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date: 10 December 2019

Chicago jazzlocked

  • J. Bradford Robinson


A sub-species of New Orleans jazz developed by young white musicians in the Chicago area during the mid-1920s. A number of these musicians were associated with the so-called Austin High School Gang (Jimmy McPartland, Dave Tough, Frank Teschemacher, Joe Sullivan and Bud Freeman); others, notably Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa and Muggsy Spanier, were native to Chicago, while still others, such as Eddie Condon, PeeWee Russell and Red McKenzie, moved to Chicago early in their careers. Although only intermittently active in Chicago, Bix Beiderbecke and Frankie Trumbauer are also sometimes associated with this school. At first the Chicagoans merely copied the New Orleans style of King Oliver and the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, but brought to it in some cases a superior instrumental technique (Goodman) and a more hectic and extrovert rhythmic basis (Krupa), together with a greater emphasis on solo playing. In general, however, they varied the basic features of New Orleans jazz rather than developing an independent style. With the suppression of Chicago’s speakeasy culture in the late 1920s most of these musicians moved to New York, where several of them became important figures in the swing style of the 1930s. (W.H. Kenney: ...

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