History of Jazz Timeline: 1929
On March 4, Armstrong has traveled from Chicago to New York to play a one night stand in Harlem at a banquet that is given in his honor. Many friends from Chicago are there and many musicians are there.
On March 5, in the early morning, Eddie Condon suggests to Tommy Rockwell (producer of the Hot Fives and Sevens) that he take the opportunity to record Armstrong with some of the superb musicians who have gathered to honor Armstrong. Rockwell is concerned about a mixed group, but goes ahead anyway. As a result, Armstrong, Jack Teagarden (trombone), Eddie Lang (guitar), Happy Cauldwell (saxophone), Kaiser Marshall and Joe Sullivan record the classic "Knockin' a Jug" in the Okeh studios after knockin' back a bottle of whiskey.
Armstrong shifts base from Chicago to New York. This coincides with a general shift of the Jazz mainstream from Chicago to New York. Bigger Swing type orchestras will begin to dominate.
Armstrong begins fronting big Swing bands such as Les Hite and Luis Russell. He is becoming more commercial. This will cause later Jazz artists to say that he sold out.
Armstrong does Fats Waller's tune "Ain't Misbehavin'" from the show Hot Chocolates. His version becomes far more popular than the show's original. This is the first Pop song that he records and it represents a pivotal point in his carreer. He does his first big band recordings. Recordings can be found on Columbia CD Louis in New York - Vol 5, Classics CD Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra 1928-1929 or Classics CD Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra 1929-1930.
Dave Peyton of the Chicago Defender reports that Louis Armstrong is the current rage in New York City.
Ben Pollack formally presents an engraved gold watch to Armstrong at Connie's Inn where he performed in Hot Chocolates. The watch had been bought by a group of white musicians who went to see Armstrong perform and to honor him. The engraving says "Good Luck Always to Louis Armstrong from the Musicians on Broadway."
Jelly Roll Morton and the Red Hot Peppers record again. These recordings are not as good as the first ones and in fact represent a style that is rapidly becoming defunct.
New Orleans style is moribund. Big band Swing is overtaking it.
Earl Hines and his big band begin a stay at the Grand Terrace Ballroom in Chicago that will last until 1948.
Bix Beiderbecke is now a hopeless alcoholic. After suffering a complete mental collapse, he is sent back to Davenport by Paul Whiteman early this year.
In Davenport, Iowa, in February, Bix Beiderbecke writes the following to Frankie Trumbauer: "I guess I am A minus quality. I haven't had a drink for so long I'd pass on one." Then he complained of knee pain and added, "I'll be back as soon as my knees will work. If Paul will have me."
Bix Beiderbecke returns to the Whiteman band in March and spends the summer in Hollywood with the band. They are there to film a biography of Whiteman. At some point, Bix begins drinking again. He remarks to a friend that drinking is the path of least resistance since he is afraid of a return bout with delirium tremens.
Bix Beiderbecke returns to New York with the Whiteman band in September. He is unable to perform at Columbia Studios where the band is recording "Waiting at the End of the Road"/"When You're Counting the Stars Alone."
On October 14, Bix Beiderbecke checks into an alcoholism treatment center as requested by Whiteman. Bix will not stop drinking permanently though and will be dead within two years.
Jimmy Rushing does "Blue Devil Blues" with Walter Page's Blue Devils.
Cootie Williams replaces Bubber Miley on trumpet in the Duke Ellington band. Cootie has to learn to use mutes and growls like Bubber and these effects become Duke's signature. Ellington does his first recording of the "The Mooche".
Duke Ellington appears in a short called Black and Tan. Ellington is portrayed as a handsome, elegant, hard working composer even though the subject matter is degrading.
Boogie Woogie piano player Clarence "Pine Top" Smith dies shortly after recording the influential "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie".
Trumpeter Jabbo Smith records "Take Me to the River".
Lionel Hampton is currently playing drums in, among others, the Les Hite band.
Future piano innovator Bill Evans is born in Plainfield, New Jersey on August 16.
Drummer Dave Tough and clarinetist Mezz Mezzrow get together a Jazz band in Place Pigalle in Paris. The music is spreading. Dave Tough will later become one of the few players to successfully switch from Swing to Bop - most could not.
Clarinetist Edmund Hall moves to New York City. He works with Claude Hopkins and Lucky Millinder big bands.
Mary Lou Williams is playing piano for Andy Kirk's Clouds of Joy.
Juan Tizol joins Ellington.
Pianist Barry Harris is born in Detroit.
On Friday, October 24 (Black Friday), the stock market crashes, the Great Depression begins and for the most part, the big party that was most of the 1920's ends.
Herbert Hoover announces in December that "conditions are fundamentally sound".
Drummer Jimmy Cobb born in Washington, DC.
Disclaimer: Though we have checked our facts, this timeline may contain erroneous information. If you discover errors or omissions, please bring them to our attention.