Sunday, December 21, 2014

Kid Ory: Tailgate Trombone

Kid Ory, born in La Place, Louisiana, in 1886, was the king of the trombone in the early years of jazz music in New Orleans. He started out played banjo, but later switched to trombone. Ory would become known for his “tailgate” style that had the trombone playing rhythmic lines underneath the free soloing of clarinets and cornets. From 1912 to 1919, Ory led an extremely popular band in New Orleans which had as members, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, Sidney Bechet and Jimmie Noone.

Ory moved to California in 1919, and in 1922, King Ory’s Creole Orchestra became the first African-American jazz band to make a recording when they recorded the songs “Ory’s Creole Trombone” and “Society Blues.” In 1925, Ory moved to Chicago, joining the migration of New Orleans jazz musicians who were seeking fame and fortune in the Windy City. In Chicago, Ory played with King Oliver’s Creole Jazz band, Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five and Hot Seven and later with Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers.

During the Depression, Ory found himself out of work along with many of his colleagues. For several years he ran a chicken ranch with his brother and returned to music when the New Orleans style jazz revival happened in the Forties. He reformed the Kid Ory’s Creole Jazz Band in 1943, and Ory was able to play jazz until he retired in 1966, and he died at a ripe old age in 1973.

The compilation albums, “Ory’s Creole Trombone: Greatest Recordings 1922-1944” (1995) and “The Chronological Classics: Kid Ory 1922-1945” (1999) are among the best available compilations of his music.
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