|Also known as||Red Brown|
|Born||June 3, 1888|
Uptown, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Died||March 25, 1958 (aged 69)|
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Genres||Jazz, Dixieland jazz|
|Instruments||Trombone, string bass|
Tom P. Brown (June 3, 1888 – March 25, 1958), sometimes known by the nickname Red Brown, was an American dixieland jazz trombonist. He also played string bass professionally.
Brown was born in the Uptown neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana. His younger brother, Steve Brown, also became a prominent professional musician.
Brown played trombone with the bands of Papa Jack Laine and Frank Christian; by 1910 usually worked leading bands under his own name. The band played in a style then locally known as "hot ragtime" or "ratty music". In early 1915, his band was heard by Vaudeville dancer Joe Frisco who then arranged a job for Brown's band in Chicago, Illinois.
On May 15, 1915, Tom Brown's Band from Dixieland opened up at Lamb's Cafe at Clark & Randolph Streets in Chicago, with Ray Lopez, cornet and manager; Tom Brown, trombone and leader; Gussie Mueller clarinet, Arnold Loyacano piano and string bass; and Billy Lambert on drums. In Chicago Gussie Mueller was hired by bandleader Bert Kelly, and his place was taken by young New Orleans clarinetist Larry Shields.
This band seems to be the first to be popularly referred to as playing "Jazz", or, as it was spelled early on, "Jass". According to Brown, once his band started enjoying popularity the local Chicago musicians union began picketing his band of non-union out-of-towners. One picketer's placards intended to link Brown's band with the Storyville prostitution district of New Orleans and the implied disreputable low life status; the signs read "Don't Patronize This Jass Music". The term "jass" at that time had a sexual connotation. The signs had the opposite of the intended effect; more people came to hear the band out of curiosity as to what "Jass Music" might be and how it could be performed in public. Brown realized the publicity potential and started calling his group "Brown's Jass Band". Some recently rediscovered Chicago newspaper advertisements list it as "Brown's Jab Band" or "Jad Band", confirming the reminiscences of Ray Lopez that the bandmembers assumed that "Jass" was too rude a word to be printed in the newspapers so they looked in a dictionary for printable words close to it, like "jade".
Years later, Brown would frequently brag that he led "the first white jazz band" to go up north. The Original Creole Orchestra preceded him.
Tom Brown's Band enjoyed over four months of success in Chicago before moving to New York City, where it played for four months more before returning to New Orleans in February 1916. Upon arriving home Brown immediately started rounding up another band to go back to Chicago with him. The group again included Larry Shields; at the end of October, Brown agreed to switch clarinetists with the Original Dixieland Jass Band bringing Alcide Nunez into his band. Brown, Nunez and New Orleans drummer Ragbaby Stevens then went to work for Bert Kelly, who brought them to New York where they temporarily replaced the Original Dixieland Jass Band at Reisenweber's in 1918. Brown started doing freelance recording work with New York dance and novelty bands, then joined the band of Harry Yerkes. At the start of 1920 he was joined in the Yerkes Band by Alcide Nunez.
Brown also played in vaudeville in the acts of Joe Frisco and Ed Wynn.
In late-1921, he returned to Chicago and joined Ray Miller's Black & White Melody Boys, with whom he made more recordings. During this period, he also co-lead a dance band with his brother Steve.
In the mid-1920s he returned home to New Orleans where he played with Johnny Bayersdorffer and Norman Brownlee's bands, making a few excellent recordings.
During the Great Depression, Borwn supplemented his income from music by repairing radios. He opened up a music shop and a junk shop on Magazine Street. He played string bass in local swing and dance bands. With the revival of interest in traditional jazz he played in various Dixieland bands in the 1950s, notably that of Johnny Wiggs. A local television station thought it would be a good idea to invite Brown and Nick LaRocca to talk about how jazz first spread north from New Orleans, but the show had scarcely started before the two old men got into an argument that turned into a fist-fight.
Brown made his last recording just weeks before his death. He died in New Orleans.
The Original Dixieland Jass Band (ODJB) was a Dixieland jazz band that made the first jazz recordings in early 1917. Their "Livery Stable Blues" became the first jazz record ever issued. The group composed and recorded many jazz standards, the most famous being "Tiger Rag". In late 1917, the spelling of the band's name was changed to Original Dixieland Jazz Band.
George Vital "Papa Jack" Laine was an American musician and a pioneering band leader in New Orleans in the years from the Spanish–American War to World War I. He was often credited for training many musicians who would later become successful in jazz music.
Edward "Kid" Ory was an American jazz composer, trombonist and bandleader. One of the early users of the glissando technique, he helped establish it as a central element of New Orleans jazz.
Johnny Dodds was an American jazz clarinetist and alto saxophonist based in New Orleans, best known for his recordings under his own name and with bands such as those of Joe "King" Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Lovie Austin and Louis Armstrong. Dodds was the older brother of the drummer Warren "Baby" Dodds, one of the first important jazz drummers. They worked together in the New Orleans Bootblacks in 1926. Dodds is an important figure in jazz history. He was the premier clarinetist of his era and, in recognition of his artistic contributions, he was posthumously inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame. He has been described as "a prime architect in the creation of the Jazz Age."
Theodore Leopold Friedman, known as Ted Lewis, was an American entertainer, bandleader, singer, and musician. He fronted a band and touring stage show that presented a combination of jazz, comedy, and nostalgia that was a hit with the American public before and after World War II. He was known by the moniker "Mr. Entertainment" or Ted "Is Everybody Happy?" Lewis. He died of lung failure in August 1971.
Dominic James "Nick" LaRocca, was an American early jazz cornetist and trumpeter and the leader of the Original Dixieland Jass Band. He is the composer of one of the most recorded jazz classics of all-time, "Tiger Rag". He was part of what is generally regarded as the first recorded jazz band, a band which recorded and released the first jazz recording, "Livery Stable Blues" in 1917.
Gustave "Gussie" Mueller was an early jazz clarinetist.
Lawrence James Shields was an early American dixieland jazz clarinetist. He was a member of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, the first jazz band to record commercially.
Alcide Patrick Nunez, also known as Yellow Nunez and Al Nunez, was an American jazz clarinetist. He was one of the first musicians of New Orleans to make audio recordings.
Edwin Branford "Eddie" Edwards was an early jazz trombonist who was a member of the Original Dixieland Jass Band.
Frank Joseph Christian was an early jazz trumpeter.
"Big Eye" Louis Nelson Delisle was an American early twentieth-century Dixieland jazz clarinetist in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. He also played double bass, banjo, and accordion.
A spasm band is a musical group that plays a variety of Dixieland, trad jazz, jug band, or skiffle music.
"Tiger Rag" is a jazz standard that was recorded and copyrighted by the Original Dixieland Jass Band in 1917. It is one of the most recorded jazz compositions. In 2003, the 1918 recording of "Tiger Rag" was entered into the U.S. Library of Congress National Recording Registry.
The origin of the word jazz is one of the most sought-after word origins in modern American English. Interest in the word – the American Dialect Society named it the Word of the Twentieth Century in 2000 – has resulted in considerable research and the linguistic history is well documented. "Jazz" began as a West-Coast slang term around 1912. The meaning varied, but the word did not initially refer to music. "Jazz" came to mean "jazz music" in Chicago around 1915.
John Philip Hountha "Johnny" Stein was an American jazz drummer and bandleader.
"Livery Stable Blues" is a jazz composition copyrighted by Ray Lopez (né Raymond Edward Lopez; 1889–1979) and Alcide Nunez in 1917. It was recorded by the Original Dixieland Jass Band on February 26, 1917, and, with the A side "Dixieland Jass Band One-Step" or "Dixie Jass Band One-Step", became widely acknowledged as the first jazz recording commercially released. It was recorded by the Victor Talking Machine Company in New York City at its studio at 46 West 38th Street on the 12th floor – the top floor.
Bert Kelly was an American musician, who pioneered jazz as a banjoist, bandleader, educator, promoter, night club owner, and night club operator. After professional stints in Seattle and San Francisco, Kelly moved to Chicago in 1914 where he flourished a banjoist, bandleader, and promoter. In 1915 — before the U.S. prohibition — he founded and operated a Chicago speakeasy called "Bert Kelly's Stables," where patrons were introduced to early jazz.
Dixieland jazz, also referred to as traditional jazz, hot jazz, or simply Dixieland, is a style of jazz based on the music that developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century. The 1917 recordings by the Original Dixieland Jass Band, fostered awareness of this new style of music.
Reisenweber's Cafe, also known as Reisenweber's Restaurant or simply Reisenweber's, was a restaurant, nightclub, and hotel in Columbus Circle, Manhattan, on the intersection of Eighth Ave and 58th Street, from 1856/7 to 1922.