"Tin Roof Blues" - Kid Ory

"Tin Roof Blues" (PDF) from the Kid Ory album, Kid Ory Plays the Blues.
Support this blog via Patreon.

Yeah, but what is Chicago-style jazz?  There's Chicago-style blues, rock, gospel, and house music, Chicago-style pizza and hotdogs, Chicago-style politics and gangsters, Chicago-style comedy, theater, and pro-wrestling, Chicago-style skating and stepping, Chicago-style architecture and liquor.  Each item a distinct product of the living culture within the city, except for Chicago-style jazz.  

The term is used to refer to a period of American industrial migration in the 1920's and 1930's, during Prohibition and The Great Depression, in which the music of New Orleans found a new audience in the bustling north.  But jazz was still in its gestation period that would eventually birth the swing bands along the Mississippi River, an inevitable progression of the American art form.  So what was Chicago's contribution to the music other than a store-front for a national syndicate operation?

As documented by Riverwalk Jazz, the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, who formed in Chicago, performed "Tin Roof Blues" to honor the Tin Roof Cafe, a hotspot in the South Loop back in its day.  The significance of the NORK was that they imported New Orleans music to Chicago, but as soon as jazz evolved into swing, that "old-timey" tailgate sound of Chicago-style jazz became irrelevant.  If we are to use "Chicago-style" to accurately describe this city's contribution to jazz, then it would be more fitting to apply it to the creative music produced during the social and political turmoil of the 1960's through the 1980's, the gritty virtuosity based in Chicago gospel, blues, and soul music.

Here is a YouTube video of the original New Orleans Rhythm Kings recording.

Recommended reading: Angel Killer: A Jessica Blackwood Novel by Andrew Mayne.  Published by Bourbon Street Books.