Defining Jazz

“Ol’ Man River” by Paul Whiteman with Paul Robeson, Victor 35912A, 1928. 1927 electrical release of “Rhapsody in Blue” as Victor 35822A by Paul Whiteman and His Concert Orchestra with George Gershwin on piano. Original 1924 acoustical launch of “Rhapsody in Blue” by Paul Whiteman and His Concert Orchestra with George Gershwin on piano, Victor 55225A.

Jazz Camp West

Discography of American Historical Recordings,; accessed January 7, 2017. Copyright renewal by Paul Whiteman, I.M. Bibo, and Edna L. Johnson,; accessed January 7, 2017. Albert Haim, “Paul Whiteman and His Ambassador Orchestra”,; accessed January 7, 2016. Paul Whiteman was posthumously inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which is a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings which are no less than 25 years old and that have “qualitative or historic significance.” “My Fantasy”, 1939, Paul Whiteman co-wrote the track, an adaptation by Paul Whiteman of the Polovtsian Dances theme from the opera Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin, credited to “Paul Whiteman/Leo Edwards/Jack Meskill”.

The bassist’s main job is to play the roots of the chords and “lay down an excellent groove.” The bass is the inspiration, the underside, the pulse, the “glue” that keeps everyone collectively. When doing this, he/she improvises a melody by taking part in single notes in the right hand while comping the chords in the left hand (pretty cool!).

In 1927, Paul Whiteman co-wrote the song “Wide Open Spaces” with Byron Gay and Richard A. Whiting. The Colonial Club Orchestra launched a recording of the music on Brunswick Records in 1927 as 3549-A with Irving Kaufman on vocals. Whiteman composed the piano work “Dreaming The Waltz Away” with Fred Rose in 1926.

  • Like Jelly Roll Morton, Armstrong can also be credited with the abandonment of ragtime’s stiffness in favor of swung notes.
  • New Orleans brass bands are a lasting influence, contributing horn players to the world of professional jazz with the distinct sound of the city while serving to black kids escape poverty.
  • The chief of New Orleans’ Camelia Brass Band, D’Jalma Ganier, taught Louis Armstrong to play trumpet; Armstrong would then popularize the New Orleans style of trumpet enjoying, and then broaden it.
  • Armstrong, maybe more than any other musician, codified the rhythmic technique of swing in jazz and broadened the jazz solo vocabulary.

In 1998, the 1920 Paul Whiteman recording of “Whispering” was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2006 the Paul Whiteman Orchestra’s 1928 recording of Ol’ Man River with Paul Robeson on vocals was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The track was recorded on March 1, 1928, in New York and released as Victor A. In 1920, he co-wrote the music to the music “Bonnie Lassie” with Joseph H. Santly with lyrics by John W. Bratton. The track was recorded by Charles Hart who launched it as an Okeh 78 single, 4244.


1920 launch of “Whispering” by Paul Whiteman and His Ambassador Orchestra, Victor 18690A. Paul Whiteman’s 1927 recording of “Rhapsody in Blue”, the “electrical” version, was inducted within the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1974.