Jack Carey (1889-1935)

Little is written about Jack Carey; he was the leader of the Crescent Orchestra (1913-1920), one of the great early bands.1 Like many other trombonists he started his career in the brass band tradition, playing with Henry Allen’s Brass Band in Algiers, across the river from New Orleans.2 He is often credited with using French melodies in his tunes, including an old quadrille, known at this time as Jack Carey. This tune was later copyrighted by Nick La Rocca as Tiger Rag. Tiger Rag is a popular melody still used today in the Dixieland repertoire, as well as being transcribed for brass quintet. Carey is also suggested as being the innovator of the style of trombone playing called “Tailgate”, which the tune Jack Carey/Tiger Rag utilize throughout.

  1. Al Rose and Edmond Souchon, New Orleans Jazz: A Family Album, (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1984), 23.
  2. Rex Harris, Jazz Revised Edition (London: Penguin Books, 1953), 89.