Early Jazz by the Best of the Era
The Gennett record label lacked the commercial clout of, say, Victor or Columbia. However it became an important player in the early recording of jazz. Gennett was a division of the Starr Piano Company, situated in Richmond, Indiana. The manufacture of phonographs, then records to play on them, was seen as a lucrative sideline As with other record labels of the time, Gennett started with popular and classical recordings. By the early 1920s it was obvious that the upstart jazz would have to be added to the catalogue, and it then became a matter of finding talent. It seems that Fred Wiggins, manager of the Starr Piano showroom alerted Gennett to the potential of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, then Chicago residents. Their debut (as the Friars Society Orchestra) in the Gennett studios at Richmond was 29th August 1922 when they cut four sides, all of which appear here. Sales success was immediate. The N.O.R.K. were back in Richmond the following March and July. The July session included pianist Jelly Roll Morton on five tracks and may represent one of the earliest integrated jazz sessions. Having found the new music to sell even better than they expected, the Gennett management cast their net wider. As a result, their catalogue reads like a Who's Who' of early Jazzmen. Names like King Oliver, Miff Mole, Bix Beiderbecke, Johnny Dodds, Sidney Bechet and Louis Armstrong are a tribute to the relatively small label's good taste and opportunism. Remastering adds to a true feast of early Jazz
Label: JSP Records
Release Date: 11/10/09
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