important firsts

Important Firsts



Important Firsts


First jazz recording: Livery Stable Blues, Orginal Dixieland Jass Band (ODJB) - 1917

First classic blues recording: Crazy Blues, Mamie Smith - 1920

First recording by a black band: Ory's Creole Trombone / Society Blues, Kid Ory's Sunshine Orchestra - 1921

Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith record for the first time (New York) - 1923

King Oliver's first recording (Gennett Records) - 1923

First mixed (racially) recording session: New Orleans Rhythm Kings (NORK) and Jelly Roll Morton (Mr. Jelly Lord, London Blues, Milenberg Joys, etc.) - 1923

Washingtonians made their first recordings (Ellington in NY) - 1924

First recordings made by Louis Armstrong as a leader (Hot 5) - 1925

First scat recording: Louis Armstrong, Heebie Jeebies - 1925

First recordings by the Red Hot Peppers (Jelly Roll Morton) - 1926

First Boogie-Woogie recording: Meade Lux Lewis, Honky Tonk Train - 1927

First recordings of Benny Goodman and Jimmy Lunceford - 1934

First electric (amplified) jazz guitar solo: Floyd Smith, Floyd’s Guitar Blues - 1939

First gold record ever: Glenn Miller, Chattanooga Choo-Choo -1942

First modal album: Miles Davis, Kind Of Blue - 1959

First major album in the bossa nova style: Joao Gilberto, Chega de Saudade - 1959

Beginnings of Fusion: Miles Davis, Bitches Brew - 1969


Other Important Firsts


First jazz improviser: Louis Armstrong

First jazz composer: Jelly Roll Morton

First center of jazz: New Orleans

First published ragtime composition: William Krell, Mississippi Rag - 1897

First published rag by a black composer: Thomas Million Turpin, The Harlem Rag - 1897

First use of the word "Jazz": Vaudeville team of William and George Demarest of "Our Three Sons" - 1910

First jazz ensemble on film: Orginal Dixieland Jass Band (ODJB) in The Good For Nothing - 1917

First interracial jazz group: Benny Goodman Trio (Benny Goodman/Teddy Wilson/Gene Krupa)

First modern jazz bass player: Jimmy Blanton

First modern jazz guitar player: Charlie Christian

First composer to set the standard of setting brass against reeds: Fletcher Henderson

First black band with a regularly sponsored series: Don Redman

First band to use five saxophones: Benny Carter

First jazz musician to be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize: Duke Ellington

First black vocalist with a major white jazz orchestra: Billie Holiday with Artie Shaw - 1938

First Jazz at the Philharmonic concert - 1943

First modal composition: Miles Davis, Miles aka Milestones - 1958


Groups and Their Leaders


  • Bebop for the People -- Charlie Ventura
  • Blackbyrds -- Donald Byrd
  • Bobcats -- Bob Crosby
  • Cabjivers/Stompy Stevedores -- Cab Calloway
  • Clambake 7 -- Tommy Dorsey
  • Creole Jazz Band -- King Oliver
  • Elektrik Band -- Chick Corea
  • Gramercy 5 -- Artie Shaw
  • Harlem Footwarmers -- Duke Ellington
  • Headhunters -- Herbie Hancock
  • Hot 5 and Hot 7 -- Louis Armstrong
  • Jazz Messengers -- Art Blakey
  • Jazztet -- Art Farmer/Benny Golson
  • Kansas City 7 -- Count Basie
  • Modern Jazz Quartet -- John Lewis
  • Original Dixieland Jass Band (ODJB) -- Nick La Rocca
  • Quintet of the Hot Club of France -- Stephane Grappelli/Django Reinhardt
  • Red Hot Peppers -- Jelly Roll Morton
  • Return To Forever -- Chick Corea
  • Weather Report -- Wayne Shorter/Joe Zawinul
  • Woodchoppers -- Woody Herman


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