Photograph of Bennie Moten’s Orchestra at Pearl Theatre in Philadelphia, PA, 1931.
Photograph of Bus Moten, Leroy "Buster" Berry, and Jimmy Rushing in Kansas City, circa 1933.
On September 23, 1923, the Bennie Moten Orchestra made its first recording consisting of eight songs. By strict musical standards, the songs themselves were unrefined and not much removed from existing blues music. But the Bennie Moten Orchestra would soon build upon its earliest recordings to develop a distinct Kansas City style of jazz that later dominated the jazz scene in the late 1930s and 1940s.