King Oliver was an American jazz cornet player and band leader. He was recognized for his playing style and his pioneering use of mutes in jazz. King Oliver is a notable composer and wrote many jazz tunes that are still played today. King Oliver was the mentor of Louis Armstrong. Armstrong once stated that if it was not for King Oliver, Jazz would not have been what it is today.
What is Jazz
Jazz is a genre that originated in New Orleans, Louisiana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with roots in blues and ragtime. Since the 1920s, Jazz has been recognized as a major form of musical expression in traditional and popular music. Some of the major players of Jazz were Jelly roll Morton, who was considered the inventor of Jazz, Buddy Bolden, and King Oliver. All of whom are considered the founding fathers of Jazz. In this blog post, I would like to focus on King Oliver and the legacy he left in Jazz.
Riverside Blues- King Oliver
King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band - Dipper Mouth Blues
King Oliver's Life of Jazz
Oliver was very popular in New Orleans across economic and racial lines, and was in demand for jobs from rough working class Black dance halls to white society debutante parties.By 1922, after travels in California and the Midwest, he was the jazz “King” in Chicago, with King Oliver and his Creole Jazz Band performing at the Royal Gardens. His earliest records were done as King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band in 1923, then as King Oliver’s Dixie Syncopators (from 1926-’28). Also, as with many other jazz musicians in Chicago, his bands often played in Al Capone’s Mafia-run clubs. Oliver is given credit for having developed the use of cups, glasses, mutes, and buckets, as well as much of the phraseology that made up the roots of jazz.
King Oliver's Unfortunate Death
Unfortunately, King Oliver died in poverty in Savannah, Georgia. He was buried in New York and his funeral was attended by Louis Armstrong and other loyal musician friends. In 2007, King Oliver was inducted as a charter member of the Gennet records Walk of Fame in Richmond, Indiana.