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Walter Page's Blue Devils


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"Blue Devils to Basie"


This recording was made in Kansas City, Missouri on November 10th 1929 featuring Hot Lips Page and James Simpson trumpets, Dan Minor trombone, Buster Smith clarinet & alto sax, Reuben Roddy tenor sax, Ted Manning alto sax, William "Count" Basie piano, Reuben Lynch or Thomas Owens Guitar, Walter Page tuba & leader, and Alvin Borroughs drums.

*"Squabblin'" was composed by William "Count" Basie.

The "Blue Devils" were an early Kansas City Jazz band that was founded by Walter Page in Oklahoma City in 1925. They toured throughout the Southwest travelling by car and playing small clubs and dance halls. Jimmy Rushing and William "Count" Basie joined Walter Page's band in 1928 and would remain until the following year when Bennie Moten lured Basie away from the group. Shortly thereafter Rushing and Hot Lips Page would also leave to become valued members of "Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra".

After a patch of particularly bad luck in 1933 the "Blue Devils" found themselves stranded in Virginia, without any instruments or money and had to hop a freight train back to St. Louis. Bennie Moten sized this opportunity to add fresh talent to his "Kansas City Orchestra" and hired the group's remaining members which included Lester Young. After Moten's death in 1935, Count Basie, of course, went on to form his own famous orchestra.

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