Snake Rag – 1973

Turk Murphy


Murphy and his traditional jazz band play a King Oliver classic

Trombonist Turk Murphy (1915-87) first came to fame with Lu Watters’ Yerba Buena Jazz Band in the 1940s, helping to lead the New Orleans revival movement.

After leaving Watters in the late 1940s, Murphy led his own series of traditional jazz bands, playing music from the 1920s in his own style and also adding new originals along the way, becoming a fixture in the San Francisco jazz scene.

From the Heaidelberg Jazz Festival in June 1973, Murphy is featured leading a sextet that also includes cornetist Leon Oakley, clarinetist Bob Helm, pianist Pete Clute, banjoist Carl Lunsford, and Bill Carroll on tuba.

They perform a rousing number recorded by King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band in 1923, “Snake Rag.”

-Scott Yanow

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