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Alvin Alcorn

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Alvin Alcorn's playing with Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band during 1954-1956 (which was well documented by Good Time Jazz and has been reissued in the Original Jazz Classics series) was simple but frequently superb. He was an expert at leading ensembles, had an attractive tone and was both subtle and occasionally powerful, building up ensembles to an explosive level. Taught music theory by his brother, Alcorn's early years were active if now cloaked in obscurity. He freelanced in New Orleans (playing with Armand J. Piron's Sunny South Syncopators during 1930-1931) and toured with Don Albert's Texas-based swing band during 1932-1937, making one recording date but probably not taking any solos. Alcorn worked in New Orleans from 1937 on, playing with many groups including those led by Paul Barbarin, Sidney Desvigne, Oscar Celestin (1951), and Octave Crosby. Alcorn moved to Los Angeles in 1954 to join Ory, and their four records were easily the best of his career. After returning to New Orleans in 1956, Alcorn played steadily into the 1980s with local groups, touring Europe a few times (including with Chris Barber in 1978). Unfortunately, all of his post-Ory recordings (other than a Verve date with George Lewis) were for small labels, and they tend to be disappointing due to the erratic recording quality and the trumpeter's gradual decline, but his work with Kid Ory assures him a place in history as a New Orleans legend.

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Birth Name:

Alvin Elmore Alcorn


07 September 1912 in New Orleans, LA

Years Active:

'30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s