Creole TromboneKid Ory and the Early Years of Jazz

Creole TromboneKid Ory and the Early Years of Jazz

John McCusker

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9781617036262

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi


Edward “Kid” Ory (1886–1973) was a trombonist, composer, recording artist, and early New Orleans jazz band leader. This book 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 Ory 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, Ory returned in the 1940s and enjoyed a reignited career. Drawing on oral history and Ory’s unpublished autobiography, the book is a story that is told in large measure by Ory himself.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 The book also features unpublished Ory compositions, photographs, and a selected discography of Ory’s most significant recordings.