Friday, October 19, 2007
The Sound of Kansas City, 1929
Although this session was recorded in Chicago on October 23, 1929, it captures the wild sound that provided the soundtrack to Kansas City's renaissance. As the fine notes for the video indicate, the band was in a transitional phase, evolving from a formulaic sound to a more cosmopolitan style that would rival the bands of Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson.
Even so, it's still exhilarating almost eighty years later.
Several members of the band played more than one instrument, but my best guess is that the personnel on this track are Ed Lewis and Booker Washington on trumpet; Thamon Hayes on trombone; Eddie Durham on guitar; Harlen Leonard, Vernon Page, Jack Washington and Woody Walder on saxophones and clarinets; Count Basie on piano; Leroy Berry on banjo and Willie McWashington on drums. Having ceded the piano chair to Basie, Moten directs.