Ory’s Creole Trombone – 1979

Turk Murphy

A hot and unusual version of the Kid Ory tune

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“Ory’s Creole Trombone” was one of New Orleans trombonist Kid Ory’s most famous songs, along with “Muskrat Ramble.”

The piece, which was first recorded in 1922, has always been a showcase for trombonists and received a famous recording by Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five in 1926.

In 1979, veteran trombonist and bandleader Turk Murphy was a guest on Canadian vibraphonist Peter Appleyard’s television show.

Joined by Appleyard and the Climax Jazz Band (trumpeter Bob Erwig, clarinetist Jim Buchmann, banjoist Jack Vincken, bassist Chris Daniels, and drummer Max Littlejohns), Murphy spontaneously suggested that they play “Ory’s Creole Trombone.”

What was unusual was that the ensemble had not played together with Murphy and Appleyard before, they were not expecting to play that particular song, “Ory’s Creole Trombone” had probably never featured a vibraphone before, and Murphy counted off the piece at a much faster tempo than usual.

Somehow it all worked, and this first take, played before a live studio audience, made it onto the show.

-Scott Yanow


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