Bunk Johnson 1942 – 1945 Recordings
8 Page informative booklet written by Alyn Shipton.
Although jazz trumpet player, Bunk Johnson, undoubtedly played a part in the early story of Jazz and was at the forefront of its development in New Orleans around 1907-1914 (he taught Louis Armstrong), he never recorded during the vintage-jazz era of the late teens through to the 1930`s. After spending the thirties as a truck driver, he was contacted by a group of enthusiasts, was fitted out with a new set of teeth and set on his second career as a professional musician. He is now regarded internationally as one of the great jazz legends of all time.
“King Bolden and myself were the first men that began playing jazz in the city of dear old New Orleans and his band had the whole of New Orleans real crazy and running wild behind it,” wrote trumpeter Willie “Bunk” Johnson to Bill Russell in 1939. These simple words inaugurated one of the widest reaching movements in jazz, as scholars and record collectors joined forces to see if jazz history could be brought to life through the playing of Bunk and other survivors of the earliest generation of jazz players.