Chris Kelly

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One of the three great unrecorded cornet legends of New Orleans jazz (along with Buddy Bolden and Buddy Petit), Chris Kelly was considered a limited but emotional player who was best on the blues, a pioneer…
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One of the three great unrecorded cornet legends of New Orleans jazz (along with Buddy Bolden and Buddy Petit), Chris Kelly was considered a limited but emotional player who was best on the blues, a pioneer in using mutes and an early influence on Louis Armstrong and Kid Howard. He studied music with Jim Humphrey (the grandfather of Willie and Percy Humphrey). Kelly moved to New Orleans in 1915, playing with clarinetist Johnny Brown's band which he eventually took over. He was considered one of New Orleans' top cornetists during the 1920's and was renowned for his versions of "Careless Love" but unfortunately he never ventured North. An alcoholic, Chris Kelly's early death and the lack of any documentation has led to him being a largely forgotten legend.