Joe Kennedy and His Rhythm Orchestra

Harrison Records has issued a dozen or so LPs with rare 20s and 30s jazz, including two LPs worth of "regional jazz", also known as territory bands. The LP featured here, Masters of Regional Jazz – Volume 2, has seven titles each with two Houston, Texas bands: the KXYZ Novelty Band and Joe Kennedy and His Rhythm Orchestra. The former can be safely ignored, while Joe Kennedy has a few swinging tracks. The songs were recorded at Victor's recording facility in San Antonio with quite primitive equipment. The band was normally a trio – three more musicians were added to this session. Rhythm Is Our Business had been a recent hit record with Jimmie Lunceford's orchestra and was a fitting song given the band's name. The jazz standard (I'm) Confessin' (That I Love You) is performed in a very laid back but still swinging style.

Discographical data from The Jazz Discography by Tom Lord:

Joe Kennedy and His Rhythm Orchestra: Joe Lube (tp) Jimmy Bruton (as,ts,cl) Joe Kennedy (p,vcl,ldr) Carl ... (g) unknown (b) and (d)

San Antonio, Texas, August 14, 1935
94513-1    Rhythm Is Our Business (jk vcl)       Bluebird B6233
94519-1    Confessin' (jk vcl)                               Bluebird B6245, B6447

LP source: Masters of Regional Jazz – Volume 2 (Harrison LP-J)


  1. I just purchased this album the other day and I have to disagree with you about the KXYZ Novelty Band being one that can be "safely ignored". Actually, I think the whole album is very good although the condition of the 78's seems to have been abysmal. Restoring these disks would be a worthy project for Jazz Oracle or similar label. I just stumbled onto your blog while Googling Joe Kennedy- looks like I have lots to check out!

  2. Yeah, "safely ignored" was probably a bit too harsh on KXYZ band. My main complaint is that it all sounds a bit too generic and that they only play jazz standards.

  3. Your two examples sound much better than they do on my LP. Did you clean them up? With these old LPs sometimes it's hard to tell what noise is from the LP and what's from the source 78!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Yes, I did some declicking, denoising and equalization. The original recordings were probably not so great. You can also hear quite a lot of tape noise, which I would guess comed from the pre-production of the LP.

    1. You did a good job without any distortion that I can hear!