King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band: Chimes Blues (alternate review)


Chimes Blues


King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band


Off the Record: The Complete 1923 Jazz Band Recordings (Archeophone OTR-MM6-C2)

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Joe 'King' Oliver (cornet), Louis Armstrong (cornet), Honoré Dutrey (trombone), Johnny Dodds (clarinet), Lil Hardin (piano), Baby Dodds (drums),

William M. Johnson (banjo)


Composed by Joseph Oliver


Recorded: Richmond, Indiana, April 5, 1923


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Everything about this track screams 1923. Cornets instead of trumpets, clarinet not saxophone, banjo not guitar, woodblock in lieu of drums. Even instruments that might sound modern—trombone and piano—are dated by Dutrey's corny glissading and Lil's 2-beat backing. And the audio is, to put it politely, primitive. So what makes this track a landmark? How about because it contains Louis Armstrong's first recorded solo! At this point, Chicago Jazz was still very much a New Orleans import. But thanks to Louis, the music was transiting from ensemble to individual, something "Chimes Blues" captures in mid-commute. A fascinating, irreplaceable piece of history.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

Other reviews for this track:

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