Jazz, or as it was called at the turn of the century, "JASS" was introduced by a fella named "Jelly Roll" Morton; whose real name was Ferdinand Lamothe. The Gutbucket style Morton played was of a more casual style. His form of Ragtime was a more free form style rather than the more rigid structure that Ragtime music has. Jelly Roll's style consisted of the elements of Blues combined with the ragged timing associated with Ragtime. They (meaning the folks from that era) decided to label this style of music JASS; as in "JUST AS" but the musicians insist it was named after the perfume that prostitutes used to wear in New Orleans "Jassman".


Like Ragtime, Jass came from the south down in the delta of Mississippi and found it's home in New Orleans; the heart of "DIXIE".




Thanks to the invention of the phonograph, Jazz found it's way to the heart of mainstream America towards the end of the first world war.

Some of the earlist Jazz greats were:


Charles Buddy Bolden: cornetist


Kid Ory: trumpeteer who invented "TAILGATING" and then later on would join Louis Armstrong's Hot Five


Freddie Keppard & The Original Creole Orch. who was offered to cut a single for The Victor Talking Machine but turned it down out of fear that other musicians would steal his style.


When the sound of Jazz caught the ears of the northeast, record companies began looking for Jazz musicians to record their records. These Jazz bands would be concidered record label's generic groups. These were mostly white musicians recording "black" music. The record companies felt they had to hire educated white musicians to save time and money for their recording sessions on the assumption that black musicians were basically uneducated and probably could not read music.


One of the first of these generic bands were The Original Dixieland Orchestra who was Victor's generic group. They were not from Dixie but they were white and from New York City (at least as far as I know they played the New York curcuit) and thuoght to be well educated musicians. Their records sold millions between 1917 and 1920. This brought some concern to the Jazz musician in New Orleans.


Another of these generic Jazz bands were The Cotton Pickers. They were the studio band for Brunswick (you must have seen their logo on bowling allies). The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company formed The Cotton Pickers who would farm some of the biggest stars in the Big Bands later in the 1930's and 40's.


Among the musician The Cotton Pickers had were Miff Mole, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Hoagy Carlmichael and Red Nicholes just to name a few. Later more superstars would follow in the Jazz world in the 1920's when Dixieland Jazz was at it's peak.


Ted Lewis & his Orchestra

Paul Whiteman & his Orchestra

and then of course...Louis Armstrong


Listen to some Jazz from the 1920's
The Cotton Pickers - He May Be Your Man, But He Comes Up To See Me Sometimes (1923)
Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra - Charleston (1925)
Bix Beiderbecke & HIs Gang - Rhythm King (1928)
Duke Ellington - Doin' The New Low Down (1928)






Louis Armstrong introduced to America a fresh scent to the Jazz industry. He gave Jazz a new slant to the music with his swinging rhytm. We would come to know this style of Jazz music as "SWING".


Other links about JAZZ

Red Hot Jazz - http://www.redhotjazz.com/