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John Shand

(b Oamaru, New Zealand, April 9, 1961). Australian keyboard player. Having moved with his family to Australia in 1964 he began taking piano lessons at the age of five; his early inspirations included the boogie-woogie pianists and Teddy Wilson. He took Australian citizenship in 1975. During high school he heard Red Garland on a recording by Miles Davis, which led him to contemporary jazz. He attended the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, where he formed The Benders with fellow students Dale Barlow, Lloyd Swanton, and the drummer Andrew Gander; the quartet recorded three albums in the first half of the 1980s. Abrahams was also involved with an improvised music collective, the Keys Music Association, which saw the start of an important association with Mark Simmonds. With the saxophonist Jason Morphett having replaced Barlow, The Benders recorded two more albums (1983, 1985), then toured India, Europe, and Cuba before disbanding. In those same years Abrahams recorded as an unaccompanied soloist, and in ...

Article

Bruce Johnson

(bSydney, March 31, 1922; dSydney, Aug 11, 1987). Australiansaxophonist, clarinetist, and bandleader. He began to play saxophone in 1933 and joined George Fuller before working as a freelance musician and in wartime entertainment units. Following the war he performed in nightclubs and pit orchestras, and in coffee lounges in Melbourne (1948), then worked in Sydney with the trombonist George Trevare and as a freelance musician. From 1955 he led bands in Sydney hotels, among them the Criterion (1958–65), the Windsor Castle, and the Bellevue. Later he was a member of bands led by Dick Hughes (1979–85) and Alan Geddes (1984–6) and led his own group at the Canberra Hotel in Paddington, Sydney. He retired in 1986 because of ill-health. Acheson’s playing, which was chiefly in dixieland and swing styles, is heard to advantage on Merv Acheson 60th Birthday Concert...

Article

Roger T. Dean

(b Sydney, May 4, 1969). Australian guitarist. He first played drums, but while a rabbinical student, influenced by a mixture of Jewish mystical components and the music of John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, and others, he changed to guitar. He performed in particular with Rob Avenaim (percussion, electronics, sampling), for example in the rock-noise group Phlegm (formed 1993), and also with the pianist Max Lyandvert in Ear Rational Music. The latter group involved Eddie Bronson (a member of the earlier and influential band Free Kata), whom Ambarchi had met through his rabbinical studies and who had been another early influence. From 1994 Ambarchi coordinated a series of improvising large ensembles, often based on John Zorn’s conceptual “game” piece Cobra. Following a series of small-scale recordings, often involving studio manipulation of their playing, he released a major work with Avenaim, The Alter Rebbe’s Nigun (1998). In the late 1990s he focused intensively on unaccompanied solo performance and made a series of recordings on European labels, mainly recorded in real-time (rather than involving studio manipulation), and with analogue rather than computer processing. He uses an array of effects units linked to create varied timbres....

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Andrew Harrison

Australian contemporary improvisation quintet. Its members were Elliott Dalgleish (reed instruments), John Rodgers (violin), Adrian Sherriff (bass trombone, flute, and south Indian percussion), Jon Dimond (six-string electric bass guitar, trombone, and various percussion instruments), and Ken Edie (drums). It was formed by Dalgleish in 1989 and performed at the Pinnacles Festival in Brisbane that year. Between 1991 and 1992 the ensemble invited established musicians from other parts of Australia (including Roger Frampton and Roger Dean) to play with them in Brisbane, where they were based, and in the latter year it made an eponymous recording, Artisans Workshop (Tall Poppies 028). After receiving government funding, it embarked on national tours in 1993 and 1994, performing at universities, art galleries, and clubs. In 1996 the quintet appeared in Bombay, India, and at the New Music Tasmania Festival at the University of Tasmania. Artisans Workshop was a collaborative group with a broad philosophical position on contemporary music whose members exhibited remarkable technical virtuosity; their performances usually included completely improvised pieces and their own rythmically elaborate compositions, often involving metrical modulation. (J. Clare [G. Brennan, pseud.]: ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

Ensemble formed in December 1954 by the reed players Errol Buddle and Dick Healey, the pianist Bryce Rohde, and the drummer and vibraphonist Jack Brokensha. It first recorded in New York in 1955; thereafter its members played with a succession of other musicians (including Frank Capp, Osie Johnson, and Nick Stabulas), working latterly as a quintet and occasionally as a sextet. Australian sources testify that the group disbanded in 1959, after touring Australia in 1958, and played only two isolated reunion jobs in 1986 and 1993. Colin Bailey asserts that he became its drummer after moving to Australia in 1958 and traveled to the USA as a member of the group in 1961; he reports that two group members then moved to Canada, while Rohde and an American musician returned to Australia. Evidently the dispute may have less to do with the actual events than with the question of whether these later activities were by the Australian Jazz Quartet/Quintet or by the Bryce Rohde Quartet/Quintet....

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(James )

(b Swindon, England, July 9, 1934). American drummer. He began to teach himself to play drums as a small child and studied formally from the age of seven into his late teens. From 1958 he lived in Australia, where he joined the Australian Jazz Quartet and recorded with Bryce Rohde in 1960. He gained his green card to work in the USA for a tour, with Rohde, in the Australian Jazz Quartet (or, by another account, in the Bryce Rohde Quartet), but within about five weeks of his arrival was taken on by Vince Guaraldi. He worked with Guaraldi until 1963, and recorded in San Francisco with the pianist’s trio accompanying Jimmy Witherspoon and Ben Webster (c1962; misdated as 1959, 1960, or 1967 in various discographies); he also collaborated with Guaraldi in recording the music for the Charlie Brown television shows in 1965. After settling in the Los Angeles area Bailey performed and recorded with Clare Fischer (...

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Jeff Pressing, John Whiteoak and Roger T. Dean

[Judith Mary ]

(b Auckland, New Zealand, Oct 3, 1935). New Zealand pianist and composer. After arriving in Sydney in 1960 she quickly became a prominent studio musician. She led a succession of trios and larger groups and worked with many important Australian players, including Don Burrows and Errol Buddle; she was also active in education, notably as a staff member of the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music (from 1990, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music) and as music director of the Sydney Youth Jazz Ensemble. Her compositional output increased considerably during the 1970s, when she wrote film scores and music for children. Bailey participated in performances of Don Banks’s Nexus for jazz quintet and orchestra, and made several recordings. In the 1980s she undertook several tours of Asia and in the 1990s she remained active, recording again as a leader in 1992.

Article

Mark Gilbert

(b Sydney, Dec 25, 1959). Australian saxophonist. He learned classical piano, flute, recorder, and drums as a youth and played electric bass guitar in a rock band at the age of 12. In his teens he took up alto saxophone, and when he was 16 he changed to the tenor instrument. He attended the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music (1980–82); later he studied at the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in New York (1989–91) and the Australian National University in Canberra (MM 1995–7). When he was 17 he toured Australia with Sonny Stitt, and in 1979 he played at the Monterey Jazz Festival with the Young Northside Big Band. In the 1980s and 1990s he spent much of his time in the USA and Europe, and he performed with Cedar Walton and Guy Barker in London, and with Gil Evans in New York and Europe; during the same period he was a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (...

Article

Tony Gould

[Robert Graeme ]

(b Melbourne, Australia, Nov 24, 1933). Australian trumpeter, brother of Len Barnard. He gained early experience in brass bands, and first played jazz in 1947 with a group consisting of members of his family. From 1947 to 1955 he was a member of the traditional-jazz ensemble led by his brother Len; he continued to make recordings with this group at intervals until 1968, and also recorded as a leader in 1952, 1957, and 1962. In 1957 he moved to Sydney, where he played with a number of bands, including the Graeme Bell All-Stars (with which he recorded, 1962–4). Barnard formed his own band in 1974, and toured Australia, North America, Europe, India, and South-East Asia; he toured the USA as a soloist in 1985. As a sideman he worked in Australia and overseas with, among others, Bud Freeman, Ralph Sutton, Wild Bill Davison, Milt Hinton, Don Burrows, and Peanuts Hucko. Throughout the 1990s he continued to tour overseas, often joining groups as a guest artist. His recordings involve both prominent Australian and international artists, and his warm fluid playing with its origins in the styles of Louis Armstrong, Bunny Berigan, and Bobby Hackett may be heard in a wide variety of musical settings....

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Tony Gould

[Leonard Arthur ]

(b Melbourne, Australia, April 23, 1929; d Sydney, November 4, 2005). Australian drummer, brother of Bob Barnard. He first played jazz in his family’s band, then in 1947 formed his own traditional-jazz ensemble, which recorded from 1949 and made one of the first Australian jazz albums. The group continued to record until 1968, often under the name Len Barnard’s Famous Jazz Band; its albums include The Naked Dance (1961, Swaggie S1287 [incl. previously released tracks]). Barnard also played with the orchestra of the Palais de Danse in Melbourne (1956–60) and with the trio led by the pianist Les Patching (1961–70); during the same period he recorded with Roger Bell, Frank Johnson, Ade Monsbourgh, and Dave Dallwitz. After moving to Sydney in 1974 he performed and recorded with Judy Bailey, Errol Buddle, and John Sangster. In 1976 he joined the group Galapagos Duck, led by the saxophonist and flutist Tom Hare, with which he toured abroad in ...

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

Philip Greene

(Marie Wolffe )

(b Colombo, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka], June 1, 1940). Sri Lankan singer. She studied piano and cello as a child, and first heard jazz in broadcasts on Voice of America. She won a trip to Australia to sing with Graeme Bell in 1954, presented her own radio program in Ceylon, and toured Japan, Korea, and India with Toshiko Akiyoshi in 1955. The following year she moved to London, where she acted with the BBC Repertory Company and sang at jazz clubs. In 1959 she performed frequently at the Blue Note in Paris. She met Jon Hendricks and Dave Lambert in London in 1962 and moved to New York to join their vocal group as a replacement for Annie Ross, who had left because of illness; Bavan performed and recorded with the group until it disbanded in 1964, and may be seen with it in the documentary film Newport Jazz Festival 1962...

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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

Bruce Johnson

revised by Roger T. Dean

(Emerson) [Gay]

(b Melbourne, Australia, Sept 7, 1914; d Sydney, June 13, 2012). Australian bandleader, composer, and pianist, brother of Roger Bell. He began classical piano studies at the age of 11, and was introduced to jazz by his brother. In 1941 he held a pioneering jazz residency at Leonard’s Café in Melbourne and played for the Contemporary Art Society, indicating his radical interests. After working briefly in Queensland (1943) he returned to Melbourne, where he took over the group led by his brother at Heidelberg Town Hall and performed regularly for the Hot Jazz Society of the communist Eureka Youth League. In 1946 he started the Uptown Club in their premises and helped to inaugurate the Australian Jazz Convention. Having established his reputation in Australia with recordings in the dixieland style made in 1947, he toured Europe with his band (1947–8) under the Eureka’s sponsorship. In England his “jazz for dancing” policy was influential in promoting the acceptance of jazz as a major form of youth entertainment. In ...

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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

John Shand

[Robert Anthony ]

(b Mayfield, Australia, March 6, 1939). Australian saxophonist. He was self-taught on clarinet from the age of nine, then studied both clarinet and saxophone for three years from the age of 15. In the late 1950s and early 1960s he worked with the Australian rock-and-roll star Johnny O’Keefe, and in 1958 he formed a jazz quintet which included either Bryce Rohde or Mike Nock on piano; later members were Keith Sterling (trumpet), Dave Levy (piano), Bruce Cale (double bass), and Lou Young (drums). Bertles, who plays a wide range of reed instruments, specialized on soprano, alto, and baritone saxophones. He worked in 1968–9 with the rhythm-and-blues band Max Merritt and the Meteors, which he left in England to join Ian Carr’s fusion band Nucleus. After four years he returned to Australia in 1976 and became a member of the quartet led by the pianist Col Nolan. From 1979 to 1983...

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Tony Gould

(b Sydney, Feb 8, 1947). Australian singer. She first studied piano. From 1968 to 1971 she sang with a cooperative group, the Affair, touring Australia and England, after which she joined the Daly–Wilson Big Band and worked as a studio musician and in cabaret. In 1973–4 she toured North America, where she appeared on television and performed with her ensemble Compared to What. Following her return to Australia she presented her own radio program, “Kerrie Biddell and Friends,” for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. During the 1970s she recorded three albums as a leader. In 1982 she formed a duo with the pianist Julian Lee and joined the faculty of the New South Wales Conservatorium in Sydney to teach jazz. She remained active through the 1990s. Biddell possesses a powerful voice with an uncommonly wide range and is a gifted improviser; she may be heard to particular advantage on the track ...

Article

Bruce Johnson

revised by Roger T. Dean

[John Joseph, John Jazza]

(b Adelaide, Australia, Jan 5, 1926; d Sarasota, FL, October 28, 2010). Australian vibraphonist, drummer, arranger, composer, and bandleader. He was playing xylophone by the age of six and later studied piano and drums; he became interested in jazz while serving in an RAAF entertainment unit (1944–6). After the war he led groups in Adelaide and played in coffee lounges and at concerts in Melbourne (1947–8). Among his sidemen at this period was Errol Buddle; Brokensha’s playing is well represented by the recording Buddle’s Bebop Boogie (1948, Jazzart 3–4). Extensive touring established his reputation in Australia, and he worked in Sydney (1949–50), Brisbane (1950), where his group disbanded, and Adelaide (1951). With Bryce Rohde he traveled in 1953 to Canada, where he became a founding member of the Australian Jazz Quartet (December 1954, with Rohde, Buddle, and the reed player Dick Healey). Later expanded to a quintet and occasionally to a sextet, the group was extremely successful in the USA; among its albums were ...

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Roger T. Dean

(b Moscow, June 12, 1946). Australian saxophonist of Russian Jewish birth. A jazz musician by the age of 15, he left the USSR in 1972, having played and recorded with many contemporary Soviet musicians. He worked in Israel, and then came to prominence in Australia (where he took citizenship in 1973) through his participation in Free Kata, probably the earliest free-jazz group in the country, mainly with Serge Ermoll (keyboards) and Lou Burdett (drums). The high energy of this group is well represented on their recordings, which include examples of their collaborations with the writer John Clare, who performed and to some degree improvised texts with and against the music. Bronson next went to the USA, where he played and studied with Bob Berg, Steve Grossman, Dave Liebman, Elvin Jones, and others. Back in Australia he worked with most of the country’s leading improvisers. Encounters at Moriah College (a center for rabbinical studies) led to his influencing a younger generation of sound improvisers, notably Oren Ambarchi, Max Lyandvert (piano), and Rob Avenaim (percussion, electronics, and sampling), with whom he performed in the group Ear Rational Music. Later he played with Misha Mengelberg. While Bronson is active mainly in ensembles that involve free improvisation, he sometimes plays in more formal groups; he is featured in the film ...

Article

Tony Gould

(b Melbourne, Australia, Dec 29, 1933). Australian composer, tenor and soprano saxophonist, and bandleader. He was self-taught as a musician. He formed his first group, a quintet, in 1956, and this quickly became prominent in Australian experimental jazz. Later he led and composed for a number of ensembles, and he recorded numerous albums from 1958 onwards. He toured Europe both with his Australian Jazz Ensemble (1978) and with various groups that performed experimental and newly composed classical works (1980–86). In 1981 Brown established a course in jazz at the Victorian College of the Arts. Having played tenor and soprano saxophone, in the mid-1970s he began to concentrate on the soprano instrument. His activities in the 1980s and 1990s embraced commissions of new works, notably Spirit of the Light (1990), Winged Messenger (1994), and Temple Dreaming (1996), appearances in North America, performances as an unaccompanied soloist in South Africa, and new recordings. In ...