Beacon Press: One O'clock Jump
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One O'clock Jump

The Unforgettable History of the Oklahoma City Blue Devils

Author: Douglas Henry Daniels

The legendary bandleader Count Basie once said of a Blue Devils performance, “It was the greatest thing I ever heard.” Now, in One O’clock Jump, historian Douglas Henry Daniels tells the fascinating story of this incredible jazz band from Oklahoma City.

Though the Blue Devils survived in various forms from 1923 to 1933, their legacy has been largely overlooked. Individuals who played with the band-including writer Ralph Ellison (as a teenager), trumpeter Oran “Hot Lips” Page, saxophonist Lester “Prez” Young, and bandleader Basie-went on to become celebrated artists of the twentieth century. Utilizing interviews -with the six surviving Blue Devils and with others- government records, and lively newspaper accounts of various performances, Daniels explains the importance of the band to both the individual musicians and the larger American cultural landscape.

The Blue Devils were a “commonwealth band,” they shared earnings and made decisions equally. Their motto was “All for one and one for all.” With their eclectic roots in jazz and blues and an ever-changing lineup of exceptional musicians, the band was popular with audiences that crossed boundaries of class and race.

Daniels provides a window into this rare moment in music history when musicians focused on the band rather than their egos, and blues and jazz were still somewhat undefined as distinct styles developed in urban areas across the country. He specifically traces the burgeoning music scenes in Oklahoma City and Kansas City to prove his theory that jazz has many origins and took many forms in these early days.

Packed with fascinating stories of jazz greats and performances in legendary clubs, One O’clock Jump rescues a seminal jazz band from obscurity and provides a corrective to jazz histories that overlook their important contribution to this quintessential American music.
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Reviews

Review: Oklahoma Today - March 1, 2006
"Ahh, winter reading. These two Oklahoma-based histories will help while away the time till spring has sprung. Douglas Henry Daniels' One O'Clock Jump: The Unforgettable History of the Oklahoma City Blue Devils (Beacon Press, $27.95, beacon.org) is a jazzy accounting of the band's life and times, beginning in the swinging 1920s…"
Review by: Richard M. Sudhalter, Los Angeles Times - January 11, 2006
"Douglas Daniels has written a provocative book, presenting Lester Young in a novel, even controversial light while opening new avenues of possible investigation into one of the most tantalizingly enigmatic of all historic jazz figures."
Review: Library Journal - November 15, 2005
"Daniels (black studies & history, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara) fills a distinct gap in jazz scholarship with this chronicle of the group's ten-year existence (1923-33). Luckily, he had the foresight and good sense to seek out and interview surviving members long before he had a book contract."
Review: Publishers Weekly - October 24, 2005
"To explore the Devils' enormous impact and their unique spirit of brotherhood, Daniels minutely records the lives of several key members, including Basie, Page, Smith and the famous blues singer Jimmy Rushing. He also illuminates the vibrant community of black Oklahomans, completing this important chronicle in American music history."
Review: Booklist - October 1, 2005
"A sterling tribute to a group that certainly should be heading to the Jazz Hall of Fame."

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One O'clock Jump

ISBN: 978-080707136-6
Publication Date: 1/11/2006
Pages: 288
Size:6 x 9 Inches (US)
Price:  $27.95
Format: Cloth
Availability: In stock.
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