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Creole Trombone: Kid Ory and the Early Years of Jazz

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“John McCusker's impressive research and deft writing have produced a first-rate biography of this influential jazz pioneer set against the colorful backdrop of New Orleans in the early years of the 20th century. A must-read ! "

“If you love jazz and you love New Orleans, Creole Trombone is a must-read. With meticulous research and elegant writing, John McCusker evokes the magical time when a young man could rise out of sugar cane fields and change the world with his music. Kid Ory's life was a brilliant ramble, and McCusker has told it with perfect pitch."

Edward "Kid" Ory (1886-1973) was a trombonist, composer, recording artist, and early New Orleans jazz band leader. Creole Trombone 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 he 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, he returned in the 1940s and enjoyed a reignited career.

Drawing on oral history and Ory's unpublished autobiography, Creole Trombone is a story that is told in large measure by Ory himself.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 The book also features unpublished Ory compositions, photographs, and a selected discography of his most significant recordings.

Release date: October 2012