Doctor Jazz

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"Doctor Jazz" is a popular tune and song written by Joe "King" Oliver in 1926.[1]

Publisher Walter Melrose got his name on it as co-composer, as was often his practice, it enjoyed its initial popularity in the 1920s. It continues to be played by Dixieland jazz groups, it has been performed by many notable acts, such as Jelly Roll Morton, Chris Barber, Harry Connick Jr. and Dutch Swing College Band.

Doctor Jazz, as a record made by Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers in 1926, is a prime example of early New Orleans jazz counterpoint and collective improvisation; the number of special features, pre-written stop-time breaks and improvised solo passages in this record yield a tapestry of musical contrasts. Jazz was producing significant accomplishments in its other aspects, such as the development of the soloist,[2] but the specifically New Orleans jazz style of collective counterpoint playing would reach its apotheosis here and in a few other 1926-7 Morton recordings.[3]

The Bonzo Doo Dah Dog Band did a performance of this song on their 1969 release Tadpoles.

Doctor Jazz was also the title of a Broadway musical with a jazz theme that ran from February to March 1975 at the Winter Garden Theatre, produced by Cyma Rubin with music by Buster Davis.[4]


  1. ^ Jasen, David A. (2003). Tin Pan Alley: an encyclopedia of the golden age of American song Author. Taylor & Francis. p. 276. ISBN 0-415-93877-5.
  2. ^ Gioia, Ted, The History of Jazz, Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 60.
  3. ^ The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century Music, September 2004, Cambridge University Press, p. 131.
  4. ^ "Doctor Jazz". Internet Broadway Database. IBDB. 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2009.

External links[edit]

  1. Doctor Jazz Lyrics
  2. Cyma Rubin papers, 1969-1992 Music Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.