstrong. His band, Ory's Creole Orchestra, was to be the first African American band to cut a legitimate jazz record, in 1922. He was  also an important figure in the eye of the jazz storm that was Chicago in the mid 20's.

This album serves a couple of purposes. Firstly, the tracks heavily feature Kid Ory's innovative solos and "tailgate" style where the trombone would play the rhythmic line behind the clarinet and the trumpet. Secondly, the historic track "Ory's Creole Trombone" from the aforementioned 1922 session is present. Finally, such was the demand for Ory that this album is a bit of a who's who of the New Orleans players who made it big in the mid 20's and announced jazz to the world. Louis Armstrong's & His Hot 5 feature prominently with tracks like "Gut Bucket Blues", "Muskrat Ramble" and the sublime "Savoy Blues" with it's wonderful ascending glisando. Also included are Luis Russell's Hot Six, King Oliver's Dixie Syncopators (inventing the wah wah on the way), The New Orleans Wanderers (essentially the Hot 5 minus Armstrong) and Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers.

Ory was to hang up his trombone in the early thirties (to go into the chicken farm business) but emerged again in the 40s as Dixieland jazz began a revival. A couple of tracks from this time are represented here. The wonderful "South" and "Blues For Jimmie", a tribute to his friend Jimmie Noone who had just died. Also playing on these tracks was another New Orleans legend, "Papa" Mutt Carey.

Ory would continue to record and perform well into the 50s and 60s but these tracks represent a particular high point in his career.

1 Ory's creole trombone
2 Gut Bucket Blues
3 Muskrat Ramble 
4 29th And Dearborn
5 Too Bad
6 Sugar Foot Stomp
7 Wa Wa Wa
8 Dropping Shucks
9 Gatemouth
10 Papa Dip 
11 Flat Foot  
12 Mad Dog  
13 Black Bottom Stomp
14 Dead Man Blues
15 Jazz Lips
16 Put'em Down Blues
17 Ory's Creole Trombone
18 Once in a While
19 Hotter Than That
20 Savoy Blues 
21 South See All 9
22 Blues For Jimmie