THE ICON: Kid Ory
THE LEGACY: They called him “Kid” Ory, but when it comes to early New Orleans jazz, the trombonist who once claimed to have worn out 15 horns over the course of his playing career stands as tall as any other man. Becoming known as the king of the “tailgate trombone” — a creative style in which he strayed from providing merely a bassline — he was a major early jazz influence and, with a career stretching more than seven decades, a key figure in the later Dixieland jazz revival of the 1940s and ’50s. In addition to writing songs such as “Muskrat Ramble” and making a litany of notable recordings starting in the 1920s, Kid Ory also fatefully “discovered” a 16-year-old Louis Armstrong, whom he hired for his own band. It was Armstrong’s first professional music job — and it was just another testament to Kid Ory’s impeccable ear.
THE ARTIST: Maddie Stratton
THE INSPIRATION: “Kid Ory will always be remembered as the New Orleans trombonist par excellence, the unrivalled ensemble player on 1920s records with Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, Jelly Roll Morton and others.” — The London Times, in its 1973 obituary of Kid Ory