From Bennie to Basie

Kansas City Jazz - A Little Evil Will Do You Good - Con Chapman

Con Chapman [+-]
Music writer
Con Chapman is the author of Rabbit’s Blues: The Life and Music of Jonny Hodges (Oxford University Press, 2019), winner of the 2019 Book of the Year Award by Hot Club de France, and a 2020 Certificate of Merit for Best Historical Research from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. His writing on jazz has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Syncopated Times, and Brilliant Corners, among other publications.


The Moten band breaks up following his death in 1935 in a botched surgery, and the musicians he employed foundered for a time; Bennie’s nephew Ira “Bus” Moten tries to keep the band together, but Bill Basie attracts many of them to follow him. His group slowly grows by accretion and its music is spread by late-night radio station broadcasts from the night club where he secures a steady engagement. Basie attracts drummer Jo Jones and tenor sax Lester Young, and a wealthy young East Coast heir named John Hammond becomes a critical and financial supporter when he hears the band on a radio broadcast in Chicago, and by the fall of 1936 they are ready to take their sound to the national stage with a tour of the East coast.

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Chapman, Con. From Bennie to Basie. Kansas City Jazz - A Little Evil Will Do You Good. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Mar 2023. ISBN 9781800502826. Date accessed: 05 Oct 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.42623. Mar 2023

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