1-20 of 203 results  for:

  • Musical Concepts, Genres, and Terms x
  • Instrumentalist x
Clear all

Article

Val Wilmer

(Stanley )

(b Cape Town, June 26, 1947). South African drummer, percussionist, singer, and leader. Known first for his singing, he developed as a drummer by accompanying other singers in Cape Town and playing with the quartet led by the pianist Cecil May. In 1962 he joined the Coon Carnival stage show. He then spent seven years in Swaziland, where he played bop with the pianists Roy Peterson and Howard Belling and accompanied Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson. In 1975 he traveled to England and worked in variety and dance bands before joining Dudu Pukwana’s group Zila. In 1981 he founded the trio District Six with Mervyn Afrika and the guitarist Russell Herman, both of whom grew up in the District Six area of Cape Town; with Abrahams as its leader, the trio expanded to a sextet (including Jim Dvorak from 1983 to 1993 and Claude Deppa at some point thereafter) and became an important focus for musicians who played both jazz and African rhythms. Abrahams also worked with Ronnie Scott, John Taylor, Johnny Dyani, and the Brotherhood of Breath. In ...

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

(bIsmâ’ ilîya, Egypt, June 8, 1931). Frenchsinger and pianist. He studied music in Paris and played piano with Don Byas (1955) and Stephane Grappelli (1957). He was a singer with the Blue Stars (1955–6), toured and recorded with the Double Six (1959–65), and took part in a session with Jon Hendricks and others (1965). Aldebert was married to the singer Monique Dozo (b Monaco, 5 May 1931; later known as Monique Aldebert-Guérin), who had sung with Bernard Peiffer (1947) and performed in Paris clubs with Byas, Django Reinhardt, Bobby Jasper, the Double Six (with which she recorded in 1959 and 1964), and Bill Coleman (1966). After moving to the USA (1967) the couple settled first in Las Vegas, where they appeared in revues, and then in Los Angeles (...

Article

Howard Rye

(bMemphis, July 30, 1906; dNew York, Feb 2, 1983). Americandouble bass and tuba player and singer. His date of birth, previously unknown, is taken from the social security death index. At Le Moyne College, Memphis, he played in a band with Jimmy Crawford. Both men recorded two titles in 1927 with the Chickasaw Syncopators (Col. 14301D), and Chickasaw Stomp includes an example of Allen’s half-spoken, half-sung vocal “preaching.” In summer 1928 Allen joined Jimmie Lunceford’s orchestra, and four years later he changed from tuba to double bass. He may be heard on tuba on Sweet Rhythm (1930, Vic. 38141), while his double bass playing is prominent on such recordings by Lunceford as Avalon (1935, Decca 668), Organ Grinder’s Swing (1936, Decca 908), and Harlem Shout (1936, Decca 980), which reveal him as one of the major practitioners of the era; he also appears in the short film ...

Article

[Overton ]

(b Washington, DC, Dec 14, 1905; d Washington, July 5, 1989). American trumpeter and singer. His birth and death dates, previously unknown, are taken from the social security death index. After working in New York with the trombonist Bill Brown (1928–30) he performed and recorded with Claude Hopkins (1931–6); a good example of his playing may be heard on I would do anything for you (1932, Col. 2665D), and he may be seen with Hopkins in the short films Barber Shop Blues (1933) and By Request (1935). He then formed his own big band, which made its début at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem in December 1936 and held residencies at various clubs in New York, including the Ubangi Club (1937), the Plantation Club (1937–8), the Roseland Ballroom (1939–41, 1942–7) and the Baby Grand Café (...

Article

Adriano Mazzoletti

(b Genoa, Italy, 1908). Italian pianist, singer, and violinist. He first worked in Genoa with Tullio Mobiglia and others (1927–33). From 1934 he played piano and violin in a small band led by Kramer Gorni in Milan, which made several recordings, including Anime gemelle (1935...

Article

Gerhard Conrad

(b Pforzheim, Germany, Oct 6, 1929). German soprano, tenor, and bass saxophonist. After receiving three lessons on guitar from a member of the Reinhardt clan he played in dance bands until 1950. He then contacted Sidney Bechet in Paris and learned to play soprano saxophone. He played in Germany with the arranger and bandleader Ernst Simon and also with American soldiers. In ...

Article

David Flanagan

revised by Anthony Barnett

(b Copenhagen, Feb 28, 1916; d Feb 7, 2017). Danish violinist, entertainer, and singer. He began playing violin as a young child. As a schoolboy he heard the popular violinists Eli Donde and Otto Lington, but did not at first consider music as a career. He undertook studies in sculpture (at the Academy of Arts in Copenhagen), dentistry, and law, and during the same period led amateur orchestras. In 1933 he made his professional début at the Apollo Theater in Copenhagen, and the following year he formed a sextet, along the lines of Joe Venuti’s groups, which first recorded in 1935. In 1936 he heard Stuff Smith’s contemporary recordings; these exerted a great influence on his understanding of how the violin might be used as a jazz instrument. Asmussen played with the Mills Brothers (1937) and Fats Waller (1938) when they toured Denmark, and he recorded with Oscar Alemán (...

Article

Johnny Simmen

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Evergreen, AL, Dec 4, 1904; d New York, June 14, 1980). American trumpeter and singer. While he appears throughout the literature as Autrey, on the label of an acetate recording made by Stuff Smith in Cincinnati in 1942 he signs his name clearly and unambiguously as Herman Autry. He studied alto horn from 1914 but changed to trumpet in 1919. In 1923 he moved to Pittsburgh, where he performed with local bands; he also toured extensively, mostly in the South, and worked temporarily as a bandleader in Florida. After playing in Boston he moved to Washington, then three years later settled in Philadelphia, where he performed mainly with the bandleader George “Doc” Hyder until 1933. In late 1933, while playing with the pianist Charlie Johnson at Smalls’ Paradise in New York, he caught the attention of Fats Waller; Autrey may be heard on most of Waller’s recordings, both with sextet and big band, between ...

Article

(b Louisville, KY, Nov 1, 1904; d New York, Dec 8, 1967). American trumpeter and singer. He was brought up in Chicago from the age of three. He first played with Zinky Cohn in Harbor Springs, Michigan (1926), then in 1928 moved to New York, where he worked with Bingie Madison (1928), recorded with Bessie Smith (1930) and Louis Armstrong (1932), and performed and recorded with Chick Webb (1930–?1934), Benny Carter (1932), Duke Ellington (1933–4), and Armstrong (1935–8). In 1938 tuberculosis forced a temporary retirement. After working with Carter again (at the Savoy Ballroom, March–May 1939) he toured Europe with Willie Lewis and recorded as a leader and with Freddy Johnson in Paris (both 1939) and with Lewis in Zurich (1941). In 1941 he returned to the USA, where he played and recorded with Cootie Williams (briefly in spring ...

Article

Michel Laplace

(b Kiel, Germany, Aug 13, 1950). French trombonist and singer. He played banjo with the soprano saxophonist Jacques Doudelle (1975), then changed to trombone and worked with the soprano saxophonist Olivier Franc and, from 1979, with Maxim Saury. In 1981 he co-founded the quartet Slapscat with the bass player Gilles Chevaucherie, and from 1981 to 1984 he was in residence at the Meridian hotel in Paris, where he played with Joe Newman, Clark Terry, Doc Cheatham, and Slim Gaillard. In 1983 he joined François Biensan’s Ellingtomania, with which he recorded Almost Cried (1994, Jazz aux Remparts 64006). He also played with the Parad Brass Band (1992) and the François Laudet Big Band (from 1993). A capable scat singer, Bacqueville is an accomplished trombonist who was influenced mainly by Vic Dickenson.

R. Fonsèque: “Portrait,” Jazz Dixie/Swing: du Ragtime au Big Band, no.9 (1995), 12...

Article

Howard Rye

(“Guitar”) [Baker, McHouston; McHouston, Big Red]

(b Louisville, KY, Oct 15, 1925). American guitarist and singer. He spent some of his childhood in an orphanage. Having initially played trumpet and double bass, he settled on guitar in the early 1940s and took private lessons on the instrument between 1945 and 1948. In 1947–8 he was a member of the trio led by the pianist Jimmy Neely. Stranded in California without work in 1949, he heard the singer and guitarist Pee Wee Crayton and became aware of the potentialities of blues. During the next few years he toured with Lester Young, Paul Williams, and Paul Quinichette, then joined the trio of the pianist Billy Valentine, with whom he first recorded in 1951. In August 1952 he recorded for Savoy with Hal Singer (under both their names), thereby launching a career as a session musician which encompassed most of the musical idioms then current. Among many others, he accompanied the singers Ruth Brown, Joe Turner (ii), Dinah Washington, Ray Charles, and LaVern Baker, and recorded with Jesse Stone, Sammy Price, King Curtis, Louis Jordan, Al Sears, Sam “the Man” Taylor, and Hot Lips Page. From ...

Article

Howard Rye

(Victor )

(b Baton Rouge, LA, April 15, 1909; d California, Oct 1983). American pianist, leader, and singer. Details of his birth appear in his application for social security. After working with the drummer Curtis Mosby from around 1933 to 1934 he ceased full-time performing, but he played in a band during his military service. On recordings made in Los Angeles in late 1945 he accompanied Ernie Andrews with his own trio (which included Charles Mingus) and Dinah Washington as a member of Lucky Thompson’s All Stars. He also formed the Rhythm Bombardiers with a number of fellow servicemen; this group recorded with such well-known musicians as Vic Dickenson, Willie Smith, and Dizzy Gillespie, who played for union scale. Baranco’s playing and singing may be heard on Everytime I think of you/Baranco’s Boogie (1946, Black & White 42). In 1946 he recorded with Mingus and by 1947 he was leading a trio, in which Ulysses Livingston was a sideman. He later worked as a music teacher in California, and the social security death index gives his last known residence as El Cerrito. (D. Saleman: Liner notes, ...

Article

Michel Laplace

(b Loda, nr Lantosque, France, March 1, 1917; d Monaco, July 13, 1995). French trumpeter, singer, and bandleader. He was largely self-taught as a musician. He went to Paris in January 1940 and played with the bandleader and saxophonist Raymond Legrand (1940), Fred Adison’s band, the pianist Raymond Wraskoff (1940–41), Hubert Rostaing (1940–41), Alix Combelle’s group the Jazz de Paris (1940–41), Maceo Jefferson, and André Ekyan (1941). In 1943–5 he performed and recorded as the leader of a successful group consisting of a trumpet, five saxophones, and a rhythm section; Dizzy Gillespie was a guest soloist with the band in 1948. Barelli recorded in jam sessions with Charlie Parker and Sidney Bechet (1949), and Django Reinhardt (1952), and from 1966 worked as a bandleader in Monte Carlo. Influenced by Louis Armstrong, Harry James, and Gillespie, Barelli was the most technically proficient French trumpeter; his performance on ...

Article

Rainer E. Lotz

[William ]

(b USA, c1890; d ? USA, after 1933). American alto and tenor saxophonist, clarinetist, and singer. His first known engagements were in China (1920) and Australia. After moving to England in 1925 he played in Bert Ralton’s Savoy Havana Band and recorded with Bert Firman (...

Article

Wim van Eyle

[Pieternella ]

(b The Hague, Sept 18, 1925). Dutch pianist and singer. She is self-taught as a musician. She sang with a Hawaiian vocal group, the Samoa Girls (1939–42), sang and played piano with the Dutch group the Miller Sextet (1944–9), and appeared in shows sponsored by the USO. From 1949 she led a trio and worked as a soloist, and between 1952 and 1967 she made several visits to the USA (approximately at yearly intervals) during which she performed in Hollywood and at Birdland in New York; she also took Eddie de Haas and Wallace Bishop for an engagement in the South in 1957, but racist conditions prevented Bishop from working – he returned to the Netherlands and Al Levitt took his place. Beck operated a club in Torremolinos, Spain, from 1965. In the 1980s she returned to the Netherlands, where she has worked mainly with her trio, with Koos Serierse, George van Deyl, or Henk Haverhoek on double bass, and Kees Kranenburg, Huub Janssen, or Roberto Haliffi on drums. She made a number of recordings, of which ...

Article

Steve Smith and Gary W. Kennedy

(b St. Louis, June 19, 1956). American guitarist and singer. He began to play music at the age of 12 and received his first guitar lesson from Oliver Lake, who introduced him to the Black Artists Group; through this association he met and was influenced by Hamiet Bluiett and Lester and Joseph Bowie. After studying at the University of Missouri at Columbia and at Southern Illinois University, in the late 1970s he moved to New York and began to work with Lester Bowie and Charles “Bobo” Shaw, who was also from St. Louis. In 1978 he formed an association with Arthur Blythe that lasted into the early 1990s. In addition he was a member of Joseph Bowie’s jazz-funk ensemble Defunkt (1980–88), and the stylistic approach of this group as well as the more free-jazz-oriented influences of Shaw and Blythe were applied to his own band, Kelvynator, in which Eric Person was among his sidemen....

Article

Bruce Johnson

(Emerson )

(b Melbourne, Australia, Jan 4, 1919; d Melbourne, Australia, June 17, 2008). Australian trumpeter, washboard player, composer, singer, and bandleader, brother of Graeme Bell. He first worked as a drummer, then in 1938 began to play cornet. Having worked in Melbourne with his brother at Leonard’s Café, he briefly led the band at Heidelberg Town Hall (1943), where he recorded with a visiting Max Kaminsky, before Graeme Bell returned from Queensland to take over the group’s leadership. He remained in Graeme’s dixieland groups during their European tours (1947–8, 1950–52), after which he worked with Max Collie (1953) and in the house band at the Melbourne Jazz Club (from 1958). Bell was active as a freelance musician and led his own band, the Pagan Pipers (a name he had used first in 1949), which with various personnel (notably Len Barnard and Ade Monsbourgh) performed and recorded for many years; among its recordings were a number of Bell’s own compositions. His playing may be heard to advantage on ...

Article

Brian Peerless

[Gordon ]

(b Fort Worth, Feb 12, 1914; d Costa Mesa, CA, May 30, 2000). American tenor saxophonist, singer, and bandleader. As a child he played soprano saxophone, and in his teens he worked with territory bands in Texas and Oklahoma. In 1938 he joined Glenn Miller, to whom he had been recommended by Gene Krupa. Miller gave him a highly prominent role, and his playing may be heard on In the Mood and other pieces. Beneke also became one of the band’s principal singers; he often took duets with Marion Hutton, and sang with the Modernaires on such recordings as Chattanooga Choo Choo. He appeared with the band in films and became extremely popular, winning several polls. When the ensemble disbanded in 1942 Beneke toured with the Modernaires. During World War II he directed a navy dance band in Oklahoma, and following his discharge he was selected by the administrators of Miller’s estate to assume leadership of the latter’s band (...

Article

Brian Peerless

(Edric Barron) [Barnhardt; Barron, Ed]

(b Gold Hill, NC, July 11, 1905; d Newark, NJ, May 20, 1986). American trombonist and singer. Brought up in Harrisburg and Steeltown, Pennsylvania, he first played professionally in 1923 before moving to New York in 1928; two years later, on the advice of a psychic, he changed the spelling of his surname from Barnhardt to Bernhardt. He toured with King Oliver (March–November 1931), who first encouraged him to sing, and played with the Alabamians (led by the clarinetist and saxophonist Marion Hardy, November 1931 – September 1932), the baritone saxophonist Billy Fowler (September 1932 – April 1933), the guitarist and banjoist Vernon Andrade (January 1934 – February 1937), Edgar Hayes (February 1937–1942), with whom he toured Europe (1938), and Horace Henderson (1941). After touring with Fats Waller (briefly in 1942), Jay McShann (September 1942 – July 1943...