Jack Purvis

JPJack Purvis was one of the most interesting and least known of the 1920s and 1930s era jazz trumpet players. Little is known about his early life and he is surrounded by myth. He was one of the few white trumpet players whose ability could challenge Louis Armstrong in the late 1920s and together with Jabbo Smith was one of the most celebrated trumpet virtuosos of that era. The myths surrounding Purvis are the stuff of legends. He was accused of being a bank robber, petty thief, con man, pilot, and did spend time in prison. The prison time is a fact—everything else is subject to greater scrutiny. One incontrovertible fact is that his black and white contemporaries revered him and all attest to his prodigious talent as a jazz trumpet player.

Jack Purvis - Episode 1

His recording career was short---he would disappear for long periods of time and then mysteriously reappear with the most amazing tales of his exploits. Here we will examine his early influences and some of his first recordings.
CompositionPerformer/BandleaderYear
Struttin’ With Some BarbequeLouis Armstrong1927
Potato Head BluesLouis Armstrong1927
West End BluesLouis Armstrong1928
Jazz BattleJabbo Smith's Rhythm Aces1929
Croonin' the BluesJabbo Smith's Rhythm Aces1929
Copyin' LouisJack Purvis Orchestra1929
Mental Strain At DawnJack Purvis Orchestra1929

Jack Purvis - Episode 2

On this podcast we will listen to his 1930’s recordings and try to piece together more things about this colorful, enigmatic performer. Active in the states in the early 1930s he made many recordings in New York. He played and recorded with a number of well-known dance bands in 1931 and suddenly disappeared from the music scene until 1935 when he made his last recordings. While we can’t separate fact from fiction these recordings don’t lie.
CompositionPerformer/BandleaderYear
Dismal DanJack Purvis Orchestra1930
Down Georgia WayJack Purvis Orchestra1930
What's the Use of Cryin'Jack Purvis Orchestra1930
Be Bo BoJack Purvis Orchestra1930
When You're Feeling BlueJack Purvis Orchestra1930
It's YouJack Purvis & The Boswell Sisters1931