Jazz Unlimited for August 4, 2019 will present “Kansas City.” The music of Kansas City was side open and inventive in the late 1920’s, the 1930’s and early 1940’s. The arrival of the Count Basie Orchestra in New York in 1936 revived an increasingly moribund swing era. The show will present the George E. Lee Orchestra, Jesse Stone’s Blue Serenaders, the feared Walter Page's Blue Devils, the Bennie Moten Kansas City Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, Harlan Leonard’s Kansas City Rockets and the Jay McShann band. Important soloists came through these bands, including vocalist Julia Lee, saxophonists Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Ben Webster, trumpeters “Hot Lips” Page, Buck Clayton and Harry “Sweets” Edison and trombonist Fred Beckett.
The Slide Show contains my photographs of some of the musicians heard on this show.
Here is a video of vocalist Big Joe Turner and Jay McShann on piano singing "Piney Brown Blues" excerpted from the film Last of the Blue Devils (1979). Jesse Price also joins in later.