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Article

[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

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

(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

John Cowley and Howard Rye

(Macdonald)

(b Trinidad, Oct 22, 1897; d London, Dec 3, 1951). Trinidadian trumpeter. He was previously believed to have been born in October or November 1900, but on his merchant seaman's identity certificate his birthdate appears as October 22, 1897. He reached England as a stowaway in April 1916 and served for several years in the merchant marine. In 1921 he played guitar in the Southern Syncopated Orchestra. During the 1920s he performed in clubs in London and Paris and changed to trumpet. In 1928 a tour with Thompson’s Negro Band took him to Hamburg, the Netherlands, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Madrid. After returning to London in 1930 he worked with Leon Abbey, his brother Happy [George Lionel] Blake (who played drums) and the clarinetist Rudolph Dunbar (both 1933), Leslie Thompson’s Emperors of Jazz (1936), and Joe Appleton (1937). Blake led his own bands from ...

Article

Howard Rye

[Chabania, Jacinto]

(b Gary, IN, Jan 23, 1904/1906/1908; d c 1961). American saxophonist, clarinetist, arranger, and singer. Various sources give alternative birth years: 1904 appears on a 1929 passenger list; he gave his age as 20 upon marrying in 1926; 1908 appears on his 1940 draft registration, which he signed as Jacinto Chabania. Blake is the name of his adoptive parents. His birth father was Cuban and his birth mother was reportedly born in France. Blake studied violin, then alto saxophone and clarinet. After playing briefly with Charlie Turner’s Arcadians he took ship for Europe with Sam Wooding (1928), with whom he recorded in Barcelona and Paris (1929). He then moved to New York, played with Chick Webb, toured with Zack Whyte’s Chocolate Beau Brummels, and performed and recorded with Don Redman (late 1933 – spring 1934). In April 1934, calling himself Jacinto Blake, he moved to France to work with Willie Lewis, remaining in Europe until May 1935. He worked with Claude Hopkins, both in New York and on tour (mid-...

Article

David Wild and Barry Kernfeld

(Iweanya)

Member of Marsalis family

(b Breaux Bridge, LA, Aug 26, 1960). Tenor and soprano saxophonist, son of Ellis Marsalis. He played alto saxophone for seven years before changing to the tenor instrument. While attending Southern University, Louisiana, for a year, he took lessons from Alvin Batiste; he then studied for several years at the Berklee College of Music. After his graduation he replaced Bobby Watson in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (including his brother Wynton Marsalis), with which he remained for five months, working primarily as an alto saxophonist, and he toured with Clark Terry’s orchestra. He spent three years as a member of Wynton’s quintet (1982–5), during which time he also worked with John Hicks’s quintet (1982–4), toured with the quintet V.S.O.P. II (1983), recorded with Ray Drummond, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bobby Hutcherson (all 1984), and played in Miles Davis's group (...

Article

Jeffrey Holmes

[Randal Edward ]

(b Philadelphia, PA, Nov 27, 1945). American trumpeter, flugelhorn player, composer, arranger, and bandleader, brother of Michael Brecker. After graduating from Indiana University in 1966, he moved to New York, where he played with Clark Terry, Duke Pearson, and the Thad Jones–Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. A versatile musician, he worked with Blood, Sweat and Tears, performing on their debut album, played hard bop and soul jazz with the Horace Silver Quintet and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and helped form the fusion group Dreams, which included his brother Michael, Billy Cobham, and John Abercrombie. During the 1970s he worked with Silver, Larry Coryell, Stevie Wonder, the Plastic Ono Super Band, and Cobham. He and Michael also performed and recorded (six albums) as the Brecker Brothers, garnering much critical acclaim. He continued to lead his own group into the 1980s and also recorded and toured with virtuoso performers Jaco Pastorious and Stanley Clarke. A reunion of the Brecker Brothers in ...

Article

Gary Kennedy

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(Waddell)[Rashid, Abdullah]

(b Warren Co., NC, Feb 7, 1933; d Roscoe, NY, April 5, 2017). American tenor saxophonist. His middle name, Waddell, appears in Monticello, New York, public directories; a family tree gives his name as Hugh Abdullah Rashid Brodie. His mother was an art teacher and a pianist who played blues and country music. When he was six or seven his family lived in Brooklyn for about six months before settling in Newark, New Jersey. Brodie was involved with gospel music in Sanctified and Baptist churches and attended an arts and music high school. While in his youth he was interested mainly in art; when he was 17 he took up tenor saxophone after hearing Lester Young and decided to pursue a career in music. He studied the Schillinger method, and by 1952 he was performing and touring in small organ groups alongside such musicians as Sonny Stitt and Babs Gonzales; he may have recorded with Gonzales in October the following year, but Brodie himself was unsure if the saxophonist is him or Buddy Tate....

Article

Robert Dickow

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Robert Otis, Sr.]

(b Hattiesburg, MS, May 19, 1934; d Los Angeles, June 10, 1998). American trumpeter. His full name and vital records appear in Social Security indexes and a family tree. He played trumpet and tenor saxophone in school bands, then moved in 1952 to Chicago, where he studied classical trumpet at the Cosmopolitan School of Music (BME 1957). After graduating he played in small groups and with Red Saunders, and led a band that accompanied the singer Billy Williams on tour. In 1960 he recorded in New York as a member of big bands accompanying Johnny Griffin and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis. He moved to Los Angeles in 1961, then toured internationally until 1965 as a lead trumpeter with the singer Vic Damone. He also recorded with Charles Mingus (at the Monterey Jazz Festival, 1964) and Oliver Nelson (1966–c1969). As a studio musician he led the band on Bill Cosby’s television comedy series, served as music director for an NBC series on African-American history, and played jazz for many other television shows and film soundtracks, notably as a flugelhorn soloist in ...

Article

Jeff Pressing and John Whiteoak

revised by Roger T. Dean

(b. Adelaide, Australia, 29 April 1928). Australian reed player. He worked first in Adelaide (1945–7) and then with Jack Brokensha’s group in Melbourne (until 1949). After moving to Canada in 1952 and playing bassoon in the symphony orchestra in Windsor, Ontario, he became the first Australian to perform often with major American jazz musicians, notably Elvin Jones, Pepper Adams, and Tommy Flanagan. In 1954, with Brokensha and Bryce Rohde, he founded the Australian Jazz Quartet, which recorded prolifically and played frequently in the USA. Buddle was the first musician to use the bassoon extensively in jazz. He returned to Australia in 1958 and continued to perform and record with a variety of musicians, including the pianist Col Nolan and the Daly–Wilson Big Band, though he was mainly a studio musician until 1972. While living in Adelaide (1985–94) he participated in reunion concerts given by the Australian Jazz Quintet in ...

Article

Jeff Pressing, John Whiteoak, and Roger Dean

(b Sydney, Aug 8, 1928; d Sydney, March 12, 2020). Australian reed player and flutist. He began playing in clubs regularly at the age of 14 and while still a teenager was a member for five years of the ABC Dance Band. Later he worked in studios, radio, and television and performed at festivals in Australia and elsewhere. From 1959 through the 1990s he was associated with George Golla, playing in his septet in the mid-1960s and touring North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. In 1972 Burrows’s own group played at the Montreux and Newport jazz festivals, and in 1977 he toured Australia and recorded with Stephane Grappelli; he also accompanied Dizzy Gillespie, Lee Konitz, and others. In 1973 he initiated a program in jazz studies at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music and in 1980 became its director; for six years from 1981 he introduced a series of television programs about jazz, “The Burrows Collection,” and during this same period he often performed at a supper club at the Regent Hotel to which he gave his name. A tireless promoter of jazz, he was one of the first musicians to take a jazz group to China (...

Article

Howard Rye

[JackJohn Crawford]

(b Washington, DC, April 29, 1909; d New York, May 9, 2003). American trumpeter and singer. Although Butler gave interviewers the April birthdate shown, and it appears in most official records, his 1942 draft registration card gives March 29, 1909; this card identifies his full name and place of birth. He began playing trumpet at the age of 17. After moving to New York in the late 1920s he worked with Cliff Jackson and with Horace Henderson (1930–31). In 1931 he joined the Alabamians, led by the reed player Marion Hardy, and he remained with the group until it disbanded the following year. Later he led his own band (1934–5) and performed and recorded with Willie Bryant (1936). He then moved to Europe, where he worked mainly with Willie Lewis (late 1936 – 1939). In May 1939 he recorded in Paris with a septet led by Frank “Big Boy” Goudie and from June he toured Scandinavia; he recorded in Oslo in ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

[Nicholas Anthony]

(b New Castle, PA, March 20, 1914; d Woburn, MA, Dec 1981). American tenor saxophonist and clarinetist. His full name appears on his handwritten 1940 draft registration card. His first important engagements were with Joe Haymes (1936–7) and Muggsy Spanier’s Ragtimers (November–December 1939), with which he may be heard on the pairing Lonesome Road/Mandy, Make up your Mind (1939, Bb 10766) respectively as a ballad soloist and in a rambunctious mood. Later he played with Woody Herman (early 1940), the band led by Will Bradley and Ray McKinley, and Bobby Hackett (autumn 1940), and worked with Spanier’s big band (April 1941 – spring 1942), Teddy Powell, the guitarist Alvino Rey, and the pianist Chico Marx (summer 1943). During the mid-1940s Caiazza made many V-discs with Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, Hot Lips Page, and others, and he may be heard to advantage on ...

Article

Paul Rinzler

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b New York, Sept 14, 1928; d San Diego, March 20/21, 2001). American baritone saxophonist. He grew up in Hartford, Connecticut, where he took up saxophone around 1943. Soon afterwards the family moved to Los Angeles and Cameron began to be interested in jazz; he played with Ike Carpenter in 1946–7. After moving to Europe he performed in France and Italy with Rex Stewart (1949), in Germany, Belgium, and Scandinavia (1950–54), and in Paris in a band led by James Moody and Kenny Clarke, as well as with Fats Sadi, Henri Renaud, and Jimmy Gourley (all 1955); he also recorded there with Bill Coleman (1951) and Roy Haynes (1954) and as the leader of a bop septet. In 1955 he returned to the USA and played and recorded with Woody Herman (late December 1955 – July 1956) and Maynard Ferguson (November 1957 – November 1958) and worked briefly with Chet Baker and Dizzy Gillespie. He was a member of Slide Hampton’s octet (...

Article

(b Fort Worth, TX, March 9, 1930; d New York, NY, June 11, 2015). American jazz alto saxophonist and composer.

He began playing alto saxophone at the age of 14, and developed a style influenced predominantly by Charlie Parker. His early professional work with a variety of South-western rhythm and blues and carnival bands, however, seems to have been in a more traditional idiom. In 1948 he moved to New Orleans and worked mostly at non-musical jobs. By 1950 he had returned to Fort Worth, after which he went to Los Angeles with Pee Wee Crayton’s rhythm and blues band. Wherever he tried to introduce some of his more personal and innovative ideas, he met with hostility, both from audiences and from musicians. While working as a lift operator in Los Angeles, he studied (on his own) harmony and theory textbooks, and gradually evolved a radically new concept and style, seemingly from a combination of musical intuition, born of South-western country blues and folk forms, and his misreadings – or highly personal interpretations – of the theoretical texts....

Article

Barry Kernfeld

[Richard Harrison]

(b Seattle, July 19, 1924; d Hesperia, CA, April 19, 2016). American trumpeter. Born into a family of musicians spanning several generations, he was raised in San Jose, California, from the age of five. After serving in the US Army as a musician in the Army Air Corps (1943–6), he moved to San Francisco. During the academic year 1946–7 he began studies with the composer Darius Milhaud at Mills College in Oakland, California, where he met Dave Brubeck. While continuing his studies with Milhaud in Paris (1947–8) he recorded with Hubert Fol and the Be Bop Minstrels and with Kenny Clarke (both for the Swing label in May 1948). After returning to the USA he played with Brubeck’s octet in the San Francisco Bay area (1948–50) and studied music at San Francisco State College (BA 1953). He played cornet in Charlie Barnet’s small group in ...