Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

Chick Webb

“The King of the Savoy” reigned supreme over jazz drummers in New York in the 1930’s. He was the consummate showman and with his fluid and rhythmic style, was perfectly suited for the swing era. He raised the standard for drummer awareness, and paved the way for drummer led bands.

Born in Baltimore, Feb. 10, 1909, William Henry Webb, was an unlikely candidate to become a jazz drummer. Stricken with spinal tuberculosis, he was left with a hunched back, and little use of his legs. He took up drumming as a way to relieve joint stiffness, and never stopped. He saved enough to buy a drum set which he had fit with special pedals for his legs. He joined local band the Jazzola Orchestra, then in 1925 decided to try New York City. He sat in on sessions with Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter, and Duke Ellington, after settling in by 1926 he had his own quintet, and played for five months at the Black Bottom Club. He formed an eight piece band, playing the Paddock Club, moving next to the Savoy with his now called Harlem Stompers, and setting up there in 1927. This band grew to eleven members, and by the end of the ‘20’s they were gigging at all the major jazz clubs in the city as the Cotton Club, the Roseland, and the Strand Roof. In 1930 they toured with the “Hot Chocolate Revue”.

Read more

7 Photos View in Slideshow

Discography

Stompin' At The Savoy
Universal Music K.K.
2001
buy
Spinnin' The Webb -...
Universal Music K.K.
1994
buy
A Legend (1929-1936)
Universal Music K.K.
1980
buy
"Princess Of The...
Universal Music K.K.
1980
buy

Videos

Similar