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Article

Paul Rinzler

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[William, Jr. ]

(b Philadelphia, March 27, 1927; d Middletown, CT, Sept 21, 1989). American tenor and soprano saxophonist, composer, and teacher, brother of Kenny Barron. He first studied piano with his mother from the age of nine, but four years later changed to soprano saxophone and then to the tenor instrument. At the age of 17 he toured with the Carolina Cotton Pickers, after which he served as a musician in the army (1943–6), where his fellow bandsmen included Randy Weston and Ernie Henry. He then played tenor saxophone in Philadelphia with Red Garland, Jimmy Heath, and Philly Joe Jones; Dexter Gordon influenced his early style. In 1958 he moved to New York. There he performed and in 1959 recorded with Cecil Taylor, recorded with Jones in 1959–60, and co-led the group the Barron Brothers; he also formed a group with Ted Curson which in 1964 toured Europe, where it frequently broadcast on radio and television and recorded in Paris. He appeared with Taylor’s free-jazz group at the Newport Jazz Festival in ...

Article

Paul Rinzler

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Kenneth ]

(b Philadelphia, June 9, 1943). American pianist, composer, leader, and teacher, brother of Bill Barron. He learned piano from the age of 12 and with the help of his brother secured an engagement when he was 15 with a rhythm-and-blues orchestra led by Mel Melvin; while in high school he also played double bass and tuba. Having worked with Philly Joe Jones (1959) and Jimmy Heath, and in Detroit with Yusef Lateef (1960), in 1961 he moved to New York and began appearing regularly at the Five Spot with James Moody, on whose recommendation he was engaged by Dizzy Gillespie; from 1962 to 1966 he toured Europe and North America with Gillespie. Barron then played briefly with Stanley Turrentine and was a member of several groups led by Freddie Hubbard (1967–9); by 1970 his compositions had been recorded by Gillespie, Hubbard, and Moody. He was again with Lateef from ...

Article

Walter Ojakäär

(Mikhaylovich )

(b Moscow, June 9, 1944). Russian pianist, teacher, and composer. From 1962 to 1966 he led a trio at the Vserossiyskoye Gastrol’no-kontsertnoye Ob’yedinenie (All-Russian society for guest performances). He played with Aleksey Kozlov in the big band VIO-66 (the Vocal Instrumental Orchestra, directed by the composer Yuri Saulsky) and also in a quartet drawn from the band which recorded at a festival in Moscow in 1967. Thereafter he worked in a duo with German Luk’yanov (1969–70) and led various groups ranging in size from quartet to sextet (1969–91); these groups made several recordings, among them Pered zakhodom solntsa (1985, Mel. C60 21873003) and Live at the Village Gate (1988, Mobile Fidelity 861). Bril performed at festivals and concerts in Europe, Indonesia, Cuba, and the USA. From 1991 he led the group New Generation, which included his twin sons, the saxophonists Dmitry and Alexander (...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(Ray )

(b Hernando, MS, March 28, 1954). American pianist and composer. He grew up in Memphis in a musical family and played drums, baritone horn, and trumpet, on which he won several awards in his youth, before taking up piano. At Memphis State University (1972–5) he focused on piano and was encouraged to explore jazz by his classmate James Williams. He then worked locally before replacing Williams in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (1981). While with Blakey he toured internationally and appeared in the video Jazz at the Smithsonian:Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (1982). In 1982 rheumatoid arthritis forced Brown to leave the group. From 1983 to 1985 he was a member of the faculty at the Berklee College of Music, and in 1988 he began teaching jazz history and leading student ensembles at the University of Tennessee. Although his activities have been limited by arthritis, he has occasionally worked with Freddie Hubbard, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, and the ...

Article

Stan Britt

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Dumfries, Scotland, April 21, 1933; d London, Feb 25, 2009). English trumpeter, flugelhorn player, bandleader, composer, writer, and teacher, brother of Mike Carr. His mother played ukulele and banjo. Carr grew up in northeast England, where he took piano lessons from the age of 12 and taught himself trumpet from 1950. After studying at King’s College, Newcastle upon Tyne (1952–60, degree, English literature, diploma, education) he served in the army (1956–8), then played with his brother in a band, the Emcee Five (1960 – August 1962). He briefly joined Don Rendell in November 1962 and, after recovering from illness, formed a long-lived quintet with Rendell from 1963 to July 1969; during this period he also worked with Joe Harriott (recording in 1969), Don Byas, and John McLaughlin. In September 1969 he formed his own band, Nucleus, which rapidly became recognized internationally for its experiments with jazz-rock. As a result of its performance at the Montreux International Jazz Festival in ...

Article

Dave Gelly

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b South Bend, IN, Nov 28, 1932). Tenor saxophonist, composer, and teacher . He joined Woody Herman’s orchestra in late 1953, interrupting his music studies at Indiana University, and toured with the group until summer 1954; his solo on I Love Paris (1953, Mars 1002) attracted considerable critical acclaim. He recorded in Paris for the Vogue label (1954) and in San Francisco as a leader and with Mel Lewis (both 1956), then worked as a freelance on the West Coast, playing for a brief period with Stan Kenton. His work with college bands led to his becoming a prominent teacher of jazz, and in 1960 he was appointed to the first of several university posts. Coker has written a number of books about jazz and is one of the most highly regarded writers within the field of jazz education; he has also composed for student bands. In the mid-1980s he recorded two new albums as a leader, ...

Article

André Barbera

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Norfolk, VA, July 17, 1926; d New York, May 18, 1984). American trumpeter, flugelhorn player, composer, and teacher, father of Keith Copeland. He studied classical trumpet and in his teens played with groups in Brooklyn. After working in New York with Cecil Scott at the Savoy Ballroom (1945) and Chris Columbus at Small’s Paradise (1946) he toured with Mercer Ellington (1947–8) and the Savoy Sultans (i) and recorded with Lucky Thompson (1949). During the early 1950s he worked only part-time as a trumpeter, for Andy Kirk, Lucky Millinder, Sy Oliver, and others. He was featured in the film Kiss her Goodbye (1959), and played bop and swing with Lionel Hampton (recording in August 1956), Oscar Pettiford’s orchestra (at Birdland in 1957), Specs Powell’s orchestra (recording in 1957), Randy Weston (1957–8), and Gigi Gryce and Johnny Richards (both ...

Article

Frederick A. Beck

[Lyle F. ]

(b Delevan, NY, July 12, 1918). American trumpeter, arranger, composer, and teacher. He trained to become a teacher at Fredonia (New York) College (1937–9) and later in life studied with the composers Paul Creston (1947–8) and Stefan Wolpe (1950–53) and the trumpeters Benny Baker (also 1950–53) and Murray Karpilosky (1955–8). In 1938–9 he worked with the clarinetist and saxophonist Dick Stabile and then joined Red Norvo, with whom his brother Arthur had previously played trombone. After leaving Norvo (1941) Dedrick performed and recorded with Claude Thornhill (1941–2), played briefly with Ray McKinley (1946), then returned to Thornhill (1946–7); his imaginative arrangement of ’Deed I do may be heard on the album The Uncollected Claude Thornhill (1947, Hindsight 108). In the 1950s and 1960s he worked as a freelance trumpeter, arranger, and composer in studios in New York, during which time he wrote music for Don Elliott, Maxine Sullivan, and Lee Wiley, among others; he performed with Urbie Green (...

Article

Géza Gábor Simon

[Gárdonyi, László ]

(b Budapest, July 3, 1956). Hungarian pianist, composer, and teacher. He studied classical music, jazz, and ethnic music at the Béla Bartók Musical Training College in Budapest between 1976 and 1979 and first recorded with Zbigniew Namysłowski in 1983. From 1983 to 1985 he attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston; as a member of the quartet Forward Motion with Tommy Smith, Terje Gewelt, and Ian Froman, he recorded at the college in 1984 and in Oslo in 1985. Gardony won first prize at the Great American Piano Competition in 1987 and joined the Berklee faculty that same year. He has toured extensively in North America and Europe, performing at major festivals and concert series, and he has played with such musicians as Dave Liebman, Miroslav Vitous, John Abercrombie, Mick Goodrick, Garrison Fewell, Phil Wilson, Tony Lakatos, and the percussionist George Jinda. A video clip from his unaccompanied solo concert in Budapest in ...

Article

Walter Ojakäär

(L’vovich )

(b Moscow, Jan 25, 1938). Russian reed player, composer, and teacher. He studied clarinet at a music school in Leningrad (graduating in 1956) but taught himself to play saxophone and flute. From 1953 to 1955 he worked with the accordionist and saxophonist Stanislav Pozhlakov, and in 1957 he formed a sextet that included the violinist Arkady Liskovich, the tenor saxophonist Valery Milevsky, and the pianist Teimuraz Kukholev. The sextet was enlarged soon afterwards and in 1958 formed the basis of an orchestra led by Yosif Vainstein, for whom Golstain played lead alto saxophone, served as principal soloist, and wrote arrangements; at the same time he led a quintet with Konstantin Nosov consisting of members of Vainstein’s orchestra. Later he toured with a big band led by Ady Rosner (1966–7), played under the bandleader Vadim Ludvikovsky in the orchestra of Vsesoyuznoye Radio (All-union radio) (1968–73...