From the Record Shelves #199

18th Street Strut

LP Historical Records ASC 5829-9

Kansas City had a hectic nightlife in the twenties, and on the music scene Bennie Moten’s Orchestra was dominating. Among their early output on records, there are many nice things with a blues feeling and hot playing. Ralph Peer, the recording director at Okeh, made several field trips and first recorded a couple of sessions with the band in St. Louis. Then in 1925, he put up his mobile equipment in front of them again, this time in Kansas City.

This tune which became a hit, seems to me like a follow-up to “Jazzin’ Babies Blues” as recorded by King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band. Trumpet player Lamar Wright (1907–1973) could hardly be more influenced by Oliver than what he shows in his solo here. Later he played with The Missourians and followed when it became Cab Calloway’s Orchestra. Further on, he did big band work and became a leading trumpet teacher in New York.

Other soloists are Thamon Hayes on trombone and Harlan Leonard with a melodious alto sax solo.

The band featured novelty effects that may have pleased the audience, like when Woody Walter plays a solo with his clarinet mouthpiece in a glass.