Some would prefer to call it "JUMP SWING" but it's all the same, except for "THE RACE CARD" element of this story. It was this simple in 1946.


If the artist was WHITE, it was just Swing.

If the artist was BLACK, it was Jump Blues.


But generally the music resembled the same style.





The Jump style originated in the rural areas around the Mississippi Delta as a heavy Blues based style of Swing delivered to the urban areas like Kansas City in the 1930s. Since the 1930s, Black artist had been playing this style all along. Bennie Moten's "SAD MAN BLUES" from 1929 is a perfect example of early "JUMP" tunes in Swing. Earl Hines played it through out the 30's as well as others in Swing like Count Basie.


It wasn't until Benny Goodman picked it up in the mid 30's did Jump get any recognition. And in 1940, Glenn Miller would exploit the style in more of an over produced scale, perfectly designed for the majority white American with his classic "IN THE MOOD". But these artists were considered as Swing bands of the Big Band era and still are considered that to this day. But there Ideas and styles come directly from the blues sounds that where coming out of places like Kansas City.


Then came WWII, and the sound of swing saturated the airwaves of radios all over the country. While the sound of Swing was becoming more and more homogenized and the very sound of Swing began to sound less and less like Swing. And Jazz had to breakout somewhere, so it took to the ghettos of Harlem in the form of Bee Bop, which also came from Kansas City. Jump Blues in the late 1940s brought back the simplicity of jazz back to the ears of America by the use of new media like radio and records. Louis Jordan & His Timpani Five were one of the Grand Daddy's of it all. He brought back the real feel for Swing, Jump, and Blues all wrapped up in one.


Louis Jordan..................and his Tympani Five


The Music of Louis Jordan

CHOO, CHOO, CH BOOGIE - Louis Jordan (1945)

CALDONIA - Louis Jordan (1946)


There were some great ladies in the Jump movement too:


Dinah Washington

Ella Fitzgerald

Sarah Vahan


The Jump era was a short but sweet period just paving the way for Rhythm & Blues.


On to Rhythm & Blues


Back to The Music Tree