Southern Jazz Musicians

The cornetist, trumpeter, vocalist, composer, and bandleader Louis Armstrong, photo courtesy of the New York World Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection at the Library of Congress.

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Southern Jazz Musicians

by Charles Joyner
Southern Cultures, Vol. 15, No. 3: Music

"John Coltrane played his hyperactive 'sheets-of-sound' with a scorching intensity, faster than most jazz fans could listen."

Selecting the top ten southern jazz musicians proved to be a more difficult task than I expected. Some of the choices are obvious, others perhaps less so. Had I used other criteria, some selections might well have been different. But when I chose to base my list on their significance to the historical development of jazz, many brilliantly talented musicians and personal favorites did not make the cut. Except for the top two places, which would have been the same in any case, I have arranged my selections by chronology rather than by their popularity or my critical assessment.