The Moaninest Moan: Rediscovering Loren McMurray

While fishing for excuses for being beyond my deadline, I told the publisher this was the most important jazz release we have ever covered. For historical value At the Minstrel Show, which included a double CD and a related book along with extensive album notes, probably has the story of Loren “Mac” McMurray beat, but for jazz value, I think this one takes the cake. It stands out from releases of classic recording sessions, even when beautifully restored and annotated, because in the end that music has been frequently made available, and those stories made familiar. Product of Our Souls is a serious contender; it told the story of James Reese Europe and his compatriots, and was also released as a compliment to a full-length book. But Europe and the Clef Club is a story that will have no trouble getting told. Europe had an hour on NPR in early August. Another contender for most significant album might be The Missing Link: How Gus Haenschen Got Us From Joplin to Jazz and Shaped the Music Business, but, objectively, I think this new release accomplishes more, while also being more enjoyable. It is no coincidence that all the above are from Archeophone Records, or that Colin Hancock co-authored the album notes on both The Missing Link and today’s focus, The Moaninest Moan of Them All: The Jazz Saxophone of Loren McMurray, 1920-1922. Loren McMurray will be known only to the fanatic
You've read three articles this month! That makes you one of a rare breed, the true jazz fan!

The Syncopated Times is a monthly publication covering traditional jazz, ragtime and swing. We have the best historic content anywhere, and are the only American publication covering artists and bands currently playing Hot Jazz, Vintage Swing, or Ragtime. Our writers are legends themselves, paid to bring you the best coverage possible. Advertising will never be enough to keep these stories coming, we need your SUBSCRIPTION. Get unlimited access for $30 a year or $50 for two.

Not ready to pay for jazz yet? Register a Free Account for two weeks of unlimited access without nags or pop ups.

Already Registered? Log In

If you shouldn't be seeing this because you already logged in try refreshing the page.

Joe Bebco is the Associate Editor of The Syncopated Times and Webmaster of

Or look at our Subscription Options.