Chris Kelly was an important early jazz musician in New Orleans. His importance came not from his technique — which has been characterized as weak — but because Kelly was credited with being one of the first widely recognized players to become a master of “kitchen mechanics” which is to say an expert using a plunger with his cornet, a mute that allows the player to shape notes with vocal-like inflections.
-- Jonathan D. Harnum, The Plunger as a Symbol of Identity in Early New Orleans Jazz
Kelly's famous feature was "Careless Love"  which he played into a plunger-mute at a time when the technique was new; the effect of the rendition (it was claimed) made men weep and women tear their clothes off.
-- Digby Fairweather, The Rough Guide to Jazz
Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton was a famous trombonist with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Nanton was one of the great pioneers of the plunger mute. Together with his musical soulmate Bubber Miley on trumpet, Nanton is largely responsible for creating the characteristic Wah-wah sounds copied by many later brass soloists in the swing era. In 1921, Nanton heard Johnny Dunn playing the trumpet with a plunger, which Nanton realized could be used to similar effect on the trombone.
-- Wikipedia entry
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