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Mezz Mezzrow (1899-1972)Although he was a decent clarinetist and saxophonist, Mezz Mezzrow (November 9, 1899 – August 5, 1972) is remembered today primarily for his autobiography “Really the Blues”, and for rejecting White society and embracing African-American culture, to the extent that he actually believed that he was Black. In the 1920s he was part of the White Chicago jazz scene, played with the Austin High Gang and recorded with the Jungle Kings and the Chicago Rhythm Kings.

In 1927 he moved to New York and played with Eddie Condon. In the 1930s he led a few swing-oriented dates with his integrated band The Disciples of Swing and recorded his signature tune “Really The Blues” with the Tommy Ladnier Orchestra.

The French critic Hugues Panassie put together some sessions that featured Mezzrow and others. Mezzrow had his own King Jazz label during 1945-47. In 1948 Mezzrow moved to France where he recorded with Lee Collins and others

band or session leader

Mezz Mezzrow and his OrchestraMezz Mezzrow and his Swing Band
Mezzrow – Ladnier QuintetMezz Mezzrow and his Band
Mezzrow – Bechet QuintetMezzrow – Bechet Septet
Mezz Mezzrow Trio

Really the Blues by Mezz Mezzrow and Bernard Wolfe, Random House 1946


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