The definitive biography of the great band leader and New Orleans jazz performer
Edward "Kid" Ory (1886-1973) was a trombonist, composer, recording artist, and early New Orleans
jazz band leader. Creole Trombone tells his story from birth on a rural sugar cane plantation in
a French-speaking, ethnically mixed family, to his emergence in New Orleans as the city's hottest band
leader. The Ory band featured such future jazz stars as Louis Armstrong and King Oliver and was widely
considered New Orleans's top "hot" band. Ory's career took him from New Orleans to California, where
he and his band created the first African American New Orleans jazz recordings ever made. In 1925 he
moved to Chicago, where he made records with Oliver, Armstrong, and Jelly Roll Morton that captured
the spirit of the jazz age. His most famous composition from that period, "Muskrat Ramble," is a jazz
standard. Retired from music during the Depression, he returned in the 1940s and enjoyed a reignited
Drawing on oral history and Ory's unpublished autobiography, Creole Trombone is a story that
is told in large measure by Ory himself. The author reveals Ory's personality to the reader and shares
remarkable stories of incredible innovations of the jazz pioneer. The book also features unpublished Ory
compositions, photographs, and a selected discography of his most significant recordings.
John McCusker, New Orleans, Louisiana, was a photographer for the Times-Picayune. He was part
of the team that shared the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Journalism for covering Hurricane Katrina.