Kid Ory was one of the great New Orleans pioneers, an early trombonist who virtually defined the "tailgate" style (using his horn to play rhythmic bass lines in the front line behind the trumpet and clarinet) and who was fortunate enough to last through the lean years so he could make a major comeback in the mid-'40s. Originally a banjoist, Ory soon switched to trombone and by 1911 was leading a popular band in New Orleans. Among his trumpeters during the next eight years were Mutt Carey, King Oliver and a young Louis Armstrong and his clarinetists included Johnny Dodds, Sidney Bechet, and Jimmie Noone. In 1919, Ory moved to California and in 1922 (possibly 1921) recorded the first two titles by a Black New Orleans jazz band ("Ory's Creole Trombone" and "Society Blues") under the band title of Spike's Seven Pods of Pepper Orchestra. In 1925 he moved to Chicago, played regularly with King Oliver, and recorded many classic sides with Oliver, Louis Armstrong (in his Hot Five and Seven), and Jelly Roll Morton, among others.
William Christopher Handy (Alabama, 1873-1958) was a musician and composer, considered by his work among the most influential in America. It was called 'The Father of the Blues' because, although it was not the first to publish music in that style, he managed to raise it to be one of the dominant styles of American music. Louis Armstrong also felt a deep connection with the 'blues'. He made this album in 1954 with the collaboration of Handy and accompanied by his best musical training, the 'All Stars' (Barney Bigard on clarinet, Trummy Young on trombone, Arvell Shaw on bass, Billy Kyle on piano, Barrett Deems on drums and the great voice of Velma Middleton).