Original Dixieland Jazz Band: Ostrich Walk (1917)


Ostrich Walk


Original Dixieland Jazz Band


The Creators of Jazz (Avid 702)

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Nick LaRocca (clarinet), Eddie Edwards (trombone), Larry Shields (clarinet), Henry Ragas (piano), Tony Sbarbaro (drums).

Composed by Eddie Edwards, Nick LaRocca, Henry Ragas, Tony Sbarbaro & Larry Shields


Recorded: New York, August 17, 1917


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

After recording "Ostrich Walk" annually from 1917-1919, the ODJB did so again in 1936, 1943, 1945 and 1946. It took an Act of Congress to make them stop. This track, from record-making's infancy, introduced a tune that's remained a revivalists' favorite into the 21st century. Yet even through the gauzy swaddling of primitive technology, the ODJB's original commands our attention as forcefully as a newborn's wails. This band unashamedly made music for the moment, and the moment demanded novelty. If Shields's plucky clarinet, presiding over sundry stop-time breaks, resembles a large, flightless bird strutting forgetfully— well, isn't that the point?

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


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