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Pekka Gronow

[Junnu]

(bKouvola, Finland, Dec 12, 1935). Finnishtenor and alto saxophonist and flutist. He learned to play guitar and tenor saxophone during his years of schooling and army service, and spent three years in Sweden without playing; after returning to Finland he took up baritone saxophone, then changed to the alto instrument. He studied flute at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and later spent a period in Boston at the Berklee College of Music. In the 1950s he played in a sextet led by the trumpeter Heikki Rosendahl in Inkeroinen. He moved to Helsinki in 1961 and worked frequently as a studio musician, except during the late 1970s, when a three-year government grant gave him the freedom to pursue his own musical interests. At the same time he made a name as a lyrical free-jazz and jazz-rock soloist, recording with Eero Koivistoinen (1969–73), Edward Vesala (from ...

Article

Michel Laplace

(b Paris, Jan 16, 1920). French clarinetist and bandleader. In 1941 he put together a jazz band which by 1943 had been joined by Boris Vian and was considered the first revival band in France. At its peak, in the years 1944–6, Abadie introduced such musicians as Claude Luter, Jef Gilson, and, from 1945, the Fol brothers, who may be heard on Tin Roof Blues (1946, Swing 212) and I’ve found a new baby (1946, Pathé 1013 [EP]). The band was strongly influenced by the Chicagoans and Bix Beiderbecke. In 1949 Abadie assembled a new band with such young players as Benny Vasseur and Jean-Claude Fohrenbach. He then retired from music (1952–63), but from 1965 led a modern-jazz nonet or tentet, which included the tenor saxophonist Paul Vernon (playing in a style influenced by Lester Young), with a repertory consisting of compositions by Ahmad Jamal, John Lewis, John Coltrane, and others....

Article

Aušra Listavičiūtė

[Gintas ]

(b Vilnius, USSR [now Lithuania], March 28, 1959). Lithuanian pianist. He played accordion from the age of four, studied piano from 1966 to 1977, and took courses in composition and jazz history at the M. K. Čiurlionis Gymnasium of Arts. At that time he admired rock music, but a recording by Oscar Peterson led to his interest in jazz. From 1977 he studied classical piano and composition at the Lithuanian music academy. In 1978 he formed a trio, which continued with a few changes in membership until 1994, and in the 1980s he led Jazz Archiv, a fusion group. He ceased to perform in public in 1992, though the trio played together for two more years. Abarius is admired for his use of impressionistic harmonies, his pure strong sound, and his impeccable technique, as heard on his album Reminiscence Blues (1988, Mel. C60-27877-007). He also plays other keyboard instruments and composes....

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Genoa, 1821; d Milan, 1896). Italian mezzo-soprano . She studied with her father, the composer and teacher Natale Abbadia, making her début in 1836 at Sassari. In Vienna she sang Corilla in Donizetti’s Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali (1840). At La Scala she created Giulietta in Verdi’s ...

Article

J.B. Steane

(b Lemberg [now L’viv], July 14, 1872; d Weidling, nr Vienna, Sept 1, 1932). Polish soprano of Austrian parentage . She first appeared as a child prodigy, singing operatic arias in her native town. At 13 she entered the Vienna Conservatory; she later studied in Milan, becoming highly proficient in florid singing while developing a voice of considerable power. She made her début (1889) in La sonnambula at the Vienna Opera. In the Munich première of Falstaff she sang Mrs Ford, and at Dresden in 1902 sang Tosca in the opera’s German première. She retired in 1908, having sung some 70 operatic roles, ranging from coloratura parts such as the Queen of Night and Lucia to dramatic roles including Sieglinde and Venus. A few rare gramophone records made in 1902 display some dubious stylistic qualities along with an extraordinary fluency in decorative work and a warm, limpid tone characteristic of the Lamperti school....

Article

Lars Westin

(b Helsingborg, Sweden, Feb 26, 1942). Swedish tenor and soprano saxophonist and leader. After studying accordion from the age of ten he started on tenor saxophone when he was 14. He gradually evolved into a professional musician, working in Stockholm and his home-town Uppsala with groups led by Bosse Broberg (1962–7), Gugge Hedrenius (1963–5), Jan Johansson, Arne Domnérus, Red Mitchell (1969–71), and others. In 1967 he was a founding member of Radiojazzgruppen (ii), of which he became the leader early in the 1980s; the band maintained its activities well into the 1990s, in spite of diminishing support from the broadcasting company. From 1972 to 1992 Åberg led the quartet Rena Rama with Bobo Stenson. He also worked frequently with Okay Temiz in the group Oriental Wind, and he participated in a variety of musical projects and recordings led by George Russell, Bob Brookmeyer, Lars Gullin, Ed Thigpen, and many others. Åberg has composed and recorded music for large ensembles, and from the early 1990s he has led several groups. He has served as artistic director of several jazz festivals in Stockholm....

Article

Andrew Jaffe

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(bBaltimore, March 10, 1923; dLos Angeles, Jan 27, 2000). Pianist. He studied piano at the Manhattan School of Music. After playing french horn in an army band he returned to New York, where he worked with Snub Mosley (1948), Wilbur De Paris (1948–9), Kai Winding and Bill Harris (1951–2), Chuck Wayne (1952), Sy Oliver, and Louie Bellson (1954); he also recorded with Eddie South (1947) and Louis Armstrong (1951). From 1954 to 1957 he toured and recorded with Ella Fitzgerald (he may be seen accompanying her in the film Pete Kelly’s Blues, 1955), and after a brief period of freelancing he worked from 1958 to 1959 as accompanist to Carmen McRae. During these years he recorded with groups led by Benny Carter and Oscar Pettiford (both 1955), in a leaderless rhythm section with Jimmy Raney, Pettiford, and Kenny Clarke for the educational Music Minus One label (also ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(b Mons, Belgium, 1962). Belgian trombonist and leader. He studied piano and guitar and at the age of 15 played piano in an amateur band; he then took up trombone (on which he is self-taught) and joined a succession of dixieland bands, including that of Claude Luter. In 1984 he turned to modern jazz as an occasional soloist with Félix Simtaine’s Act Big Band and the BRT (Belgische Radio & Televisie) Big Band and as the leader of a quartet; the latter group appeared at clubs and festivals, recorded its first album in 1986, and toured Europe from the late 1980s. Abraham joined Guy Cabay’s quintet in 1989. In the 1990s he appeared on television as a guest artist with a big band in Moscow, and he recorded with his quartet (including the albums Stapler, 1991, Igloo 091, and En public, 1996, Lyrae 9703007), as well as with Michel Herr’s big band (...

Article

Rainer E. Lotz

[Giovanni]

(bSan Girolamo di Lusiana, province of Vicenza, Italy, May 15, 1898; dMilan, Aug 1960). Italianbandleader, saxophonist, and violinist. He was brought up in Switzerland, where he formed a café orchestra with his brother Felice, who played banjo and violin. From 1925 to 1932 he toured Italy, Germany, and Switzerland and made several recordings as a leader for Homocord (1927–8, including Just Once Again, 2514, and Say it with a Red Rose, 2524, both 1928), in which Arthur Briggs may have taken part. Abriani held an engagement in Calcutta from 1932 to 1934, during which time he recorded for HMV’s Twin label. After returning to Europe he toured (1934–9) and made further recordings (1937–9), and then settled in Italy. Although he was not himself a jazz soloist, he often employed excellent jazz players as his sidemen. (A. Mazzoletti: Il jazz in Italia: dalle origini al dopoguerra...

Article

Jürg Stenzl

(b Bucharest, Oct 18, 1909; d Wabern, nr Berne, March 9, 1960). Swiss conductor . After studying at the Royal Academy in Bucharest and the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, he became Kapellmeister at the Düsseldorf Opera House, and in 1932 chief Kapellmeister and opera director at the German Theatre in Brno. He was chief Kapellmeister at the Berne Municipal Theatre (...

Article

Stefano Zenni

(b Turin, Italy, March 21, 1952). Italian tenor and baritone saxophonist, bass clarinetist, and leader. He first played jazz in the Turin area in the early 1970s. In 1974 he was a founding member, with the guitarist Claudio Lodati, the double bass player Enrico Fazio, and the drummer Fiorenzo Sordini, of the quartet Art Studio, for which all four members provide compositions and arrangements; the group plays throughout Europe in a style mixing free improvisation techniques, extended forms, and contrapuntal work. In 1984 Actis Dato formed his own quartet, consisting of the saxophonist Piero Ponzo, Fazio, and Sordini; it toured internationally through the 1990s, from the USA to Africa to Japan. He was also a member of the Democratic Orchestra (1982–5), Mitteleuropa Orchestra (1982–90), Pino Minafra’s quintet (1984–9) and Sud Ensemble (from 1994), and the Italian Instabile Orchestra (from 1990). In ...

Article

Lars Westin

(b Spånga, Sweden, April 18, 1945). Swedish trumpeter, composer, and leader. He started playing in amateur bands around Stockholm while in his teens and worked towards a career as a lawyer before becoming a full-time musician in 1972, upon the formation of the group Egba; he eventually became the leader of the band and the main contributor of compositions to its repertory. Egba’s music combined jazz-rock with African and Latin rhythms and melodies, though its last album (it disbanded in 1991) incorporates drum machines and other computerized elements. Adåker also worked with Johnny Dyani, the Stockholm-based orchestra Hot Salsa, and Radiojazzgruppen (ii), among others. From the early 1990s he has appeared as a jazz soloist in a variety of settings, often playing in the hard-bop tradition. His own groups have varied in size from quartet to octet (including a string section), and he has displayed great skill and imagination as a composer of works for Radiojazzgruppen (as heard on the album ...

Article

Charles Pitt

(b Hinsbourg, Jan 4, 1904; d Illkirch-Graffenstaden, Sept 7, 1984). French conductor, composer and opera administrator . He studied in Strasbourg with Erb and in Paris with Koechlin and Gédalge. He joined the Strasbourg Opera in 1933 as a répétiteur and stayed until he retired in 1972, being successively chorus master (1933–6), conductor from 1936, co-director (with Ernest Bour) from 1955 to 1960 and director (1960–72).

Adam sought to create a balanced repertory of French, German and Italian classics, together with contemporary works (such as Jean Martinon’s Hécube, 1956, which was specially commissioned) and revivals of rarely given masterpieces such as Les Troyens (1960) and Roussel’s Padmâvatî (1967). He gave the first French performances of Bizet’s Don Procopio (1958), Françaix’s L’apostrophe (1958), Dallapiccola’s Il prigioniero (1961), Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten (1965), Britten’s ...

Article

Michael Ethen

(Guy)

(b Kingston, ON, Nov 5, 1959). Canadian rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and photographer. The son of a diplomat, he spent his youth in England, Israel, Portugal, and Austria. After returning with his family to North America, he began performing and recording at the age of 15 with rock bands in British Columbia and Ontario. In 1978 he began what became a long and successful songwriting partnership with Jim Vallance, with whom he created most songs recorded under his name up to 1987, as well as songs recorded by Rod Stewart, Kiss, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Diamond, and the Canadian groups Prism, BTO, and Loverboy.

Adams’ albums characteristically alternate between down-tempo piano ballads and straight-ahead rock numbers. His third solo album, Cuts like a Knife (1983) launched him to the status of an international celebrity; its singles included the ballad “Straight from the Heart” and the anthem “Cuts like a Knife,” which both featured for weeks on magazine charts and music television. The next album, ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Bristol, Dec 20, 1928; d Norwich, April 8, 1996). English bass . He was a chorister at Worcester Cathedral and later became an actor. After singing in the D’Oyly Carte Opera chorus, from 1953 to 1969 he was principal bass of the company. In 1963 he co-founded ‘G&S for All’, with whom he toured extensively in Australia and the USA. In 1983 he sang the Mikado in Chicago, returning for Baron Mirko Zeta and the Theatre Director/Banker (Lulu). He made his Covent Garden début in 1983 as a Frontier Guard (Boris Godunov), and later sang Quince and Frank. For the ENO (1985–92) he has sung Dikoj (Kát’a Kabanová), Mozart’s Bartolo, and Pooh-Bah; for the WNO (1985–7) his roles included Monterone and Rossini’s Bartolo. He also appeared at Glyndebourne (Dikoj, Quince and Swallow), Amsterdam, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Geneva. In ...

Article

Rainer E. Lotz

[Rama IX Bhumibol; Phoemipol Aduldej]

(b Cambridge, MA, Dec 5, 1927). 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 is 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 plays with his court orchestra in a swing style of the 1940s that is 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

André Clergeat

(b Zurich, July 27, 1939). Swiss cellist, violinist, and singer. She studied piano and violin from a very young age and played in the orchestra at the conservatory in Geneva. An encounter with Steve Lacy in Italy in the late 1960s led her to abandon classical music; the couple were married, and in 1970 they settled in Paris. Under Lacy’s counsel, as well as that of Dave Holland and Jean-François Jenny-Clark, Aebi taught herself to play cello, which became her preferred instrument in the group constituted by Lacy. She often makes use of her deep voice in the group, reciting as well as singing literary and political texts (from such authors as Lao Tzu, Guillaume Apollinaire, Herman Melville, and Brion Gysin) set to music by the saxophonist. Aebi has also performed with Kent Carter, notably in the string group Pinch with Jean-Jacques Avenel, with Takashi Kako, and with Oliver Johnson. She may be seen in the video ...

Article

Robert Pernet

[Josse]

(bAntwerp, Belgium, Nov 11, 1903; dKeerbergen, Belgium, Sept 9, 1973). Belgiandrummer. He first performed as a teenager in revues and minstrel acts, and in the 1920s he worked with local bands in Antwerp and Ostend. He then became a member of the big band led by Chas Remue (1929) and played with Gus Deloof (1931) and in an orchestra led by the Dutch bandleader Jack de Vries (1932). In 1936 he joined a newly formed big band led by Stan Brenders, and he worked with this group, which was the official jazz orchestra of Belgian radio, until the end of World War II. Later he played for various bandleaders, including Fud Candrix, Deloof, and Jean Omer, and worked as a freelance throughout Belgium. Among the musicians with whom he recorded were Remue (1929), Jack and Louis de Vries (...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(b Brussels, June 21, 1964). Belgian double bass player. Self-taught, he first played guitar and electric bass guitar at the age of 11. He took up double bass when he was 14 and played with a dixieland band before turning to modern-jazz styles; from around the age of 18 he began to rehearse and to give concerts with Charles Loos. From the mid-1980s he performed and recorded with Félix Simtaine’s Act Big Band and accompanied such visiting soloists as Joe Lovano, Joe Henderson, Larry Schneider, Ali Ryerson, Steve Grossman, Chet Baker, Dave Kikoski, Richard Beirach, and Tom Harrell. He recorded as the leader of a trio (1994) and as a sideman with Loos (from 1987), Jacques Pelzer (1993), Steve Houben (1994), and Lew Tabackin (1996), and appeared at many European jazz festivals. In December 1996 Aerts performed in a trio with Loos and Simtaine in Shanghai, and in summer ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Verdello, Bergamo, Nov 23, 1882; d Buenos Aires, July 6, 1954). Italian soprano . She studied in Milan and made her début in 1903 at Pavia as Fedora. She sang throughout Europe, in South America and in Russia. After an engagement at the Manhattan Opera House, New York (...