Jazz leader of the influential Kansas City Orchestra, which pioneered the riffing sounds that came to dominate the genre.
He was influenced by the ragtime sounds of his youth, which showed on his initial 1923 recordings for OKeh Records.
His hits were largely unremarkable on their own, but they helped to define the jazz sound as a whole.
His family was residing in Kansas City, Missouri, when he was born. He died from an unsuccessful tonsillectomy in 1935.
He hired the great Count Basie in 1929. Following Moten's death, Basie began using members of Moten's band for the Count Basie Orchestra.