One O'clock Jump: The Unforgettable History of the Oklahoma City Blue Devils (Used Like New)
Author: Douglas Henry Daniels
Publisher: Beacon: 2006
Condition: Used Like New
The legendary bandleader Count Basie once said of a Blue Devils performance, "It was the greatest thing I ever heard." Now, in One O'clock Jump, historian Douglas Henry Daniels tells the fascinating story of this incredible jazz band from Oklahoma City.
Though the Blue Devils survived in various forms from 1923 to 1933, their legacy has been largely overlooked. Individuals who played with the band-including writer Ralph Ellison (as a teenager), trumpeter Oran "Hot Lips" Page, saxophonist Lester "Prez" Young, and bandleader Basie-went on to become celebrated artists of the twentieth century. Utilizing interviews -with the six surviving Blue Devils and with others- government records, and lively newspaper accounts of various performances, Daniels explains the importance of the band to both the individual musicians and the larger American cultural landscape.
The Blue Devils were a "commonwealth band," they shared earnings and made decisions equally. Their motto was "All for one and one for all." With their eclectic roots in jazz and blues and an ever-changing lineup of exceptional musicians, the band was popular with audiences that crossed boundaries of class and race.
Daniels provides a window into this rare moment in music history when musicians focused on the band rather than their egos, and blues and jazz were still somewhat undefined as distinct styles developed in urban areas across the country. He specifically traces the burgeoning music scenes in Oklahoma City and Kansas City to prove his theory that jazz has many origins and took many forms in these early days.
Packed with fascinating stories of jazz greats and performances in legendary clubs, One O'clock Jump rescues a seminal jazz band from obscurity and provides a corrective to jazz histories that overlook their important contribution to this quintessential American music.