In 1917, after relocating to New York from Chicago, some white veterans of New Orleans (known as Dixie Land Jass Band in Chicago),
led by an Italian-American, Nick LaRocca (1889), who back home had been playing in a
mixed-race band specializing in private and public events,
rechristened themselves Original Dixieland Jass Band
(but were not the first band to call itself "jass" in New York)
and in february 1917
recorded the first jazz record
(with their Dixie Jass Band One Step).
The success of that novelty prompted many other New Orleans musicians to
move to New York.
The Original Dixieland Jass Band went on to cut many more songs,
mostly composed by the members of the band,
in a variety of styles:
Barnyard Blues (august 1917),
Tiger Rag (august 1917), based on the traditional square dance Praline,
Ostrich Walk (february 1917),
At The Jass Band Ball (september 1917),
Clarinet Marmalade Blues (july 1918),
Fidgety Feet (february 1918),
Lazy Daddy (july 1918),
Skeleton Jangle (february 1918),
Satanic Blues (august 1919),
Bluin' The Blues (december 1920).
But their specialty remained the frantic group improvisation, with a staccato
style influenced by syncopated ragtime, the kind of jazz performed by white
musicians that came to be called "dixieland jazz".
In 1919 LaRocca took his orchestra to London, where it
was equally successful, particularly with Soudan (april 1920).
The British recordings actually slowed down the tempo a bit, proving that some
of the frenzy was simply due to the need to fit a song into the three minutes
of a 78 RPM record (in Britain they recorded four-minute 12" records).
These songs were "jazz" only insofar as they mimicked negro styles of music.