This band, Jimmie Noone's Apex Club Orchestra, was notable for its unusual instrumentation -- a front line consisting of just Noone and alto saxophonist/clarinetist Joe Poston, who had worked with Noone in Doc Cooke's band. The influential Pittsburgh-born pianist Earl Hines was also in the band for a time. In 1935, Noone moved New York City to start a band and a (short lived) club with Wellman Braud. He then returned to Chicago where he played at various clubs until 1943, when he moved to Los Angeles, California. Shortly after he joined Kid Ory's band, which was featured for a time on a radio program hosted by Orson Welles.
Noone played a few broadcasts with the band, but died suddenly of a heart attack. The Ory band, with New Orleans-born clarinetist Wade Whaley, played a blues (titled "Blues for Jimmie" by Welles) in his honor on the radio, and the number eventually became a regular feature for the Ory band. Noone is generally regarded as one of the greatest of the second generation of jazz clarinetists, along with Johnny Dodds and Sidney Bechet. Noone's playing is not as blues-tinged as Dodds nor as flamboyant as Bechet, but is perhaps more lyrical and sophisticated, and certainly makes more use of "sweet" flavoring. Noone was an important influence on later clarinetists such as Artie Shaw, Irving Fazola and Benny Goodman.
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