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Entries : Austin High Gang
Austin High Gang

Austin High Gang

Blue Note Jazz Club, c.1950s
Chicago-style jazz began on the far West Side when six student musicians from Austin High School got together at a local ice cream parlor to listen to their favorite hot music—jazz. After they discovered the 1922 recordings of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings (NORK), they made a collective decision to pursue jazz careers. The musicians were Bud Freeman (saxophone), Jim Lanigan (string bass/tuba), Dick McPartland (banjo/guitar), Jimmy McPartland (cornet), Dave North (piano), and Frank Teschemacher (clarinet). They were joined by drummer Dave Tough from nearby Oak Park.

By 1923 they were going to the black South Side to hear King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, which became the most important influence on their music. Although they did not record as a group, McPartland, Freeman, Teschemacher, and Lanigan are on the 1927 recordings of the McKenzie and Condon's Chicagoans in which the Chicago style is documented.

Kenney, William Howland. Chicago Jazz: A Cultural History, 1904–1930. 1993.
Smith, Charles Edward. “The Austin High Gang.” In Jazzmen, ed. Charles Edward Smith and Frederic Ramsey, Jr., 1939.
Steiner, John. “Chicago.” In Jazz: New Perspectives on the History of Jazz, ed. Nat Hentoff and Albert McCarthy, 1959.