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Article

Lars Westin

[Bo ]

(b Ludvika, Sweden, Sept 6, 1937). Swedish trumpeter, composer, and radio producer. After working in local dance bands he formed his own hard-bop quintet while at the University of Uppsala, where he studied musicology. Later he performed and recorded with Gugge Hedrenius (1962–6, 1971–1980s), Arne Domnérus (1964–8, and occasionally thereafter), the tenor saxophonist Börje Fredriksson, Jan Johansson, and others. From 1966 to 1990 he was head of the jazz department at Sveriges Radio AB (Swedish Radio), and in this capacity he initiated Radiojazzgruppen (ii) in 1967. During the same period he played in Red Mitchell’s group Communication (1971–82), the Sandviken Big Band (1975–85), CBQ, the quintet led by the alto saxophonist Christer Boustedt (1984–6), its continuation, after Boustedt’s death, as the Contemporary Bebop Quintet (from 1986), and the band Good Morning Blues (from 1989). Having composed and arranged for big bands from the 1960s, in ...

Article

Ed Hazell

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Toledo, OH, May 5, 1941). American pianist, composer, record producer, and leader. He played piano from the age of four and when he was only six heard Art Tatum. Having pursued classical studies on piano and pipe organ, he was, at the age of 14, a soloist with the Toledo Youth Orchestra, a church organist and choir director, and a jazz pianist. He attended Oberlin College Conservatory (BM 1962), spent his junior year (1960–61) at the Mozarteum Academy, and undertook graduate studies at the University of Wichita (1962–3), the University of Southern California (1963–4), and the University of Michigan (MM 1966); while at Oberlin he played with Roland Kirk. Following graduation he worked with Marion Brown (1966–7) and Max Roach (1967–70) and in a quintet led by Bobby Hutcherson and Harold Land (1968–71). From ...

Article

Val Wilmer

[Laka D; Koc, Dorota Mary]

(b Oxford, England, Jan 8, 1953). English singer, pianist, composer, and music director. From a background in rock and soul bands, notably Soulyard, from 1982 to 1988 she was a member of the Guest Stars, in which she played piano and sang; she also wrote much of the group’s material. In 1982 she co-founded the Lydia D’Ustebyn Swing Orchestra, was an organizer of Early Evening Jazz, the first women’s jazz festival held in London (at the Drill Hall), and sang in the a cappella group the Hipscats (comprising five singers, including Jan Ponsford, Jim Dvorak, and Ruthie Smith, and later the pianist Alastair Gavin). An intermittent affiliation with Carol Grimes involved work in her band and in a duo. She sang and played piano with Annie Whitehead, with whom she recorded the album Mix Up (1985, Paladin 6), then led her own band, which included Claude Deppa. In the 1990s she played with Mervyn Afrika, Kate Westbrook, the percussionist Josefina Cupido, and the saxophonists Louise Elliot and Diane McLaughlin, composed and directed music for stage shows, and taught. Laka Daisical is a propulsive pianist and exciting performer heavily influenced by African-American gospel music, as exemplified by ...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(b New York, Dec 9, 1954). American record producer, composer, bandleader, and percussionist. He began playing percussion at the age of nine and as a teenager he performed with local Latin bands and with Carla Bley. After studying art at Cooper Union in New York and then independently in the western Sahara, India, Haiti, and Europe, he worked with Chico Freeman. In 1979 he founded the record company and label American Clavé, the first release of which was Jerry Gonzalez’s album Ya yo ma curé; other artists presented by the label include the Argentinian bandoneon player Astor Piazzolla. In 1984 Hanrahan formed the group Conjure, which performs his own compositions and uses lyrics based on the poetry of Ishmael Reed. From the mid-1980s into the 1990s he performed internationally in both small groups and large orchestras, collaborating with, among others, Olu Dara, Lester Bowie, David Murray, Don Pullen, D. D. Jackson, Kenny Kirkland, Billy Bang, Jean-Paul Bourelly, Steve Swallow, Anthony Cox, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Andy Gonzalez, Jack Bruce, Billy Hart, Ignacio Berroa, Little Jimmy Scott, the Latin percussionist Milton Cardona, the avant-rock guitarist Arto Lindsay, and the blues singer Taj Mahal. Hanrahan usually serves as a conductor, but he also plays guitar and sings. His eclectic style of music blends elements of rock, jazz, blues, and popular song over various rhythmic structures, which are often based on Latin music. He likens his role to that of a film director and has been called “the Jean-Luc Godard of music.”...

Article

Paul Rinzler and Barry Kernfeld

[Michael T., Jr. ]

(b New York, July 4, 1938). American vibraphonist, keyboard player, leader, arranger, composer, and producer. His birthday has been incorrectly published as 24 July; Mainieri himself confirmed Independence Day. He took up vibraphone at the age of ten and, while studying classical percussion, first played professionally at the age of 14, touring with Paul Whiteman. By this time he had mastered a four-mallet technique on the instrument. From 1956 to 1962 he was the vibraphonist in Buddy Rich’s band. Later he worked as a session musician with Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, and Wes Montgomery, recording with the last in 1967–8. He also recorded with Kenny Burrell and Sonny Stitt (both 1966) and played with Jeremy Steig (c1967). In the late 1960s and early 1970s he led two groups: White Elephant (a rehearsal band for studio musicians that included Mike and Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, and Steve Gadd) and L’Image....

Article

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

[Parker, Bradley; Sparrow]

(b Chicago, Sept 9, 1954). Pianist, composer, and record producer. He opened his own recording studio in Chicago in 1977 and later formed the jazz label Southport Records, which recorded primarily Chicago-based musicians. That same year he began scoring music for film, theater, and ballet. He was an artist-in-residence for the city of Chicago in 1979–80. Parker-Sparrow has led the groups Sparrow, Sparrow AM/FM, and Sparrow Shortwave. In addition he has worked with his wife, the singer Joanie Pallato (from 1982), Von Freeman (from 1990), Hal Russell (1994), Tatsu Aoki (1990s), among others. He may be heard to advantage on his recording If It Wasn’t for Paul (1994, Southport 34).

J. Hevrdejs: “New Nightclub Entices Singer Out of Studio,” Chicago Tribune (13 Oct 1989) H. Hart: “Hanging Out: Getting Needled is all Part of the Job for this Chicago Jazz Composer,” Chicago Tribune...

Article

Mike Hazeldine

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[William; Wagner, Russell William]

(b Canton, MO, Feb 26, 1905; d New Orleans, Aug 9, 1992). American jazz historian, record producer, violinist, and composer. He played violin from the age of ten, and later studied music in Chicago (1924). After private violin tuition in New York (1927) he attended Columbia University Teachers College (1929), where he took up composition; around 1930 he dropped his surname, Wagner, to avoid comparisons with a rather more famous composer in the field. While touring with a theatrical group, the Red Gate Shadow Players, which staged classical Chinese puppet plays (1934–40), he began collecting early jazz records, reselling many through the Hot Record Exchange that he ran from 1935 with the painter Steve Smith. He contributed articles to the magazine Jazz hot and wrote three chapters of Jazzmen: the Story of Hot Jazz Told in the Lives of the Men who Created it...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(b Spokane, WA, Jan 6, 1944). American trumpeter, arranger, conductor, and record producer. He began playing piano at the age of four and took up trumpet when he was ten; in his early teens he organized a dixieland ensemble and later he formed a dance band. He studied music at Gonzaga University, Spokane (BA 1967), and trumpet performance at the Manhattan School of Music (MM 1970). After graduation he worked in show bands and with Gene Roland’s rehearsal big band, and from the late 1970s he was a member of Philly Joe Jones’s septet. In the 1980s he played with Jones’s Dameronia, for which he also wrote arrangements and served as music director. Following the drummer’s death in 1985 Sickler led the group, which recorded under his leadership in 1989. For a while each year between 1987 and 1991 he led a quartet for nightclub appearances in Paris. During the same period he toured Japan as a member of Art Blakey’s big band (...

Article

Howard Rye and Alyn Shipton

[Calhoun, Charles E. [Chuck]]

(b Atchison, KS, Nov 16, 1901; d Altamonte Springs, FL, April 1, 1999). American bandleader, singer, pianist, arranger, and record producer. He was brought up in St. Joseph and Kansas City, Missouri, and began his professional career at the age of five as a singer and dancer in a traveling variety act with his parents, who gave him a formal musical education. Having played piano in a trio with the saxophonist Theodore Thyus, he formed his first band, the Blues Serenaders, in 1918, initially a quartet of piano, drums, violin and cello, though it later developed into a larger ensemble with woodwind and brass; Coleman Hawkins played cello and later C-melody saxophone with the band. Stone directed, played piano, and arranged music for the group, which performed a variety act in the St. Joseph area that involved dancing and conjuring tricks; with the help of the agent Frank Rock, he established an early network of venues for touring appearances, and in the early 1920s he pioneered jazz radio broadcasting in St. Joseph. He continued to lead the Blues Serenaders until ...

Article

Pekka Gronow

[Martti ]

(b Mäntyharju, Finland, Feb 15, 1945; d Yläne, Finland, Dec 4, 1999). Finnish drummer, percussionist, composer, leader, and record producer. He studied percussion at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki (1965–7), and in the late 1960s played with Seppo Paakkunainen and others; he made the first of a number of recordings as a leader in 1969. In the early 1970s he performed with Jan Garbarek and toured Central Europe, and in 1974 he began working with Tomasz Stańko; later he recorded in a cooperative free-jazz trio with Gerd Dudek and Buschi Niebergall (1977) and as a sideman with Kenny Wheeler (1979). During the late 1970s Vesala founded his own record label, Leo (see Leo), on which he recorded as a leader and as a sideman with Stańko (1978), Juhani Aaltonen (1978, 1981), and Charlie Mariano (1980). From ...

Article

Ryan D.W. Bruce

[Randolph Edward ]

(b Brooklyn, NY, April 6, 1926). American jazz pianist, bandleader, composer, and club owner. Weston did not identify with his classical music lessons as a youth, choosing instead to explore a percussive piano style under the influence of Duke Ellington. Other early influences include Count Basie, Nat “King” Cole, Art Tatum, and Coleman Hawkins. Weston’s playing was transformed after attending a concert by Hawkins and Thelonious Monk in 1945: Monk became Weston’s mentor from 1947–9, and inspired his heavy attack and improvisatory rhythmic displacements. He was hired by Marshall Stearns in 1949 to provide demonstrations of different jazz styles for university lectures given throughout the United States; their work lasted eight summers and fostered Weston’s interest in African music.

Beginning with his debut in 1954, his early recordings acquired critical recognition and included band members such as Art Blakey, Cecil Payne, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, and Coleman Hawkins. Some of his compositions of the time, especially “Little Niles” and “Hi-Fly,” gained popularity and have been recorded by many others. Weston also worked with arranger ...