New Orleans Rhythm Kings: Weary Blues


Weary Blues


New Orleans Rhythm Kings


An Introduction to the New Orleans Rhythm Kings: Their Best Recordings 1922-1935 (Best Of Jazz 4050)

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Paul Mares (cornet), George Brunies (trombone), Leon Roppolo (clarinet), Mel Stitzel (piano), Ben Pollack (drums).

Composed by Artie Matthews


Recorded: Richmond, Indiana, March 12, 1923


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

Whereas the Original Dixieland Jazz Band scrolls across history's stock ticker as a nondescript ODJB, their contemporaries New Orleans Rhythm Kings suffer the maladroit acronym NORK, suggesting a merger of nerds and dorks. This band deserves better. Their solos on "Weary Blues" (the title is a misnomer) reveal cornet, trombone or clarinet essentially continuing what each would play during ensembles, only with the other instruments laying out. Those ensembles, though, epitomize the civility of early jazz, where collective expression attains a considerate clarity, thoughtfully avoiding the din of shouting matches. This track should be required listening for present-day talk-show denizens.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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