Essay: Blues and Ragtime: Paving

Pages: 4 (1436 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] The rise and success of his band coincided with the emergence of Storyville, the black pleasure district (Buddy Bolden). At the height of their popularity, the group performed regularly in New Orleans' dance halls and parks, as well as in the city's surrounding towns. By 1907, Bolden's health had declined to the point where he had to be institutionalized; Bolden would remain institutionalized until his death in 1931 (Charles "Buddy" Bolden).

Jelly Roll Morton is considered to be an important transitional figure between ragtime music and jazz. He is also considered to be the first great composer and piano player of the jazz era (Jelly Roll Morton). As a teenager in the early 1900's, Morton played the piano in many of Storyville's whorehouses. His illustrious career continued to advance as he "rambled" around the South as a gambler, pool shark, pimp, piano player, and vaudeville comedian from 1904 to 1917 (Jelly Roll Morton). From 1917 to 1928, Morton played on the West Coast, subsequently moving to Chicago where he would begin to record for RCA Victor. Morton moved to New York in 1928 where he continued to record for RCA Victor through 1930 when he subsequently fell upon hard times, ultimately moving to and playing the piano in Washington, D.C. (Jelly Roll Morton).

Equally important to the jazz era was King Oliver and King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band. King Oliver began his music career as a trombonist and played in brass bands from 1907 until 1918 when he, too, moved to Chicago. By 1920, Oliver was leading his own band and was headed west towards California; he returned to Chicago in 1921 (Joe "King" Oliver). In June of 1922, King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band began an engagement at Chicago's Lincoln Gardens. One month later, a 22-year-old Louis Armstrong joined his band (Joe "King" Oliver). Louis Armstrong would also go on to become an influential figure within the jazz world.

Similarly, Kid Ory is considered to be one of the greatest jazz trombonists, playing and developing his sound in and around the time that King Oliver rose to prominence. Kid Ory led one of the most popular bands in New Orleans from 1912 to 1919 (Edward "Kid" Ory). It was during this time that Kid Ory took the opportunity to collaborate and play with King Oliver, as well as Louis Armstrong. Ory relocated to California in 1919, citing health reasons. While in California, Ory assembled a new group of New Orleans musicians and played regularly as Kid Ory's Creole Orchestra. In 1925, Kid Ory's Creole Orchestra became the first jazz band from New Orleans to record an album. Also, in 1925, Ory relocated himself and the Kid Ory's Creole Orchestra to Chicago where he regularly played with Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, and Louis Armstrong (Edward "Kid" Ory). While he did not play as much during and after the Great Depression, Ory revived the Kid Ory Creole Band in 1943 due to a renewed interest in Dixieland music. Ory was able to continue play, record, and tour until he retired in 1966 (Edward "Kid" Ory).

Blues and ragtime, and ultimately jazz, arose from humble beginnings, from slave work songs and African-inspired church music. Musicians such as Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, and Kid Ory achieved great success during the development of these genres and helped to introduce the American public to jazz music as they traveled throughout the South to Chicago and to California. These men helped to cement jazz as a popular genre and influenced many other musicians who also continued to develop the genre. It is through these musical innovations that audiences today are able to enjoy an array of music that arose from the musical foundations of blues, ragtime, and jazz.

Works Cited

Buddy Bolden. PBS. 3 July 2011, from .

Charles "Buddy" Bolden. 3 July 2011, from .

Edward "Kid" Ory. 3 July 2011, from .

Jelly Roll Morton. 3 July 2011, from .

Joe "King" Oliver. PBS. 3 July 2011, from .

Library of Congress. History of Ragtime. 26 September 2006. Accessed 3 July 2011, from .

Scaruffi, Piero. A Brief History of Blues Music. 2005. Accessed 3 July 2011, from .

Szatmary, David P. Rockin' in Time. Upper Saddle Creek, New Jersey: Prentice Hall,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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