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[Abramson, Raymond Joseph]

(b New York, Jan 23, 1920; d New York, July 6, 1992). American tenor saxophonist, brother of Lee Abrams. In the early 1940s he played in the resident band at Monroe’s Uptown House, which accompanied Coleman Hawkins in performances and on the first studio recordings of bop (February 16, 1944); he remained with the group when it became the core of Dizzy Gillespie’s first big band in 1945. The following year he recorded with Kenny Clarke and (during a tour of Europe) Don Redman; his solo playing is well represented on Redman’s For Europeans Only (1946, Ste. 6020–21). His own band (formed 1947) recorded with the singer Billy Stewart (1947, 1949) and under Abrams’s name (1948); Fats Navarro and Coleman Hawkins were among his sidemen. After playing with Andy Kirk (1947–8) he rejoined Gillespie and recorded with Cecil Payne (both ...

Article

Rainer E. Lotz

[Rama IX Bhumibol; Phoemipol Aduldej]

(b Cambridge, MA, Dec 5, 1927; d Bangkok, Oct 13, 2016). Thai clarinetist and reed player. He was brought up in the USA and in Switzerland, where he learned to play clarinet; he later mastered the whole family of reed instruments, favoring soprano saxophone. Although he was interested in early jazz he was influenced predominantly by Benny Goodman, and participated in jam sessions with Goodman and other jazz musicians who visited Thailand, notably Jack Teagarden and Lionel Hampton. He occasionally played with his court orchestra in a swing style of the 1940s that was modified by the strong influence of traditional Thai music, but, on account of his official status as the king of Thailand, no recordings by him have been authorized for distribution. (H. Esman and V. Bronsgeest: “Een jazz king: Koning Phoemipol,” ...

Article

Pekka Gronow

(Vilhelm)

(bLapinjärvi, nr Lovisa, Finland, Dec 10, 1918; d Finland, Aug 19, 2002). Finnish trumpeter and trombonist. He began his career in dance bands in the late 1930s in Helsinki and played with Eugen Malmstén and others. During World War II he led a band that introduced the big-band swing style to Finland; as the Rytmiorkesteri it made a series of recordings in ...

Article

Terence J. O’Grady

revised by Bryan Proksch

(b Los Angeles, CA, March 31, 1935). American trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and record company executive. He studied trumpet as a child and left college to play in the army for a two-year period. After three years of producing records on his own, he launched A&M Records with Jerry Moss in 1962. A&M’s first issue was also Alpert’s first recording as a trumpeter and bandleader, The Lonely Bull (A&M, 1962). The title track included sounds from the bullring in Tijuana, Mexico, so Alpert dubbed his band the Tijuana Brass. His music exploited a distinctive combination of Mexican mariachi-style brass with jazz rhythms, which was dubbed Ameriachi. A string of hits including “Mexican Shuffle” (A&M, 1964) and “Tijuana Taxi” (A&M, 1965) followed. In 1966 Alpert had five recordings simultaneously listed on the Billboard Top 20. His cover of “This guy’s in love with you” reached no.1 in ...

Article

Ellen Highstein

revised by Nathan Platte

Brass quintet, formed by trombonists Arnold Fromme and Gilbert Cohen in 1960; its present members are Kevin Cobb and Raymond Mase, trumpets; David Wakefield, horn; Michael Powell, tenor trombone; and John D. Rojak, bass trombone. The group gave its first public performance at the 92nd Street Y and made its official New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1962. At that time the brass quintet was little heard in the concert hall, and the ensemble played a major part in introducing audiences to brass instruments in the chamber context. Its commitment to the expansion of the brass chamber literature and its renowned virtuosity, precision, and stylistic accuracy have resulted in the composition of more than 100 new works by such composers as Bolcom, Carter, Thomson, Druckman, Ewazen, Plog, Sampson, Schuller, Schuman, Starer, and Tower. The group's concerts usually include premieres and the performance of “rediscovered” older pieces. The quintet has also explored performance practice on older instruments, and its many recordings include two of 19th-century American brass music played on period instruments. Since becoming the ensemble-in-residence at the Aspen Music Festival in 1970 and at Juilliard in 1987, the group has played a key role in training members of other prominent brass ensembles, including the Meridian Arts Ensemble, Manhattan Brass Quintet, and Urban Brass Quintet....

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(Julius)

(b Manchester, CT, Nov 17, 1931; d New York, Aug 26, 2003). American trombonist. His full name appears in the Social Security Applications and Claims Index. After studying at the Schillinger House in Boston (1949–50) he performed and recorded with Charlie Spivak (1950–51). During the Korean War he served in an Air Force band (September 1951 – June 1955) and began writing arrangements. Following his discharge he performed and recorded with the Sauter–Finegan Orchestra (July 1955 – December 1956), and Woody Herman (Dec 31, 1955 – July 1956) and recorded with Kai Winding’s septet (July 1956 – May 1958). He also composed and arranged for Winding, and he plays a solo in his own piece Nutcracker on Winding’s Trombone Sound (1956, Col. CL936). He then studied at the Manhattan School of Music (BA 1962) and began working as a studio musician in New York (from ...

Article

John Cowley and Howard Rye

(b Porus, Jamaica, June 2, 1903; d 2000). Jamaican tenor saxophonist, clarinetist, and bandleader. He was a bandsman with the West India Regiment at the British Empire Exhibition in 1924 and later returned to Great Britain and played in dance bands there and in Europe until the early 1930s. He led his own band in London in 1931–2 and in November 1932 relocated to the Netherlands with the pianist and singer Lily Jemmott, Welsh born of mixed African American and Bajun parentage, whose stage name was “Spadie Lee.” They remained in Europe until 1935. From 1936 he played in London with West Indian jazz musicians, including Leslie Thompson’s Emperors of Jazz (1936), and in 1937 he led his own band. In the 1940s he worked mainly with Cyril Blake and also with Jiver Hutchinson (1944–5). Appleton’s clarinet playing may be heard on Muscat Ramble...

Article

Brian W. Pritchard

Member of Ashley family

(b ?London, ?1734; d London, March 14, 1805). English bassoonist and conductor. He was first bassoon at Covent Garden Theatre, and became more widely known after his success as assistant conductor to Joah Bates at the 1784 Commemoration of Handel in Westminster Abbey. Charles Burney (An Account of the Musical Performances … in Commemoration of Handel; London, 1785) records that the ‘unwearied zeal and diligence’ of ‘Mr John Ashly of the Guards … were constantly employed with such intelligence and success, as greatly facilitated the advancement of the plan’. According to Burney he was also the ‘Mr Ashley’ who played the then novel double bassoon at these celebrations. Ashley’s four sons (see below) also took part in the commemoration and later in 1784 the whole family first appeared in the provinces at the Hereford meeting of the Three Choirs; they took part in subsequent Handel commemorations and from ...

Article

Pamela Weston

Member of Baermann family

(b Munich, Oct 24, 1810; d Munich, May 23, 1885). German clarinetist and basset-horn player, son of Heinrich Baermann and Helene Harlas. He was taught the clarinet by his father and by the age of 14 was occasionally playing in the court orchestra. In 1832 he was officially appointed second clarinetist and in 1834 succeeded his father as principal. Carl accompanied his father on concert tours in 1827, 1832 and 1838, attracting much attention playing the basset-horn. Conscious of his father’s superior talent as a soloist, he turned to teaching, making a great success of this as professor at the Königliche Musikschule in Munich. His Vollständige Clarinett-Schule (1864–75) remains one of the most used methods. His other compositions, comprising 88 opus numbers in all, were once popular with virtuosos. In 1860, in conjunction with Ottensteiner of Munich, he produced an 18-keyed Müller-type clarinet, which found favour with many players, including Mühlfeld. He was pensioned from the court orchestra in ...

Article

Pamela Weston

(Joseph)

Member of Baermann family

(b Potsdam, Feb 14, 1784; d Munich, June 11, 1847). German clarinetist. He and his brother Carl Baerman (i) (1782–1842), a bassoonist in the Berlin court orchestra, were sent by their soldier father to the School of Military Music in Potsdam. At 14, having first studied the oboe, Heinrich became a bandsman in the Prussian Life Guards and during this time studied the clarinet with Beer. In 1805, under the patronage of Prince Louis Ferdinand, he had lessons with Tausch. He fought at the battles of Saalfeld and Jena and was captured, but escaped and found his way to Munich. Here he obtained a court appointment, which he held until his retirement in 1834.

Baermann toured extensively, first to Switzerland and France in 1808. In 1811, after successful performances at Munich of Weber’s newly composed Concertino and concertos, clarinetist and composer toured together through Austria and Germany. At Berlin Baermann’s artistry helped to convince the musical public of the composer’s worth. In Vienna and Prague in ...

Article

(b Welwyn Garden City, England, April 17, 1930; d Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, March 2, 2021). English trombonist and bandleader. He began studying violin while evacuated to Royston, England, in 1943 during World War II, starting a sizeable collection of jazz and blues records at the same time. In 1946, in London, he took up the trombone. He formed his first amateur band in 1948. In 1951, while studying to become an actuary, he led this band, which included Dickie Hawdon, on its first issued recordings, modeled on King Oliver’s 1920s work. Barber’s early bands often included Alexis Korner, who shared his interest in the blues. In September 1951 he abandoned accountancy to study trombone and double bass at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

In 1952 he formed his first professional band, with Pat Halcox, Monty Sunshine, and Lonnie Donegan, to play jazz in the New Orleans revival style. Ken Colyer replaced Halcox and assumed titular leadership of the group. After touring to Denmark and recording there and in the UK, the band split from Colyer in ...

Article

Vasil S. Tole

(b Përmet, Albania, May 2, 1929; d Përmet, Jan 26, 2014). Albanian folk music performer. A clarinettist and vocalist, nicknamed ‘Përmeti’s nightingale’, founder of the instrumental iso-polyphonic group (saze ensemble) in the Southern town of Përmet (1944–2004). At a young age, he showed a special ability to design and make instruments. He was taught to play the lute and the clarinet by the saze masters in the city of Korçë. Then his family returned to Përmet, where he joined the saze of Vangjel Leskoviku (1944). At Përmet, he organized his own saze and participated in the Folk Music Festival in Tirane (1952), where he was awarded the First Prize for the best folk clarinettist. His saze was composed of a clarinet, two lutes, two accordions, a frame drum, and a violin. The saze played instruments and sang at the same time. He is a composer of songs, clarinet ...

Article

Bo Marschner

Member of Barth family

(b Copenhagen, Feb 24, 1787; d Middelfart, Fyn, July 17, 1861). Danish oboist and composer of German descent, son of Christian Samuel Barth. He was a pupil of his father, and at the age of 15, a year after his début as an oboist, he joined the royal orchestra in Copenhagen. In 1804 a scholarship enabled him to go to Berlin, where he gave concerts with great success. On his return to Copenhagen Barth, then 18 years old, was appointed principal oboist, and on frequent concert tours in Europe soon won international fame as one of the greatest artists on his instrument. In Denmark his oboe technique had lasting influence (his most important pupil was the court oboist Christian Schiemann), but in his own time he also won renown as a composer. Of his published works special mention may be made of the five oboe concertos, the ...

Article

Bo Marschner

Member of Barth family

(b Glauchau, Saxony, Jan 11, 1735; d Copenhagen, July 8, 1809). German, later Danish, oboist. He was educated at the Thomasschule in Leipzig under J.S. Bach. After serving in court orchestras in Rudolstadt (from 1753), Weimar (1762), Hanover (1768) and Kassel (1769), he was engaged in 1786 as first oboist of the royal orchestra in Copenhagen; Gerber encountered him in Kassel as late as 1785. At this time he was recognized as one of the greatest oboe virtuosos in Europe, particularly for his outstanding tone. He also composed, but because of the frequent misattribution of works among the Barth family the extent of his compositional activity is uncertain. It is likely that a Potpourri concertant for piano and oboe or flute ( DK-Kk ) and Six écossaises for piano (Copenhagen, n.d.) were by him. He retired in ...

Article

Bo Marschner

(Carl August)

Member of Barth family

(b Kassel, Oct 21, 1774; d Copenhagen, Dec 22, 1804). German, later Danish, oboist and composer, son of Christian Samuel Barth. Though not as eminent a player as his father and his brother Christian Frederik, he was skilful enough to be admitted to the royal orchestra by ...

Article

(Barney)

(b Los Angeles, Sept 9, 1930; d California, Aug 14, 2000). American tenor saxophonist. His full name appears in the California Birth Index and other genealogical sources. He began playing saxophone in high school. After performing in army bands (1950–53) he recorded in Los Angeles with Kenny Clarke (The Kenny Clarke Sextet, 1954, Savoy 15051) and in a jam session with Clifford Brown and Max Roach. He then worked with the pianist Perez Prado (1954–7), making an extensive tour of Asia in 1956. Later he made recordings as a soloist in Victor Feldman’s orchestra (1959) and with his own group in New York (1960–61), including the fine album Out of the World (1960, Jlnd 28), in which Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, and Jimmy Cobb or Albert “Tootie” Heath took part as his sidemen. Benton performed and recorded bop and free jazz with the adventurous groups led by Roach (...

Article

Vidar Vanberg

(b Asker, Norway, June 6, 1926; d Stabekk, Bærum, Norway, May 30, 2010). Norwegian tenor saxophonist. After beginning his career as a clarinetist, in 1948 he moved to Gothenburg, Sweden, to play in orchestras led by the trumpeter Sven Sjøholm and the saxophonist Malte Johnson (the latter from 1956 to 1957). He played swing and bop with the drummer Stein Lorentzen, Rowland Greenberg, the group Ny Norsk Jazz, and his own small groups. He remained active, principally in Oslo, through 1990, when he recorded with Bjarne Nerem, after which ill health forced his retirement.

J. Bergh: Norwegian Jazz Discography, 1905–1998 (Oslo, 1999)Obituaries: Norsk JazzArkiv (June 2, 2010) <www.jazzarkivet.no/aktuelt/53-kristian-bergheim-er-dod>; NRK (June 8, 2010) <...

Article

Charles Beare

revised by Duane Rosengard

Member of Bergonzi family

(b Cremona, Feb 8, 1790; d Cremona, Sept 30, 1839). Italian horn player and composer, son of Nicola Bergonzi. He designed mechanical improvements to the corno di caccia which were recognized by the Royal Institute of Milan in 1824. Benedetto was apparently the source of some of the historical anecdotes on the great Cremonese violin makers published by Fétis in the 19th century....

Article

Eliot Gattegno

(b New York, NY, Oct 14, 1967). American composer and clarinetist. A native of New York City, Bermel as a youth studied clarinet with Ben Armato. He studied composition with Michael Tenzer at Yale University (BA 1989) and with William Bolcom and william hugh Albright at the University of Michigan (DMA 1998). Later he worked with Louis Andriessen as a Fulbright Fellow in Amsterdam and Henri Dutilleux at the Tanglewood Music Center. He has also studied ethnomusicology and orchestration with André Hajdu in Jerusalem; Lobi xylophone (gyil) in Ghana; Thracian folk style with Nikola Iliev in Bulgaria; and caxixi in Brazil with Julio Góes.

In 1998 Bermel premiered his own clarinet concerto, Voices, in Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra under Tan Dun. He has since performed it with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as well as in London and Beijing. He was the founding clarinetist of Music from Copland House, the resident ensemble at Copland’s New York home, which has been restored as a creative center for American music. He also performs with Brooklyn-based band Peace by Piece, for which he serves as bandleader, singer, and songwriter. The group has released two albums, Peace by Piece (...

Article

Robert Layton

revised by Daniel M. Grimley

Member of Berwald family

(b Schleswig, 29 or ?June 26, 1758; d St Petersburg, Jan 27, 1825). German bassoonist and violinist, son of Johann Friedrich Berwald. He was a member of the court orchestra in Stockholm from 1782 to 1800, first as a bassoonist and later as a violinist. In ...