Bennie Moten (November 13th 1894 - April 2nd 1935)
Recorded in Chicago on June 12th 1927 featuring Ed Lewis and Paul Webster trumpets, Thamon Hayes trombone, Harlan Leonard clarinet & alto sax, Woody Walder clarinet & tenor sax, LaForest Dent alto & baritone sax, Jack Washington clarinet, alto, & baritone sax, Bennie Moten piano & director, Leroy Berry banjo, Vernon Page brass bass, and Willie McWashington drums.
*"Moten Stomp" was composed by Bennie Moten and Thamon Hayes.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1894 pianist and composer Bennie Moten organized an orchestra active in the Midwest during the early 1920s that was largely responsible for developing the big band sound.
Beginning his recording career for OKeh in 1923 his earliest sides were a regional interpretation of New Orleans jazz with a prominent Missouri ragtime influence.
After "Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra" signed with Victor Records in 1926 they began to perform original offerings and popular songs in a more blues based style capitalizing on the local popularity of 'Stomps'.
During this period Moten's arrangements would also begin to include frequent extended solos from various musicians in his assembly.
In 1929 the "Moten Orchestra" would absorb members of another local jazz band "Walter Page's Blue Devils" including Count Basie, Walter Page and Oran 'Hot Lips' Page, and would also acquire blues shouter Jimmy Rushing.
Other important additions to the Moten band were guitarist, trombonist, & composer/arranger Eddie Durham, and later saxophonist Ben Webster.
Building the rudiments of the sound that later came to be associated with Count Basie, the "Bennie Moten Orchestra" produced their final ten sides for Victor in December 1932 in Camden, New Jersey.
The great Kansas City bandleader Bennie Moten died on April 2nd 1935 as the result of a failed tonsillectomy.
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