|from World Records
The actual music as recorded by the original artists is the starting point for any study of jazz, and should be your first priority. The books and other materials can later help you gain an understanding of the historical context of the music. We recommend buying online here, or borrowing from your local Public Library, CDs by these important classic jazz artists.
Many of the historical recordings listed below can be heard online courtesy of the Red Hot Jazz Archive site.
|Joshua Rifkin, Scott Joplin Piano Rags Recommended by Jim Cullum, these are the definitive modern solo piano performances of the best of Joplin’s elegant turn-of-the-century compositions. Early jazz players of the WWI era were steeped in the sound and feel of Ragtime and took it as a starting point.
King Oliver’s Creole Jazz BandJoe Oliver was crowned the King of New Orleans cornet players, and his unsurpassed Creole Jazz Band hit it big in Chicago in the 20s. These recordings are widely regarded as essential documents of 20th century music.Louis Armstrong Widely regarded as the single most influential musician of genius in jazz history, Louis took jazz to the next level in the 20s and 30s by inventing a timeless, sophisticated bravura solo style.
Jelly Roll Morton was one of the most eccentric, but musically important of all early New Orleans jazz figures, Jelly set the standard for hot small-band performance and composition with his series of 1920s Chicago recordings.
Eddie Condon was known as a solid rhythm guitarist, bandleader, wit, raconteur, nightclub owner, and tireless promoter for Chicago-style classic jazz.
Duke Ellington was one of the greatest musicians and composer of the 20th century. As a composer, he wrote thousands of songs and arranged and rearranged those and others during his lifetime. As a band leader, he performed nearly constantly for most of his career and recorded more than 200 albums.
|Count Basie with his first Kansas City big band of the 1930s, The Basie Band, defined 4/4 swing rhythm, especially through the outstanding and widely influential rhythm section of Jo Jones, Walter Page, and Freddie Green. Other notable sidemen were Lester Young, Herschel Evans, Buck Clayton, Clark Terry, Dickie Wells, Harry “Sweets” Edison, and singer Joe Williams.
Benny Goodman was one of the greatest of all jazz clarinetists, Benny’s big band started the swing craze in 1935, when jazz and pop briefly became one.Bob Crosby The Bobcats band, with their 1930s original tunes and arrangements by bassist Bob Haggart and others, was a unique collective of great artists oriented toward the sound and feel of classic New Orleans jazz. Notable sidemen included Yank Lawson, Billy Butterfield, Ray Bauduc, Irving Fazola, and Eddie Miller.
Artie Shaw set the standard of swinging excellence for big-band performance with these recordings.
Lu Watters Yerba Buena Jazz Band is the band that in 1939 started the great worldwide Classic Jazz Revival with their residence at their landmark San Francisco night spot, the Dawn Club