1-20 of 58 Results  for:

  • 21st c. (2000-present) x
Clear all

Article

Eric Thacker

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Allen, DavidDeLella, Albert David Robert]

(b Hartford, CT, July 19, 1919; d West Haven, CT, Nov 21, 2012). American singer. Details of his name, birth, and death are in the Connecticut Death Index, the 1920 census (incorrectly transcribed there as “Defella”), and a family tree. He sang on radio as Al DeLella in Connecticut in the late 1930s, then transferred to a New York City radio station to sing with the bandleader Buddy Rocco, who persuaded him to take the name David Allen. He performed and recorded with Jack Teagarden’s big band (1940–42); by this time he was using both forms of his new surname, Allen and Allyn. Drafted into the army in April 1942, he was discharged after being injured in March 1943. From 1944 he worked with Boyd Raeburn, sometimes singing complicated arrangements by George Handy; his style is well represented by I only have eyes for you, which he recorded with Raeburn in ...

Article

Gerhard Conrad

(b Pforzheim, Germany, Oct 6, 1929; d Königsbach-Stein, Germany, Aug 5, 2015). German soprano, tenor, and bass saxophonist. After receiving three lessons on guitar from a member of the Reinhardt clan he played in dance bands until 1950. He then contacted Sidney Bechet in Paris and learned to play soprano saxophone. He played in Germany with the arranger and bandleader Ernst Simon and also with American soldiers. In 1952 he founded the Quartier Latin Jazz Band, which he led to at least 2009; among its recordings is Dieter Antritter’s Quartier Latin Jazz Band (1996, Jazzpoint 1046). It gave concerts with many visiting musicians, including Mezz Mezzrow, Michel Attenoux, Benny Waters, Nelson Williams, and Peanuts Hucko. Antritter visited Canada in 1989 and worked with local musicians. His playing was influenced by the creole New Orleans jazz musicians and by swing musicians. He also wrote many articles for various newspapers and magazines....

Article

Bruce Johnson

(Emerson )

(b Melbourne, Australia, Jan 4, 1919; d Melbourne, Australia, June 17, 2008). Australian trumpeter, washboard player, composer, singer, and bandleader, brother of Graeme Bell. He first worked as a drummer, then in 1938 began to play cornet. Having worked in Melbourne with his brother at Leonard’s Café, he briefly led the band at Heidelberg Town Hall (1943), where he recorded with a visiting Max Kaminsky, before Graeme Bell returned from Queensland to take over the group’s leadership. He remained in Graeme’s dixieland groups during their European tours (1947–8, 1950–52), after which he worked with Max Collie (1953) and in the house band at the Melbourne Jazz Club (from 1958). Bell was active as a freelance musician and led his own band, the Pagan Pipers (a name he had used first in 1949), which with various personnel (notably Len Barnard and Ade Monsbourgh) performed and recorded for many years; among its recordings were a number of Bell’s own compositions. His playing may be heard to advantage on ...

Article

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Previn, Betty B.;Lowe, Betty]

(b Lincoln, NE, Oct 23, 1921; d San Diego, April 7, 2020). American singer. In the Nebraska Birth Ledger she is Betty A. Bennett (i.e., not Elizabeth). She studied piano and singing, and continued with singing lessons while studying at Drake University. She sang with Georgie Auld in 1943, and after serving in the navy in 1945 she performed and recorded in the bands of Claude Thornhill and Alvino Rey (both 1946), and Charlie Ventura (1949, 1951); later she worked with Stan Kenton (1949), Woody Herman (1950), and Charlie Barnet (1952). In 1953 and 1955 she made recordings (including Nobody Else but Me, 1955, Atl. 1226) under the direction of André Previn, who was her husband at that time. She later sang “They Say It’s Spring” as a guest soloist on The Tubby Hayes Quintet, an episode of the BBC television show “Jazz 625” (...

Article

Marty Hatch

[Theresa ]

(b Toledo, OH, May 7, 1931; d New Rochelle, NY, October 17, 2007). American singer. She sang in public and on broadcasts frequently from the age of two, and began recording in the late 1940s, performing popular songs in a vigorous, crisp style with a biting tone that owed more to country music than jazz or blues. Between 1950 and 1956 she had six gold records. At the same time she achieved great success singing in nightclubs (particularly in Las Vegas), in stage shows, and on television. In 1972, shortly after her marriage to the jazz record producer Bob Thiele, she began to include more jazz in her repertory, often working with swing musicians. Although her characteristic vocal timbre became somewhat smoother, especially in such ballads as It had to be you, she continued to sing as exuberantly as she did in the 1950s; she transferred many of her nuances from this period to her later work, as may be heard, for example, on ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(b Chicago, Oct 10, 1926; d Chicago, May 29, 2005). American singer and songwriter. He wrote songs from childhood and appeared on a network radio soap opera while in high school. From 1943 to 1953 he attended five colleges and worked in a variety of jobs, having declined to follow his father, uncles, and cousins in becoming a lawyer; he entered the army in 1954 and became a professional singer and songwriter only after his discharge in 1956. Brown collaborated with Max Roach on the album We Insist!Freedom Now Suite (1960, Can. 9002) and the same year recorded his own first album, Sin and Soul (Col. CS8377). He acted as host for the television series “Jazz Scene USA” (1962), performed in London with Annie Ross in the revue Wham! Bam! Thank You Ma’am (1963), and worked in clubs in New York, Los Angeles, and London with Jonah Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, and others. Thereafter he engaged in a socially and politically conscious approach to the arts in Chicago, bringing members of street gangs into the cast and production crews of his community presentations; he also restaged Jon Hendricks’s show ...

Article

Mark Gilbert

[John Symon Asher ]

(b Bishopbriggs, Scotland, May 14, 1943; d Suffolk, October 25, 2014). Scottish bass player, singer, and composer. Having studied for three months at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow he moved to London, where he played with Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated (late 1962 – early 1963) and then formed a group with Graham Bond, John McLaughlin, and the drummer Ginger Baker; this became known as the Graham Bond Organisation after McLaughlin left and Dick Heckstall-Smith joined. Bruce arrived in London as a jazz purist and had at first played double bass, but after using an electric bass guitar for a recording session with Ernest Ranglin in 1964 he transferred to that instrument and studied the mobile, melodic style of the Motown house bass player James Jamerson. The following year Bruce left Bond’s band because Baker felt that his bass playing was too busy and joined John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. He is best known as the bass guitarist, singer, and principal composer with the highly successful blues and rock group Cream (...

Article

Mark Gilbert

(Crichton Mackinnon )

(b Derby, England, Sept 10, 1939; d London, May 30, 2008). English trombonist and singer. He was introduced to New Orleans jazz and skiffle at the age of 15 by a classmate, the clarinetist Chris Blount, with whom he played washboard. When he was 19 he emigrated to New Zealand, took up trombone, and worked with the Omega Jazz Band (1960–62). He then moved to Australia and performed with the Hot Sands Jazz Band (1962–4) and Geoff Bull’s Olympia Jazz Band (1964–5). In 1965 he returned to the UK via New Orleans, where he played at Preservation Hall. From autumn that year until the middle of the next he collaborated with Terry Lightfoot; he then joined Monty Sunshine before returning to Australia in December 1966. However, from summer 1969 he was a permanent resident in London. He worked with the pianist Ian Armit (late ...

Article

Article

[Jean]

(b Akron, OH, Aug 14, 1927). American pianist and singer. Her birth date appears in Eagle and LeBlanc (2013); in her autobiography, Meet Me with Your Black Drawers On: My Life in Music (Austin, TX, 2006), Cheatham confirmed that she was born in the summer of 1927, after having previously withheld her year of birth from the public domain. As a child she accompanied her mother’s youth gospel choir and played for shows at the Cosmopolitan Club, Akron. After attending Akron University she toured with a group led by the saxophonist Jimmy Colvin, which was mostly based in Canada but was for a time the house band at the Flamingo Club in Columbus, Ohio. In the late 1950s in Buffalo she married Jimmy Cheatham, and in the early 1960s she moved with him to New York. From 1971 to 1977 the couple were both visiting professors at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where they also hosted a weekly jam session at the Church Key. In ...

Article

Eddie Lambert

[Wimp, Kathryn Elizabeth ]

(b Evanston, IL, Dec 5, 1920; d Apopka, FL, January 27, 2012). American singer. She studied singing and piano at Northwestern University (1938–43), then taught and gave recitals for several years. Her singing with Duke Ellington (from the autumn of 1944), which was usually in the soprano range and wordless, inspired some of Ellington’s most original works in the late 1940s; she also sang ballads occasionally as a contralto. After touring Britain with Ellington, Ray Nance, and a British rhythm section (June–July 1948) she appeared with his orchestra in the film shorts Symphony in Swing (1949) and Salute to Duke Ellington (1950). In July 1950 she married and ceased working full-time in music.

(all as sideman with D. Ellington)

FeatherE...

Article

David Flanagan

(b Seattle, Feb 11, 1914; d Riverside, CA, June 21, 2002). American songwriter, arranger, pianist, and singer. His parents were vaudeville artists, and he learned piano from an early age. He played piano in Horace Heidt’s dance band in 1933, but for much of the 1930s worked in Hollywood as a nightclub singer and pianist and as a vocal coach for band singers. In the early 1940s he was composer and arranger for Tommy Dorsey and wrote a number of hit songs for the band which were performed by Frank Sinatra. During World War II he played briefly in Glenn Miller’s orchestra. Thereafter he worked principally as a nightclub entertainer, and issued some recordings under his own name, including Matt Dennis Plays and Sings (c1957, Kapp 1024). Dennis also arranged music for radio programs (1946–8), appeared in films and on television, and composed the song ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(Alexandre )

(b Paris, Jan 29, 1933; d Rayol-Canadel-sur-mer, July 22, 2004). French guitarist and singer. He received his first piano lessons at the age of five from his uncle Ray Ventura, and took up guitar in 1948. The following year he formed a quintet which included Mimi Perrin and Jean-Louis Viale. In 1952 he played with Bernard Peiffer and at the Ringside with Pierre Michelot and the pianist Art Simmons. After performing in a stage show in New York for five months, during which he had an opportunity to hear many leading jazz musicians in local clubs, he returned to Paris, where he worked with Henri Renaud, Jimmy Gourley, Guy Pedersen and Viale at the Tabou (1953), Barney Wilen, Bobby Jaspar, and René Urtreger at Club Saint-Germain, and Fats Sadi and Kenny Clarke at the Ringside, and recorded with the pianist Raymond Le Senechal (1953); around this time he also performed with Martial Solal. After becoming a successful pop singer he worked rarely as a jazz musician, except for occasional performances on guitar. In the mid-1950s he took part in several recording sessions in Paris as a guitarist with Lionel Hampton, Jaspar, and John Lewis, and with his own swing and bop bands. He also played guitar in a duo with Barney Kessel, in a trio with lesser-known guitarists, and on recordings he made as a leader with Slide Hampton in ...

Article

André Clergeat

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Robert Lee, jr]

(b Cleveland, Oct 21, 1935; d Levallois-Perret, France, Jan 6, 2021). American pianist, composer, and singer. He grew up in a family of musicians and learned piano and organ from a young age; later he studied harmony and composition at the Cleveland Institute and took up vibraphone. Having begun his career in dance bands, he appeared in Dick Shelton’s quintet (1954) and then formed his own group, the Metronomes, with his cousin Bob Cunningham. Around 1967 a friend from Cleveland, Albert Ayler, persuaded him to move to New York, where he formed a short-lived trio with Wilbur Ware and Leroy Williams. In 1968 he became piano accompanist and music director for the singer Brook Benton, recorded with Booker Ervin, and joined a free-jazz workshop run by Bill Dixon. He recorded with Ayler in August 1969, during the saxophonist’s rhythm-and-blues period; he also played with Frank Foster and Roland Kirk before emigrating in autumn ...

Article

André Clergeat

(b Paris, May 17, 1949; d France, Oct 31, 2020). French guitarist and singer. He was largely self-taught, though he had guitar lessons until he was ten; he played the instrument left-handed. His first work was in restaurants such as La Veranda, frequented by the antique dealers of the Saint-Ouen flea market in Paris. Following some studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, with the intention of becoming a decorator, he made his professional music début in 1971 with a regular engagement at Les Trois Mailletz. In 1973 he played briefly in the group Magma. Before satisfying his military obligations he formed a trio which played at the Bilboquet and at the Caveau de la Montagne. In January 1977, with Patrice Caratini, he established a duo which had lasting success: the two men made three albums and numerous appearances at festivals and concerts, accompanied Stephane Grappelli, and collaborated with Martial Solal, Maurice Vander, the percussionist Michel Delaporte, and the accordionist Marcel Azzola. At the beginning of the 1980s Fosset became an accompanist to Grappelli, with whom he remained until the violinist’s death in ...

Article

Scott Yanow

[Rosetta ]

(b Dyersburg, TN, Feb 15, 1910; d San Diego, CA, April 20, 2003). American trumpeter and singer. At an early age he learned mellophone (his father’s instrument) and trumpet (which his elder brother Wilbur played professionally), and he made his professional début at the age of 14 with a medicine show. In 1925 he moved to Chicago, and from around 1927 to spring 1930 he played with the bandleader and pianist Sammy Stewart. In 1931 he joined Earl Hines’s orchestra, where he was a valuable sideman; while he left Hines to work with Horace Henderson from August 1937 to August 1938, he was again with the group until September 1940. (Reports in the International Musician confirm these affiliations, but the dates given are not quite the same; Fuller is reported with Hines from April 1932 to August 1937 and again from March 1939 through August 1940, and with Henderson only from June to ...

Article

O Flückiger

(Lee)

(b Indianapolis, Feb 17, 1926; d Anghiari, Toscana, Italy, May 24, 2004). American pianist, vibraphonist, singer, and bandleader. After serving in France during the war he studied music at the conservatory in Dijon, at the University of Washington, and elsewhere. He led a jump band, the Question Marks, in Seattle through the late 1940s, then formed a trio modeled after that of Nat “King” Cole. From 1952 to mid-1953 he toured the USA and Canada with Lionel Hampton and later traveled in Alaska and California with his own groups. Having settled on the Canadian west coast, Gill hosted jazz projects involving such guest stars as Wes Montgomery. From the mid-1980s he toured internationally.

Article

Chris Sheridan

[William Randall]

(b Chicago, March 19, 1926; d Los Angeles, April 3, 2016). American singer. He performed in local shows from the age of four and became a professional musician in 1952. After working sporadically in Chicago with Ramsey Lewis he moved to New York, and from 1958 he made recordings as a leader with Horace Silver and Jimmy Smith among his sidemen; one of these, Señor Blues (1958), was successful commercially. Henderson won a poll conducted by Down Beat in 1960 and then returned to Chicago, where he worked at intervals with Lewis; later he performed with Oscar Peterson (1963–4) and Count Basie (September 1965 – autumn 1966). Having settled in Los Angeles he worked principally as an actor (taking a leading role in the film Inside Moves, 1980), although he continued to sing frequently on television and occasionally for recordings; in 1999...

Article

Howard Rye

[Matthews, Melinda Helen]

(b New Orleans, Dec 14, 1924; d Milwaukee, WI, April 10, 2017). American singer. From the ages of eight to 18 she was a member of the Southern Harp Spiritual Singers. After moving to Richmond, California, she performed in 1950 at Slim Jenkins’s club in Oakland, where she was noticed by Johnny Otis, with whom she made her first recordings in January 1951. Hopkins made further recordings under her own name in May 1951, 1953 (with Red Callender’s orchestra), 1954, 1956, and 1957. She was resident at the Baby Grand in Harlem in early 1957 and that June embarked on a nationwide tour with Arnett Cobb and his orchestra. In 1960 she was featured in the show Jazz Train, with which she toured the USA and Canada and then Europe, where it was known as Broadway Express; she recorded in Basle in April of that year. From 1960 to 1965...

Article

E. Ron Horton

[HerbertJeffrey, HerbertBalentino, Umbertothe Bronze Buckaroo]

(b Detroit, MI, Sept 24, 1913/14; d West Hills, CA, May 25, 2014). American jazz vocalist and actor. He began his professional singing career at 14 and then worked with such well-known jazz musicians as Erskine Tate, Earl Hines, and Blanche Calloway. In the late 1930s he made five films as America’s first black singing cowboy starting with Harlem on the Prairie (1937). He conceived the idea of making the movie himself in a conscious effort to create a character that could be a model for brown-skinned children. Jeffries, who identified his mother as Irish and his father as mixed-race Sicilian, was almost denied the role because his physical features were considered by some not to be African American enough, although he proudly identified himself as black in both professional and social terms. He successfully fought for the role, which earned him the nickname the Bronze Buckaroo, and his films appealed to a more widespread audience than expected. Jeffries worked with the Duke Ellington Orchestra from ...