(b Belzoni, MS, March 21, 1930; d Chicago, IL, April 24, 1970). American blues pianist and singer. He received instruction as a boy from such local pianists as Frank Spann (his stepfather), Friday Ford, and Little Brother Montgomery, and played piano in church. He worked with various blues bands, performing in bars and clubs in the area around Jackson, Mississippi, then served in the U.S. Army (1946–51). After settling in Chicago in 1951 he led his own group at the Tick Tock Lounge, then in 1953 began to play with Muddy Waters, remaining a key member of the band until the late 1960s. In later years he began singing more frequently, often leading his own groups or performing as a soloist; he appeared at the Newport and Monterey festivals on several occasions and also toured England and France. Spann’s strengths as a blues-band pianist were his aggressive, hard-driving keyboard style (influenced most strongly by Maceo Merriweather, whom he replaced in Muddy Waters’s band) and his highly refined ensemble skills....
(b Petersfield, Aug 29, 1931). English maker of lutes and viols, lutenist and singer. He received his early musical training as a chorister at Winchester Cathedral, and was later an alto at St Albans Cathedral, New College, Oxford, and Ely Cathedral. He also studied aircraft design (graduate of the Royal Aeronautical Society, 1953). He made his first lute in 1956 and studied with Diana Poulton; in 1958 he set up as an instrument maker in Oxford, then moved in 1960 to Ely, where he was soon joined by John Isaacs, his partner until 1972. He made his début as a professional lutenist in 1960, when he demonstrated as a performer the musical effect of the lighter construction and low-tension stringing which he advocated as a maker. In 1964 he received the Tovey Prize for his research into the sources of English lute music. He founded the Campian Consort in ...
[ Il Bardella ]
( d Florence, Jan 25, 1621). Italian lutenist and singer, inventor of the chitarrone . Sometimes styled ‘bolognese’ (and probably related to the Bolognese composer Romolo Naldi), he was associated with the Medici court in Florence from 1571, and by 1588 he was custodian of the court’s musical instruments. In 1609 his salary was a high 16 scudi per month, comparable with that of Giulio Caccini. He is recorded often as performing at court, sometimes as a singer (e.g. in the first of the intermedi for the wedding of Grand Duke Ferdinando I and Christine of Lorraine in 1589) but chiefly as an instrumentalist. Emilio de’ Cavalieri credited him with the invention of the chitarrone (in a letter to Luzzasco Luzzaschi of 1592; see Prunières) – Naldi seems to have designed and first used the instrument in the 1589 intermedi – and his virtuosity on the instrument was praised by Caccini in the preface to ...