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Kansas City and the Territory Bands (1927 - 1940)

Russell Perry By

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Outside of the Chicago—New York nexus, jazz thrived during the late 1920's and 1930's in Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, with its center in Kansas City. Under the careful control of Boss Pendergast, Kansas City was a wide open town with a thriving night club music scene, nurturing musicians like Joe Turner, Mary Lou Williams, Count Basie, Ben Webster, Lester Young and Charlie Parker. Working the urban centers and roadhouses in the region were a slew of "territory bands" only a handful of whom are preserved in the recorded legacy. In this hour, we'll explore the early jazz of Kansas City and the Territory Bands.

Our guest today is Jeff Decker -saxophonist, composer, educator and member of the jazz performance faculty of the University of Virginia— McIntyre School of Music.

Playlist

  • Host Intro 0:00
  • Pete Johnson "Climbin' And Screamin'" from Jazz Piano: A Smithsonian Collection (Smithsonian) 3:34
  • Pete Johnson & Big Joe Turner "It's All Right, Baby" from The Norton Jazz Recordings (Norton) 6:49
  • Host Intro 9:26
  • Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds of Joy "Mary's Idea" from Classic Jazz: Vol. 071, Andy Kirk (1929-31) (The Encyclopedia of Jazz) 10:56
  • Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds of Joy "Walkin' and Swingin'" from The Norton Jazz Recordings [Disc 2] (Norton) 14:02
  • Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds of Joy "The Lady Who Swings the Band" from Mary's Idea (GRP) 16:42
  • Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds of Joy "Scratchin' In The Gravel" from Mary's Idea (GRP) 19:22
  • Host speaks 22:27
  • Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra "Moten Stomp" from Classic Jazz: Vol. 018, Bennie Moten (1926-27) (Encyclopedia of Jazz) 24:57
  • Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra "Band Box Shuffle" from Band Box Shuffle 1929 -1932 (Hep) 27:54
  • Host speaks 30:22
  • Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra "Prince Of Wails" from Band Box Shuffle 1929 -1932 (Hep) 31:16
  • Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra "Milenberg Joys" from Band Box Shuffle 1929 -1932 (Hep) 34:06
  • Host speaks 36:50
  • Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra "Moten Swing" from The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz (Smithsonian) 37:32
  • Host speaks 40:49
  • Jones-Smith Incorporated "Shoe-Shine Boy" from Swing Time: Vol. 073, Lester Young Vol. 1 (1936-39) (Encyclopedia of Jazz) 43:35
  • Jones-Smith Incorporated "Boogie Woogie" from Swing Time: Vol. 073, Lester Young Vol. 1 (1936-39) (Encyclopedia of Jazz) 46:33
  • Host speaks 49:47
  • Jones- Smith Incorporated "Oh, Lady Be Good" from The Norton Jazz Recordings (Norton) 53:30
  • Host speaks 56:37
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