New Orleans was the home of the first jazz style, and it took the form of small-band music that was first prominent at the beginning of the 1900s. Though called "Dixieland" by many listeners, this music is distinguished from its descendants because it is somewhat less solo-oriented. Though traditional New Orleans jazz was performed by blacks, whites, and African-American creoles, some historians reserve the "Dixieland" term for white derivatives and revivals of this style, organized mostly by musicians in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. This music originated with brass bands and "string bands" that performed for parties and dances in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The groups used combinations of cornet, clarinet, saxophone, trombone, tuba, guitar, banjo, bass viol, drums, and piano. The music usually featured several moving parts at the same time. The arrangements contained a considerable amount of flexibility from performance to performance. Many of the solos and embellishments were improvised, and much of the melody was paraphrased for personalization. The musicians refined the syncopations of ragtime, and adapted pop tunes, marches, hymns, blues, and rags for their repertory. The music was quite lively and featured a wide assortment of unusual tone qualities and soulful inflections of a melody tone's pitch. The most extensively recorded groups of this time and style were led by Joe Oliver (Creole Jazz Band), Jelly Roll Morton (Red Hot Peppers), Johnny Dodds, Kid Ory, Sidney Bechet, Louis Armstrong, and Nick LaRocca (The Original Dixieland Jazz Band).

(Mark C. Gridley)


Sidney Bechet - Jazz Classics Vol. 1

Listen to: Summertime

Bechet, Sidney (ss); Lewis, Meade Lux (p); Bunn, Teddy (g); Williams, John (b); Catlett, Sid (dr)

Recorded: 08-06-1939



Wilbur de Paris - At Symphony Hall

Listen to: Juba Dance

Paris, Wilbur de (tb); Paris, Sidney de (co); Simeon, Omer (cl); White, Sonny (p); Blair, Lee (bj); Moten, Bennie (b); Kirk, Wilbert (dr, harm)

Recorded: 26-10-1956



Muggsy Spanier - Ragtime Band

Listen to: Big Butter And Egg Man

Spanier, Muggsy (co); Brunis, George (tb); Cless, Rod (cl); McKinstry, Ray (ts); Zack, George (p); Casey, Bob (g); Pattison, Pat (b); Greenberg, Marty (dr)

Recorded: 07-07-1939



Louis Armstrong - Fireworks

Listen to: West End Blues

Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five: Armstrong, Louis (tp, voc); Robinson, Fred (tb); Strong, Jimmy (ts, cl); Hines, Earl (p); Carr, Mancy (bj); Singleton, Zutty (dr)

Recorded: 1928-06-28



Duke Ellington - Early Years

Listen to: Creole Love Call

Duke Ellington & His Orchestra: Miley, Bubber; Metcald, Louis (tp); Nanton, Sam (tb); Jackson, Rudolf (cl, ts, bs); Hardwick, Otto (ss, as, bs); Carney, Harry (cl, as, bs); Ellington , Duke (p); Guy, Fred (bj); Braud, Wellman (b); Greer, Sonny (dr)

Recorded: 26-10-1927



Bix Beiderbecke - The Bix Beiderbecke Story

Listen to: Singin' The Blues

Frankie Trumbauer & His Orchestra: Trumbauer, Frankie (c-melody); Beiderbecke, Bix (co); Rank, Bill (tb); Dorsey, Jimmy (cl, as); Riskin, Itzy (p); Lang, Eddie (bj, g); Morehouse, Chauncey (dr)

Recorded: 04-02-1927



Johnny Dodds - 1926-1928

Listen to: Gate Mouth

New Orleans Wanderers: Mitchell, George (co); Ory, Kid (tb); Dodds, Johnny (cl); Clark, Joe (as); Armstrong, Lil (p); St. Cyr, Johnny (bj)

Recorded: 13-07-1926



Tommy Ladnier/Sidney Bechet - 1924 To 1938

Listen to: Really The Blues

Tommy Ladnier & Orchestra: Ladnier, Tommy (tp); Bechet, Sidney (cl, ss); Mezzrow, Mezz (cl, ts); Jackson, Cliff (p); Bunn, Teddy (g); James, Elmer (b); Johnson, Manzie (dr)

Recorded: 28-11-1938