Benny Moten
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The Kansas City style of jazz big bands debuted in 1923, when the band of pianist Bennie Moten (1894) cut its first record, soon to be followed by hits such as Harlan Leonard's South (november 1924), Kansas City Shuffle (december 1926) and Moten Stomp (june 1927). Several of its members (including the young Count Basie) were later recruited from the Blue Devils, formed by bassist Walter Page in Oklahoma City in 1925. Besides Basie, in the late 1920s Moten raised trumpeter Oran "Hot Lips" Page, guitarist Eddie Durham (the first guitarist to experiment with proto-amplifiers, for example in the solo of Band Box Shuffle in october 1929), saxophonist Ben Webster, and vocalist Jimmy Rushing. It wasn't until Just Rite (september 1928), though, that Moten's band clearly switched from ragtime to blues.

Moten died in 1935.

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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