During the first decade of the
20th century, New Orleans' brass bands would compete in public contexts that highlighted the
virtuosi. The trumpet of Charles "Buddy" Bolden
playing became legendary,
as did his arrangements (brass instruments playing blues music),
as did his division of instrumental roles (the cornet leading the melody, the
trombone providing a bass counterpoint and the clarinet dancing around the
melody in a higher tone)
as did his repertory
(Make me a Pallet on the Floor, The House Got Ready,
Bucket's Got a Hole In It, Buddy Bolden's Blues), but he
was locked into a mental hospital in 1907 before he could record any of his music.
Bolden's band was probably the first New Orleans band to truly emphasize improvisation. His style was the epitome of "hot jazz", as opposed to the "downtown style" of the Creoles.
Bolden died in 1931.
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