King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band (1923)

The other night I was watching some PBS show/documentary/ hug-ourselves-and-celebrate-multiculturalism-on-national-tv special, and this band was mentioned. It caught my attention because the was the band that Luis Armstrong was in when he first recorded playing a solo piece. I decided to research and do a post on this band since it is rare, relatively unheard of, and very early in the development of the genre, even though it is jazz.
Jazz might seem to be an odd choice for a post, however almost all the music posted here has descended from jazz in some form or another.
Also, King Oliver was a key figure in the development of the genre in the early years. He left the south early and became known as the jazz king in Chicago play as King Oliver and his Creole Jazz Band (Wiki) around 1922.
Despite early popularity his failings as a businessman ultimately doomed the band, turning down a key venue demanding more money… Duke Ellington took the gig, and the band moved on taking their place in jazz history without King Oliver.
However, this was the band in it’s time, and hands-down a collectible in every sense of the word. Back in the days of Napster (in the 1990’s) I would spend hours searching for early jazz like this only to limited avail, so I really appreciate this album, because early jazz and big band can be some the most maddening music to search for on the internet.
Early, scratchy recordings but still a must have for any collection, enjoy.

download the 1923 chronology

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