Dawn On The Desert

John Kirby Sextet


This recording was made in New York City on January 9, 1939 with Charlie Shavers trumpet, Buster Bailey clarinet, Russell Procope alto sax, Billy Kyle piano, John Kirby bass, and O’Neil Spencer drums.

*John Kirby started out as a tuba player joining Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra in
1929. As brass instruments began to fall from favor as the preferred bass used in Jazz groups he laid his tuba aside for the sting bass.

Kirby remained busy as a bassist with a number of bands including Chick Webb and Lucky Millinder’s Orchestras through most of the 1930’s, until he secured a gig for his Sextet at the Onyx Club on New Yoks 52nd Street in 1937. Soon they became known as the “Onyx Club Boys,” billed as “The Biggest Little Band in the Land.”

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