Mezz Mezzrow

Top Songs & Albums Mezz Mezzrow


... read moreAfter playing club dates in and around Chicago during the '20s, clarinettist Mezz Mezzrow moved to New York where he became an infamous local figure, partly owing to his sideline as a supplier of marijuana. In the '30s he recorded with Sidney Bechet and Tommy Ladnier, and in the '40s formed his own...

Key songs

Mezz Mezzrow
Blues In Disguise
Mezz Mezzrow
The Panic Is On
Mezz Mezzrow
Hot Club Stomp
Mezz Mezzrow
Mutiny In The Parlor
Mezz Mezzrow
That's How I Feel Today


Active: 1930s-1950s
Country Of origin: United States of America

Mezz Mezzrow occupies an odd and unique place in jazz history. Although an enthusiastic clarinetist, he was never much of a player, sounding best on the blues. A passionate propagandist for Chicago and New Orleans jazz and the rights of blacks (he meant well, but tended to overstate his case), Mezzrow was actually most significant for writing his colorful and somewhat fanciful memoirs, Really the Blues, and for being a reliable supplier of marijuana in the 1930s and '40s. In the 1920s, he was part of the Chicago jazz scene, at first helping the young white players and then annoying them with his inflexible musical opinions. Mezzrow recorded with the Jungle Kings, the Chicago Rhythm Kings, and Eddie Condon during 1927-1928, often on tenor. In the 1930s, he led a few swing-oriented dates that featured all-star integrated bands in 1933-1934 and 1936-1937. The French critic Hugues Panassie was always a big supporter of Mezzrow's playing and Mezz was well-featured on sessions in 1938 with Tommy Ladnier and Sidney Bechet; "Really the Blues" is a near-classic. Mezzrow had his own King Jazz label during 1945-1947, mostly documenting ensemble-oriented blues jams with Bechet and occasionally Hot Lips Page. After appearing at the 1948 Nice Jazz Festival, Mezzrow eventually moved to France, where he recorded fairly regularly during 1951-1955 (including with Lee Collins and Buck Clayton), along with a final album in 1959. ~ Scott Yanow~ Rovi

Similar artists

Barney Bigard
Albert Nicholas
Percy Humphrey
Sidney Bechet
Wingy Manone

Appears in

100 tracks • 0 followers