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Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(b Boston, Sept 25, 1935; d Brooklyn, NY, June 14, 2006). American tenor and soprano saxophonist. He was born into a musical family and attended the Boston Conservatory (BM). In 1956 he recorded with Paul Chambers as a pianist. Having moved to New York in 1958, he worked with John Coltrane, Matthew Gee, and Sonny Rollins, and recorded with Charli Persip and Howard McGhee (both 1960), Max Roach (1965), the organist Freddie Roach (1967), Eric Gale (1969), the trombonist John Gordon (1975), and the orchestras of Archie Shepp (1972) and Sam Rivers and Clifford Thornton (both 1974). From 1972 to 1974 he worked with Abdullah Ibrahim’s large ensembles – the Dollar Brand Orchestra and the African Space Program – and in 1978 he performed and recorded as the leader of a six-piece group which included Malachi Thompson, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, and John Betsch. Except for his having taken part as a tenor saxophone soloist in a recording session with James Spaulding in ...

Article

Russ Girsberger and Barry Kernfeld

(b New York, Dec 25, 1939; d New York, March 29, 2006). Drummer and percussionist. In 1957 he played with Dizzy Gillespie’s band at the Newport Jazz Festival, accompanying the singer Eartha Kitt. He studied biochemistry at the Carnegie Institute in Boston, but after graduating he focused on music, working locally with Chick Corea, Alan Dawson, Tony Williams, and, from 1964, Gene Perla. Having returned to New York in 1967, he played in salsa groups before working with Perla again in bands led by Nina Simone and Elvin Jones. He gained recognition through his work with Miles Davis on the albums Bitches Brew (1969, as Charles Alias) and On the Corner (1972), and on tour from November 1971 into 1972; he also made an important album with Weather Report (c1976). During the 1970s and 1980s Alias worked with many jazz, rock, and Latin artists, including Mongo Santamaria (recording in ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(Creede)

(bWinnemucca, NV, May 26, 1915; dSan Francisco, Oct 3, 2004). Americandouble bass player. He grew up in San Francisco, played clarinet through his primary and high-school years, and took up double bass while at Sacramento Junior College. At the beginning of the 1940s he performed and made recordings with Lionel Hampton on double bass and electric bass guitar (1940–42; including Attitude, 1940, Vic. 27316) and with Count Basie (September–November 1942), with whom he may be seen in the film Reveille with Beverly (1943); at some point he also briefly accompanied Fats Waller at Sweet’s Ballroom in Oakland, California. After serving in the navy from November 1942 to 1947 he returned to San Francisco, where he led small bands and hosted the program “Down Vernon’s Alley” on both radio and television. His most important position was as leader of the house rhythm section and music director at the Blackhawk during the 1950s, though he played briefly with Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington and recorded with a dixieland band led by the cornetist and trombonist Jack Sheedy (...

Article

Nevil Skrimshire

[William ]

(b London, Aug 20, 1911; d London, December 19, 2005). English clarinetist and saxophonist. He took up piano when he was ten and taught himself alto saxophone from the age of 13. Although he began playing professionally in Glasgow, in 1930 he moved to London. In 1931 he played with the bandleader Roy Fox, and in September of that year he joined Bert Ambrose; after changing to tenor saxophone he became a principal soloist with the band (1932). He remained with Ambrose until summer 1940, apart from a period from April to July 1939, when he was with the bandleader Jack Harris. Having joined the RAF, he played in service bands (through 1943), then worked with the bandleader Geraldo (1944 – September 1945) and again with Ambrose (October 1945 – March 1947). Amstell spent six years in the dance orchestra of the BBC, after which he was active as a session musician with such leaders as George Chisholm. He also played on cruise ships. In the 1980s and 1990s he concentrated on playing clarinet and made recordings with his own quartet (including ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(Edward )

(b Houston, Oct 11, 1927; d Los Angeles, June 5, 2002). American tenor and soprano saxophonist and leader. Published sources have given his year of birth as 1929, but the Texas birth index gives 1927, and Amy confirmed that the earlier year is correct. He learned to play clarinet as a child, took up tenor saxophone while playing in an army band, and attended Wiley College (Marshall, Texas) (1946–7), Texas Southern University (1950), and Kentucky State College (BS 1952). Later he studied television and film scoring at the University of Southern California (1968). He worked as a schoolteacher in Tennessee, performed in clubs in the Midwest, and in 1955 moved to Los Angeles, where he joined the sextet led by the rhythm-and-blues pianist Amos Milburn and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie. From 1960 to about 1967 he led groups which played hard bop, soul jazz, and modal jazz, at first with the organist Paul Bryant as his co-leader; members of these quartets, quintets, and sextets included at various times Carmell Jones, Marcus Belgrave, Dupree Bolton, Jimmy Owens, Roy Ayers, Bobby Hutcherson, Frank Strazzeri, Victor Feldman, Kenny Barron, Jimmy Bond, and Frank Butler. His group made two television appearances in ...

Article

David G. Such

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Monroe, LA, March 22, 1929; d Evanston, IL, June 24, 2010). American tenor saxophonist. He took up tenor saxophone while living in Evanston, Illinois, and also studied theory; his influences were Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, and Gene Ammons, and later Ornette Coleman. Around 1962 he led a quartet which included Bill Brimfield. In 1965 he was a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in Chicago and led a number of its groups, variously involving Brimfield, Joseph Jarman, Charles Clark, and Steve McCall; he also recorded as a sideman with Jarman (1966, 1968). In 1974 he toured Europe with his own quintet, in which Douglas Ewart was a sideman. He opened his own nightclub, the Birdhouse, in Chicago in May 1977, but it was active only intermittently until it closed in June 1978. In the latter year he performed in Germany with a new group, another quintet, among the members of which were Brimfield, Ewart, and George Lewis (ii). In Germany he also recorded with the group Neighbors (...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(b Manchester, CT, Nov 17, 1931; d August 26, 2003). American trombonist. After studying at the Schillinger House in Boston (1949–50) he performed and recorded with Charlie Spivak (1950–51), the Sauter–Finegan Orchestra (July 1955 – December 1956), and Woody Herman (31 December 1955 – July 1956) and recorded with Kai Winding’s septet (July 1956 – May 1958). He also composed and arranged for Winding, and he plays a solo in his own piece Nutcracker on Winding’s Trombone Sound (1956, Col. CL936). He then studied at the Manhattan School of Music (BA 1962) and began working as a studio musician in New York (from 1958), in which capacity he recorded in big bands accompanying Art Farmer (1959), Sarah Vaughan (1964), Wes Montgomery (1965–8), Chick Corea (1975), Dexter Gordon (1977), Jaco Pastorius (...

Article

Simon Adams

(Richard )

(b Wallington, England, May 26, 1937; d Milford, Derbs., Feb 23, 2004). English composer. He first played piano and tenor saxophone, and after graduating from Bristol University (1959) he studied arranging and composition with Raymond Premru (1960–61) and Bill Russo (1962). From 1964 to 1968 he directed the New Jazz Orchestra, an ensemble that provided a forum for its members to perform their own compositions; among the musicians in the group were Harry Beckett, Jack Bruce, Ian Carr, Mike Gibbs, Jon Hiseman, Don Rendell, Barbara Thompson, and Norma Winstone. Several of these played in the occasional orchestra that Ardley subsequently led under his own name (1969–81). He wrote music for both orchestras, notably the multimovement work Kaleidoscope of Rainbows, which was recorded on an album of the same name in 1976 (Gull 1018). In 1988 he formed Zyklus with Warren Greveson and John L. Walters to perform improvised electronic music utilizing the Zyklus Midi Performance System; the group recorded its first album, ...

Article

Eddie Lambert

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(Kenneth )

(b Kansas City, MO, March 27, 1925; d Manhattan, June 13, 2003). American tenor saxophonist. He took up clarinet and then alto saxophone as a teenager, but ceased playing while serving in the navy (1943–5). From 1946 he worked with Tommy Douglas and the singer Walter Brown in Kansas City (first recording with Brown in 1949), then in the early 1950s moved to Chicago, where he played with a number of blues bands. In 1957 he went to New York and performed with Milt Larkin and Mercer Ellington; he also deputized occasionally for Duke Ellington. He recorded with Ben Webster (1958), Johnny Hodges (1960), Paul Gonsalves (1961), and Lawrence Brown (1965). In July 1968 he became a regular member of Duke Ellington’s orchestra and, although he replaced the clarinet virtuoso Jimmy Hamilton, continued to be principal tenor saxophone soloist, taking up clarinet for ensemble parts only. Ashby remained with the band until ...

Article

Howard Rye

[Charles; the Man with the Moves]

(b Birmingham, AL, Sept 30, 1913; d Las Vegas, NV, April 19, 2003). American dancer. His parents moved to Buffalo when he was four, and he later began his professional career in the area as a singing waiter. In 1933 he met the dancer Bill (William) Porter, and the two men formed an act, the Rhythm Pals; in 1935 they went to New York, after which they toured widely until 1939, incorporating a residency at Sebastian’s New Cotton Club in Los Angeles in 1938. In 1939 Atkins returned to New York and began dancing with and choreographing for the Cotton Club Boys, appearing with them in the show The Hot Mikado. Soon afterwards he produced a show in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in which he met the singer Dotty (Dorothy) Saulter, with whom he formed a professional and personal partnership, touring with Cab Calloway. In September 1943 Atkins joined the army. On his return to civilian life he formed another partnership, Coles & Atkins, with Honi Coles (for details ...

Article

Roland Baggenaes

revised by Michel Laplace and Barry Kernfeld

[Ernest Harold ]

(b Cleveland, Aug 13, 1925; d Amsterdam, April 14, 2005). American trumpeter. After learning piano and flute he took up trumpet and studied at the Cleveland Conservatory of Music and privately with George Russell. In the early 1940s he played with Bull Moose Jackson and the drummer and singer Scatman Crothers, and then toured with Jay McShann and played with Teddy Edwards. He joined Dizzy Gillespie’s big band in 1947 and toured Europe with it the following year. After leaving Gillespie he was one of the principal soloists with Lionel Hampton’s orchestra (1948–53), with which he appears in a number of short films, most notably Air Mail Special. In 1953 Bailey settled in Europe; he lived for several years in Sweden and became an important musician there. He was a member of Harry Arnold’s band (1957–9), recorded with Stan Getz (1958), and joined Quincy Jones (...

Article

Roger T. Dean

revised by Simon Adams

(b Sheffield, England, Jan 29, 1932; d London, Dec 25, 2005). English guitarist. His grandfather and uncle were both professional musicians, and Bailey was first involved in commercial music and conventional jazz. In 1966 he moved to London to play free jazz with John Stevens, Evan Parker, Paul Rutherford, and others. He joined the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, and from 1968 to 1973 belonged to Tony Oxley’s sextet; together they explored technical innovations and new sound resources, Oxley on acoustic and amplified percussion and Bailey on acoustic and electric guitars. Concurrently from 1968 to 1971 he was a member of the Music Improvisation Company. In 1970 Bailey formed the trio Iskra 1903 with Rutherford and Barry Guy, and founded the record label Incus with Oxley and Parker. In 1976 he formed the ensemble Company, bringing together groups of British and international improvisers for unstructured improvisation; an annual Company Week was held in London most years from ...

Article

[George Edward ]

(b Camden, NJ, Dec 26, 1917; d Philadelphia, PA, October 1, 2011). American drummer. He played with Fats Waller and performed and recorded with Cootie Williams (1942). After navy service he recorded with Williams and Louis Armstrong (both 1946), worked with Illinois Jacquet, and toured and recorded with Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (1947–8). He joined Mercer Ellington (1948), then played and made recordings with Count Basie (October 1948–1949, including The Slider, 1949, Vic. 20-3542). In 1950 he toured Europe with Duke Ellington, recording in Paris with Shorty Baker, Ernie Royal, Nelson Williams, and Johnny Hodges (all sidemen with Ellington), and recorded in the USA with Arnett Cobb; he rejoined Ellington in 1953, and made further recordings with Basie and Davis in 1957. Ballard then led his own band, mainly in Philadelphia, where, from the early 1980s, he concentrated on teaching. From ...

Article

Leroy Ostransky

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[John William ]

(b Hornell, NY, May 21, 1920; d Bronxville, NY, June 18, 2007). American tuba player. He studied at the Institute of Musical Art in New York and first played with the Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra; after army service (1942–5) he performed with Claude Thornhill (1947–8). In 1949 he was a founding member of Miles Davis’s nonet, and took part in the famous “Birth of the Cool” recording sessions; he then worked in theater pit orchestras while also recording with the Sauter–Finegan Orchestra (1952–4), Pete Rugolo (1954), and the orchestra led by Davis and Gil Evans (1957–62), with which he may be seen in the television show “Theater for a Story” (1959). From 1960 he taught music at public schools on Long Island, and performed only sporadically. In 1992 he joined Gerry Mulligan to record and tour internationally in a “Re-Birth of the Cool” group. Barber may have been the first tuba player to take solos in a modern-jazz style and to participate in intricate ensemble passages. His technique allowed him to play both slow, legato melodies and rapid lines, and he generally employed the entire range of the instrument. His solo in a blues chorus on ...

Article

T. Dennis Brown

[Daniel ]

(b Honolulu, Aug 23, 1929; d San Gabriel, CA, April 1, 2007). American drummer. At the age of 18 he played in the Hawaii Dixie All-Stars led by Trummy Young. When Young left to work with Louis Armstrong in 1952 Barcelona took over the leadership of the group, which toured the Far East until 1953. Early in 1958 he joined Armstrong in New York, and he remained with the trumpeter until the latter’s death in 1971; as well as making many recordings, he appeared with the band in films and on television. He then returned to Honolulu and played locally until 1979, when he moved to Monterey Park, California. During Barcelona’s tenure with Armstrong the band played a commercialized form of jazz. Consequently his technique was based less on traditional dixieland revival styles than on those of the 1960s; his playing is characterized by extensive use of the ride cymbal, crisp, clean fills and breaks, and solos that exploit asymmetrical phrasing and demonstrate his accuracy of hand and foot at speed....

Article

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

Adriano Mazzoletti

revised by Stefano Zenni

(b Asti, Italy, May 24, 1931; d Asti, Italy, August 17, 2009). Italian clarinetist and soprano and tenor saxophonist. He studied clarinet at the conservatory in Asti, then accompanied American musicians in Belgium and Germany (1946–50). Having returned to Italy he played in dance orchestras led by Kramer Gorni, Beppe Mojetta, and Angelo Brigada. In 1955 he was a member of a quartet led by Gil Cuppini, and in the same year, with Oscar Valdambrini, he formed the Sestetto Italiano (with which he played until 1957) and a quintet (frequently from 1962, and steadily from 1972 to 1974, when Basso left the group, it was a sextet); from 1956 to 1958 he also played in a radio orchestra led by Armando Trovajoli. He worked with many visiting American musicians and recorded with Chet Baker (1959), Buddy Collette (1961), Slide Hampton (...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(b New Orleans, Nov 7, 1932; d New Orleans, LA, May 6, 2007). American clarinetist. He played clarinet professionally from the age of 15. While in high school he performed with Ed Blackwell, then, after army service, he began a lengthy association with Ornette Coleman. He played in jam sessions with him in Los Angeles in 1956 and that summer formed a quintet which included the saxophonist Harold Battiste, Ellis Marsalis, and Blackwell; all but Coleman returned to New Orleans, where the group was reorganized as the American Jazz Quintet. Batiste worked as a freelance musician in New Orleans and around 1958 toured in Ray Charles’s band. He studied at Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (BM), and Louisiana State University (MM, clarinet and composition), and then from 1969 to 1986 directed the Jazz and Louisiana Music Institute at Southern; among his students were Branford Marsalis, Donald Harrison, Henry Butler, Troy Davis, Herlin Riley, Wessell Anderson, and Reginald Veal. Towards the beginning of this period he started to record an album with Cannonball Adderley but his teaching commitments prevented him from completing it; later he took part in the recording of Adderley’s final album (...

Article

Jim Ferguson

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[William Henry ]

(b New York, Nov 14, 1915; d New York, June 17, 2005). American guitarist. He played ukulele and then banjo as a child and was performing and broadcasting as a professional banjo player from his early teens; he changed to guitar in the early 1930s. Having worked in a band led by the clarinetist Jerry Wald (1940–41), in 1944 he joined Woody Herman’s First Herd. He left Herman in August 1946, and between then and early 1950 enjoyed his most creative period as a member of Lennie Tristano’s ensembles, where he ceased to be purely a rhythm guitarist and quickly became an advanced bop stylist; he was known particularly for his fleet improvisations and his remarkably precise playing of unison thematic statements. He also played on Tristano’s recordings Intuition and Digression (1949), which are early explorations of free jazz, and he contributed the composition ...

Article

Roger T. Dean

revised by Simon Adams

[Harold Winston ]

(b St. Michael Parish, Barbados, May 30, 1935; d London, July 22, 2010). Barbadian trumpeter and flugelhorn player. He learned music in a Salvation Army band, starting on cornet and then taking up all of the other principal brass instruments. He moved to Britain in 1954 and the following year played with Jiver Hutchinson. In 1961 he joined Graham Collier’s group, with which he remained until about 1977. He appeared and played in the film All Night Long (1961) with Charles Mingus, and worked with Mike Westbrook’s orchestra and with the Brotherhood of Breath. He also performed with many British big bands, including those of Neil Ardley, Mike Gibbs, and John Warren, in the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, and in the small groups led by Mike Osborne (recording in 1970), Tony Oxley, John Surman, and the guitarist Ray Russell. From 1975 he worked principally with Stan Tracey’s octet, various groups led by Elton Dean, and Dudu Pukwana’s group Zila, with which he toured Europe in ...