1-20 of 48 results  for:

  • Aerophones (Blown Instruments) x
  • Popular Music x
Clear all

Article

Jeffrey Holmes

[Randal Edward ]

(b Philadelphia, PA, Nov 27, 1945). American trumpeter, flugelhorn player, composer, arranger, and bandleader, brother of Michael Brecker. After graduating from Indiana University in 1966, he moved to New York, where he played with Clark Terry, Duke Pearson, and the Thad Jones–Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. A versatile musician, he worked with Blood, Sweat and Tears, performing on their debut album, played hard bop and soul jazz with the Horace Silver Quintet and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and helped form the fusion group Dreams, which included his brother Michael, Billy Cobham, and John Abercrombie. During the 1970s he worked with Silver, Larry Coryell, Stevie Wonder, the Plastic Ono Super Band, and Cobham. He and Michael also performed and recorded (six albums) as the Brecker Brothers, garnering much critical acclaim. He continued to lead his own group into the 1980s and also recorded and toured with virtuoso performers Jaco Pastorious and Stanley Clarke. A reunion of the Brecker Brothers in ...

Article

Richard H. Perry

(Lewis )

(b Montgomery, AL, Aug 7, 1941). American jazz tuba player, baritone saxophonist, and bandleader. Largely self-taught, he first learned baritone saxophone, then tuba. In 1963 he moved to New York, where he quickly established himself as a leading jazz tuba player and performed with Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp, and, notably, Gil Evans. He played with Evans’s orchestra from 1966 until the leader’s death in 1988. He also worked with Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette, Chet Baker, and McCoy Tyner and spent several years with the Norddeutscher Rundfunk orchestra. From 1975 to 1980 he was a member of the house band for “Saturday Night Live,” serving as bandleader from 1979 to 1980.

Although Johnson has been recognized for his work on baritone saxophone, he is best known for his tuba playing and for his work with tuba ensembles. In 1968 he formed the first jazz tuba ensemble, Substructure. Although this group never recorded, Johnson subsequently formed Gravity, an ensemble with six tubas, in the 1970s; it released ...

Article

Ruth Rosenberg

[Cliff] (Laconia)

(b Chicago, IL, Sept 2, 1931; d New York, NY, March 27, 1993). American tenor saxophonist and bandleader. He was one of several notable jazz musicians to come out of DuSable High School on Chicago’s South Side, where his contemporaries included the tenor saxophonists Johnny Griffin and John Gilmore and the bass player Richard Davis. During his early years in Chicago he played with Max Roach and Sonny Stitt and a variety of rhythm-and-blues bands. In 1957 he moved to New York and recorded his first album, Blowing in from Chicago (BN) with the hard-bop pioneers Horace Silver on piano and Art Blakey on drums. In the years that followed Jordan performed and recorded prolifically, appearing with groups led by Silver and J.J. Johnson, as a sideman on recordings by Lee Morgan, among others, and co-leading a group with Kenny Dorham. In 1964 he toured Europe with the Charles Mingus Sextet playing alongside Eric Dolphy....

Article

J.R. Taylor

[Andrew Dewey ]

(b Newport, KY, May 28, 1898; d New York, NY, Dec 11, 1992). American jazz saxophonist and bandleader. He spent his childhood in Denver, where he studied piano, singing, alto saxophone, and music theory with Paul Whiteman’s father, Wilberforce Whiteman, among others. In 1918 he joined George Morrison’s orchestra as a bass saxophonist and tuba player. Around 1927 he moved to Dallas, where he joined Terrence Holder’s Dark Clouds of Joy orchestra; he assumed its leadership in 1929. In that year he transferred the band to Kansas City, Missouri, where it was known as the Clouds of Joy (among other related titles), rivaled Bennie Moten’s band, and made its first recordings (1929–30). From 1930 he made several nationwide tours, although the band continued to be based primarily in Kansas City. The success of “Until the Real Thing Comes along” (1936, Decca) established the band’s lasting popularity. Until the group disbanded in ...

Article

Michael Baumgartner

[Ronald Theodore ]

(b Columbus, OH, Aug 7, 1935; d Bloomington, IN, Dec 5, 1977). American tenor saxophonist, flutist, and multi-instrumentalist. Blind from the age of two, he took up saxophone and clarinet at the Ohio State School for the Blind in 1948. By 1951 he was performing on tenor saxophone professionally in several local rhythm-and-blues bands. In the second half of the 1950s he worked in Louisville, Nashville, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis, before moving in 1960 to Chicago, where he recorded his first jazz album under his own name, Introducing Roland Kirk (1960, Argo). In 1961 he moved to New York, was part of the Charles Mingus Workshop for three months, and toured Germany in April and California in December. In 1963 he began a residency at Ronnie Scott’s club in London, an engagement which he repeated nearly every year during the 1960s. Until his death, Kirk led his own group, the Vibration Society. With this band he toured North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand performing in a multitude of jazz styles. In the early 1970s he was the leader of the Jazz and People’s Movement, an organization for the promotion of black music. In ...

Article

Nicholas Higgins

(b Trieste, Italy, May 4, 1971). saxophonist of Italian birth. Of South Asian descent, he grew up in Boulder, Colorado, and started playing alto saxophone at age 11. He studied briefly at North Texas State University and received his BM from the Berklee College of Music; he later earned a master’s degree in jazz composition from DePaul University in Chicago. After moving to New York in 1997, Mahanthappa played a crucial role in the pianist Vijay Iyer’s quartet in the 1990s and early 2000s and produced four unique projects with his own quartet. One of these, Mother Tongue (2005), used tonal transcriptions of phrases from Indian languages as melodic source material for his compositions; another, Codebook (2006), applied cryptographic methods to musical composition.

Mahanthappa’s subsequent music has featured other alto saxophonists. His project with Bunky Green (2010) featured the pianist Jason Moran, the bass player François Moutin, and the drummers Damion Reid and Jack DeJohnette. The Dakshina Ensemble, his project with the South Indian musician Kadri Gopalnath, combined jazz and South Indian classical-music ensembles. A two-saxophone project, Dual Identity, featured the alto saxophonist Steve Lehman as well as Reid, the bass player Matt Brewer, and the guitarist Liberty Ellman....

Article

Charles Garrett

Article

Russ Musto

(b Joplin, MO, July 24, 1939). American alto and tenor saxophonist and composer. One of the most inventive bebop alto saxophonists in the tradition of Charlie Parker, he possesses a fluid melodic style that reflects the initial influence of Johnny Hodges. At age nine he moved to Detroit and at 13 started playing saxophone. He began studies with barry Harris when he was 18 and landed his first professional gigs with the pianist a year later in a band that also featured Lonnie Hillyer. McPherson arrived in New York in 1959 and the following year joined Charles Mingus, with whom he played for the next decade and a half. He made his first album as a leader, Bebop Revisited!, for Prestige in 1964 and recorded frequently for that label for the next five years. During the 1970s he made three records each for the Mainstream and Xanadu labels, the dates for the latter offering some of the purest bebop of its time. He relocated to San Diego in ...

Article

Charles E. Kinzer

[Mesirow, Milton ]

(b Chicago, IL, Nov 9, 1899; d Paris, France, Aug 5, 1972). American jazz clarinetist. He learned clarinet as a teenager and picked up saxophone in 1917, while in reform school. A streetwise champion of African American jazz, he socialized and played occasionally with the younger musicians of the Austin High School Gang in Chicago in the mid-1920s. After recording with the Chicago Rhythm Kings and others (1928) he moved to New York, where he recorded with Eddie Condon, toured with Red Nichols, and freelanced. In the 1930s he organized recording sessions, notably with Sidney Bechet and Tommy Ladnier (1938). He also founded an interracial band (1937), worked with Art Hodes (1943–4), and led bands at Kelly’s Stables (1943) and Jimmy Ryan’s (1945). In 1945 he co-founded the King Jazz label, for which he made some of his best recordings with Bechet. In ...

Article

Charles Garrett

Article

Ruth Rosenberg

(b Savannah, GA, March 26, 1925; d San Diego, CA, Dec 9, 2010). American saxophonist and flutist. He grew up in New Jersey and attended Arts High in Newark. In 1943 he was drafted into the US Army Air Corps, where he played in the all-black band on the segregated base. He began his professional career playing alongside Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clarke, and Milt Jackson in the trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie’s big band shortly after World War II. He recorded his first session as a leader, for Blue Note Records in 1948. He relocated to Paris shortly thereafter, but returned to the United States in 1951 to form a septet with the singer Eddie Jefferson that mixed modern jazz and rhythm-and-blues.

While in Europe in 1949, Moody, who usually played tenor saxophone, recorded a version of “I’m in the mood for love” on a borrowed alto. His improvised version of the song became a jazz classic after Eddie Jefferson put lyrics to it and King Pleasure recorded it as “Moody’s Mood for Love” in ...

Article

Jeffery S. McMillan

(b Philadelphia, PA, July 10, 1938; d New York, NY, Feb 19, 1972). American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. One of the charismatic individualists to emerge in the late 1950s, he began playing vibraphone at 12, but soon thereafter turned to trumpet. He studied music at Jules E Mastbaum Vocational Technical High School and privately with the trumpeter Tony Marchione, but learned jazz by playing in Philadelphia rehearsal bands, sitting in with visiting professionals, and leading his own combo from age 15. After graduation in 1956, Morgan played a week with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, joined Dizzy Gillespie’s big band, and made his first recordings as a leader for Blue Note. He was a featured soloist on “A Night in Tunisia” with Gillespie until the band dissolved in January 1958. After a short period of freelancing, he joined a revamped edition of the Jazz Messengers and stayed until ...

Article

Michael Baumgartner

(b Oakland, CA, Feb 19, 1955). American jazz saxophonist, bass clarinetist, composer, and leader. He grew up in Berkeley, where he received his first musical training, in stride and ragtime piano. At the age of nine he began playing alto saxophone and at the age of 11 tenor saxophone. From the age of 12 through his later teens he led several R&B bands. He continued his formal training at Pomona College in Los Angeles, where stanley Crouch and Margaret Kohn were among his teachers. After his graduation in 1975 Murray moved to New York where he began playing the loft circuit with such experimental musicians as Anthony Braxton, Don Cherry, and Julius Hemphill. His first steady engagement came with the Ted Daniels’ Energy Band; its members were Hamiett Bluiett, Lester Bowie, and Frank Lowe. After his first European tour in 1976, Murray established the renowned World saxophone quartet ...

Article

Michael Conklin

(b Corsicana, TX, Feb 24, 1933; d Kingston, NY, Jan 20, 2009). American saxophonist and flutist. At an early age he moved with his family moved to Dallas, where he attended Lincoln High School. After graduation he earned a scholarship to study music and theology at Jarvis Christian College. After two years of college, Newman decided to perform professionally with alto saxophonist Buster Smith. While touring with Smith, he played with rhythm-and-blues bands that featured such musicians as Lowell Fulson and Ray Charles, who was Fulson’s pianist. From 1954 he played in Charles’s band and in 1958 made his first recording as a leader, the album Fathead: Ray Charles Presents David “Fathead” Newman for Atlantic Records. Newman left Charles’s band in 1964 and moved to New York. From the late 1960s through the 1970s, he parlayed the fame garnered while working with Charles to record albums for Atlantic Records, Warner Bros., and Prestige, some of which were heavily produced and pop-oriented. He returned to his hard bop roots in the 1980s and began a productive association with HighNote Records in the 1990s that lasted until his death from pancreatic cancer. Newman’s final two recordings, ...

Article

Charles E. Kinzer

[Nick ]

(b New Orleans, LA, May 27, 1900; d Paris, France, Sept 3, 1973). American jazz clarinetist. A Creole of color, he studied solfège with lorenzo Tio jr. , before taking up clarinet around 1910. By 1916, when he joined the US Navy, he had professional experience with the bands of Buddy Petit and Billy Marrero. After returning to New Orleans in 1920, he worked with the Maple Leaf Orchestra and Manuel Perez’s band. In the period 1923–4 he became known as a fluent improviser while leading a band at Tom Anderson’s saloon that included Luis Russell and Barney Bigard. This group traveled to Chicago to join Joe Oliver in 1924. Nicholas recorded with Oliver, and his work on “Jackass Blues” shows a penetrating upper register tone, quick vibrato, and ability to execute liquid slides between clarion-register notes. After a tour of the Far East (1927), he moved to New York and worked through the 1930s with such leaders as Luis Russell, Jelly Roll Morton, and Louis Armstrong. Following World War II he teamed up with Kid Ory and led various groups. After moving to Paris in ...

Article

Michael Baumgartner

(b St. Louis, MO, Aug 3, 1960). American alto and soprano saxophonist. After studying clarinet, flute, and alto saxophone privately, he graduated from Howard University with jazz studies as his major in 1980. He continued his education at the Berklee College of Music in Boston until 1983. After moving to New York in the same year, he played as a sideman with Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Andrew Hill, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Jaki Byard. In 1985 he joined Jack DeJohnette’s group Special Edition. From the same year through the early 1990s he worked with the M-base collective, of which he was a founding member with Steve Coleman and Cassandra Wilson, among others. Having released three albums with the German label JMT, Osby signed a contract with Blue Note Records in 1990, for which he recorded 13 albums as a leader from 1991 to 2005. On several of these he featured Coleman, Jim Hall, and Hill. In ...

Article

John Chilton

[Oran Thaddeus ]

(b Dallas, TX, Jan 27, 1908; d New York, NY, Nov 5, 1954). American jazz trumpeter and singer. He worked as a professional musician in his home state of Texas during the 1920s and later maintained that he learned to play authentic blues by listening to the local performers there. He played with Walter Page’s Blue Devils (1928–30) then with Bennie Moten’s band (1931–3 and 1934). In 1936 he worked briefly with Count Basie’s band as a principal soloist, but left to become a solo artist at the behest of Louis Armstrong’s manager Joe Glaser, a move generally regarded as having crippled a potentially illustrious career. Page gained much publicity during a brief stay with Artie Shaw’s band (1941–2). He also made many fine recordings under his own name (1938–54), often leading bands with some of the finest swing musicians, including Earl Bostic, Don Byas, J.C. Higginbotham, and Ben Webster, among his sidemen. His purposeful, exciting trumpet playing and deeply felt blues singing were probably too rugged to gain widespread favor. Throughout his career he thrived on the atmosphere of impromptu jam sessions, in which his searing tone, dramatic phrasing, and improvised blues lyrics were a source of considerable inspiration to fellow musicians....

Article

Mark Tucker

[Pestritto, Antonio ]

(b Middletown, CT, Oct 26, 1907; d Old Lyme, CT, Oct 31, 1969). American bandleader, singer, and saxophonist. He began playing as a sideman in the orchestras of John Cavallaro, Irving Aaronson, and Vincent Lopez, before joining Artie Shaw’s band (1936), in which he was a tenor saxophone soloist and singer; “Indian Love Call” (1938, B♭) offers a good example of his throaty, somewhat gruff vocal style. After Shaw dissolved the band Pastor formed his own in 1940, taking some of Shaw’s players with him. Many of the group’s arrangements were written by the guitarist Al Avola, although Budd Johnson, Walter Fuller, and Ralph Flanagan also made contributions. Pastor’s singing was greatly influenced, he acknowledged, by Louis Armstrong and was always an important part of his shows. In the late 1940s Pastor also performed with Betty and Rosemary Clooney. He broke up his big band in ...

Article

John-Carlos Perea

[James Gilbert ]

(b Salem, OR, June 18, 1941; d Portland, OR, Feb 10, 1992). American tenor and soprano saxophonist, singer, bandleader, and composer. Of Native American (Creek and Kaw) heritage, he was raised in Oregon and Oklahoma. Early musical influences included tap dance, big band jazz, Southern Plains powwow music and dance, and peyote music. Pepper moved to New York in 1964 and joined the Free Spirits (1966), an early fusion jazz ensemble featuring Larry Coryell and Bob Moses. After forming the group Everything is Everything (1967) with former members of Free Spirits Chris Hills and Columbus Baker, Pepper recorded “Witchi Tai To,” a composition fusing a peyote song with jazz, rock, and country influences. Released on Everything is Everything featuring Chris Hills (Vanguard Apostolic, 1969), “Witchi Tai To” peaked at number 69 on the Billboard pop charts. By 2011 it had been covered by at least 90 artists ranging from Brewer & Shipley, Jan Garbarek, and Oregon to the Paul Winter Consort and Joy Harjo. Pepper released four albums as a leader: ...

Article

Michael Conklin

(b Florence, SC, Nov 10, 1934). American tenor saxophonist. He studied music informally as a child and took piano lessons with his mother; he later turned to the tenor saxophone. He studied at South Carolina State College and then served in the armed forces during the Korean War. He joined the service band while stationed in West Germany and performed with pianist Cedar Walton and trumpeter Don Ellis. After his military service, Person continued his studies at the Hartt College of Music. His warm, full, soulful sound attracted musicians like organist Johnny Hammond and Etta Jones; he procured valuable experience while working with Hammond from 1963 to 1966. He then made a series of albums, as a leader, for Prestige Records in the 1960s, including his initial release, Underground Soul in 1966 and later recorded for Mercury, Savoy, Muse, and HighNote. He has been active as a sideman for musicians Charles Earland, Ran Blake, Johnny Hammond, and perhaps most notably, pianist and composer Horace Silver. In ...