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Tommy Ladnier (1900-1939)

Tommy Ladnier With Sam Wooding Orchestra 1925
Tommy Ladnier (in the white suit) with Sam Wooding Orchestra 1925

In 1917 Tommy Ladnier (May 28, 1900 – June 4, 1939) moved north to Chicago from New Orleans, and found work in a touring band. In 1921 he moved to St. Louis to work with Charlie Creath and Fate Marable. He returned to Chicago to play with King Oliver.

Tommy Ladnier (1900-1939)In 1925 Ladnier sailed to Europe with the Sam Wooding Orchestra. In 1926 he returned to New York and then became the hot trumpet soloist with the Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra. He returned to Europe with Wooding in 1928 and worked with Benny Peyton and the Noble Sissle Orchestra in 1930.

In 1932 Ladnier recorded and played live with Sidney Bechet as the New Orleans Feetwarmers but as work dried up during the Depression the duo opened the Southern Tailor shop from 1933 to 1934 in New York, but it didn’t work out. Ladnier dropped out of sight for a few years, but was rediscovered in 1938 by French Jazz critic Hughes Panassie. He recorded the “Panassie Sessions” with Bechet and Mezz Mezzrow but died suddenly in 1939 from a heart attack.

band or session leader

Tommy Ladnier and his Orchestra Mezzrow – Ladnier Quintet was a pioneering website during the "Information wants to be Free" era of the 1990s. In that spirit we are recovering the lost data from the now defunct site and sharing it with you.
Most of the music in the archive is in the form of MP3s hosted on or the French servers of where this music is all in the public domain.
Files unavailable from those sources we host ourselves. They were made from original 78 RPM records in the hands of private collectors in the 1990s who contributed to the original They were hosted as .ra files originally and we have converted them into the more modern MP3 format. They are of inferior quality to what is available commercially and are intended for reference purposes only. In some cases a Real Audio (.ra) file from will download. Don't be scared! Those files will play in many music programs, but not Windows Media Player.

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