Jack Bland

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Jack Bland
Born(1899-05-08)May 8, 1899
Sedalia, Missouri, U.S.
DiedAugust 1968
Van Nuys, California
GenresJazz
Occupation(s)Musician
InstrumentsGuitar

Jack Bland (May 8, 1899 – August 1968) was an American jazz banjoist and guitarist.

Born in Sedalia, Missouri, Bland co-founded the Mound City Blue Blowers with Red McKenzie in 1924 in St. Louis. Their first hit record was "Arkansas Blues", a success in Chicago and the American midwest. After Eddie Lang joined the group late in 1924, the group booked a tour in England.

Later in the 1920s, Bland began playing more cello and guitar. In 1929, Lang left the group, and Gene Krupa joined; Muggsy Spanier, Coleman Hawkins, and Eddie Condon would all play in the ensemble in the 1930s, which moved to more of a Dixieland sound. Also in 1929, the Blue Blowers appeared in a 1929 short film, The Opry House.

Bland did session work in New York City with the Billy Banks Orchestra in the 1930s, with Pee Wee Russell, Red Allen, and Zutty Singleton. Following this, he recorded with a group called the Rhythmmakers (or Rhythmakers). Pops Foster and Fats Waller played with the group at times.

In the 1940s Bland played on 52nd Street at Jimmy Ryan's Club, playing with Allen and Singleton as well as Edmond Hall, Vic Dickenson, Ike Quebec, and Hot Lips Page; some of their sessions were recorded by Milt Gabler and released on Commodore Records. From 1942 to 1944 he played with Art Hodes and also with Muggsy Spanier; he led his own band from 1944 to 1950.

In the 1950s, Bland moved to Los Angeles and retired from performing, taking work as a taxicab driver. He died there in 1968.

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