Original Memphis Five

The Original Memphis Five ( also briefly: Memphis Five) was an American jazz band from New York. The band played a significant role in the development of improvised white jazz style in New York.

Band History

The Original Memphis Five was founded in 1917 by trumpeter Phil Napoleon and pianist Frank Signorelli in New York. The band was named after the song Memphis Blues by WC Handy, not to the city of Memphis. The band recorded 1922-1931 a hundred pieces on, partly by other names like Cotton Pickers, Jazzbo 's Carolina Serenaders, Bailey 's Lucky Seven, The Southland Six or Ladd's Black Aces. They broke up around 1931. In the course of a Dixieland revival in 1948 they regrouped and was engaged in the jazz club Nick's in New York. Even several years joined the band in nightclubs, when they broke up for good, is not known.

Style and influences

The band was influenced by various artists and bands such as Original Dixieland Jazz Band, had been part of their occupation Lytell and Signorelli before. The musical style of the Original Memphis Five recalls similar jazz bands such as The Red Heads, The Charleston Chasers or State Street Ramblers. The style is described as " web- ready invented polyphony, which consisted of several mandatory assembled melody lines ". Basis of the title was a harmonious framework, variety offered the refrains.


  • Runnin 'Wild (1922 )
  • I Wish I Could Shimmie Like My Sister Kate ( 1922)
  • Aggravatin ' Papa ( 1923)
  • Aunt Hager 's Blues (1923 )
  • Memphis Glide (1923 )
  • How Come You Do Me Like You Do (1924 )
  • Indiana Stomp (1925 )
  • A Blues Serenade ( 1926)
  • Tampeekoe (1926 )
  • Fireworks (1929 )
  • Beale Street Blues (1929 )
  • Jazz Me Blues ( 1931)
  • The Original Memphis Five (1975, folkway )
  • The Original Memphis Five Collection, Vol 1: 1922-23 (1993, Collector's Classic)
  • Great White Way Blues (2000, Jazz Archives)
  • Pathe Instrumentals: Complete Set 1922-1926 (2004, Retrieval Recordings)
  • Columbia 1923-1931 (2006, Retrieval Recordings)