The 'Baptist Beat' in Modern Jazz: Texan Gene Ramey in Kansas City & New York
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Gene Ramey never expected to earn a living playing the string bass, but he landed in the right places at the right times. Shortly after moving from Austin to Kansas City at age nineteen, he switched from tuba to bass and found work in one of the premier jazz cities of the 1930s. In 1942, he went to New York with his dance band, the Jay McShann Orchestra, just as swing crested in Harlem and modern jazz emerged on 52nd Street.