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Leonard Bernardo

(Andrejevich )

(b Novosibirsk, Russian SFSR [now Russia], March 16, 1947). Russian drummer, writer, broadcaster, and educator. He began playing jazz in 1962, and after graduating from the state medical institute in Novosibirsk in 1971 he pursued a dual career as a jazz musician and an obstetrician. In 1975 he established Tvorcheskoye Dhazovoye Ob’yedinenie (Creative Jazz Unity), the first association of musicians and jazz promoters east of the Urals. He performed with Vladimir Tolkachev in the Musical Improvising Trio (1975–9), with Igor Dmitriev in various groups (including, from 1977, Zolotoye Gody Dhaza (Golden Jazz Years), with Vytautas Labutis in the quartet SibLitMash (Siberian-Lithuanian Jazz Machine, 1980s), and with Vagif Sadykhov in another quartet (1998), while also working as a freelance with Vladimir Chekasin, Anatoly Vapirov, Igor Butman, Joe Locke, Paul Bollenback, and former members of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, among others. In 1990 he began to broadcast on radio, and in ...

Article

H.L. Lindenmaier

(b Berlin, July 20, 1922; d Hamburg, Germany, Feb 4, 2000). German writer and record producer. Having first studied in Berlin he attended the University of Karlsruhe (1940–42). He was a founder in 1945 of the Südwestfunk Baden-Baden, where he led the jazz department until 1987, and in 1951 of the Deutsche Jazz Föderation. During the following decades he organized and directed many festivals and concert series (including Jazztime Baden-Baden, from 1947; the American Folk Blues Festival, 1962–8; the Berliner Jazztage, later known as the Jazzfest Berlin, 1964–72; the New Jazz Meeting Baden-Baden, which he founded in 1966; and the Olympic Games Jazz Festival in Munich, 1972) and was the producer and host of broadcasts both on radio (from the Baden-Baden festival) and television (“Jazz, gehört und gesehen,” 1954–72); he also organized an annual jazz concert at the Donaueschingen Festival for Contemporary Music (from ...

Article

Robert Gannon

(Richard Jeremy )

(b Weymouth, England, April 7, 1921; d Weymouth, May 9, 1991). English writer. From 1965 he was the host in Britain of a weekly radio program, “Jazz Scene” (better known by its later title, “Jazz Today”); he also hosted “Jazz in Britain.” The two shows eventually merged, and continued on BBC Radio 3 until 1988. Fox became the jazz critic of the New Statesman and also contributed occasionally to The Guardian, the Sunday Times, and The Gramophone. In the USA he is best known for The Essential Jazz Records, i: Ragtime to Swing (1984), a guide to 250 jazz recordings written with Max Harrison and Eric Thacker. He also wrote a brief, insightful book on Fats Waller (1960).

(selective list)

Fats Waller (New York, 1960); repr. in Kings of Jazz, ed. S. Green (South Brunswick, NJ, and New York, 1978) with P. Gammond and ...

Article

Howard Rye

(b Ohain, Belgium, May 21, 1898; d Brussels, June 27, 1984). Belgian writer. He first encountered syncopated music in 1918 as a civilian interpreter for a Canadian army unit. In 1919 he heard (Louis) Mitchell’s Jazz Kings in Brussels and thereafter sought out jazz wherever it was to be heard. In 1922–3 he led a band of Brussels University students called the Doctor’s Mysterious Six. In 1932 he published Aux frontières du jazz, dedicated to Louis Armstrong, and generally acknowledged as the first serious full-length book on jazz. He visited the USA in 1939 and the following year fled the Nazi occupation of Belgium, eventually reaching New York via Portugal. There he devoted himself to jazz, helping to organize the annual Esquire Jazz Concerts, and writing a number of books of enduring worth which make use of original interview material with New Orleans pioneers. After returning home in ...

Article

Robert Gannon

(b London). English writer. As a critic he has written on both jazz and classical music, providing articles for The Times and numerous jazz periodicals, and his wide knowledge in one field has often led to insights into the other. As well as being a regular contributor to Jazz Monthly and Jazz and Blues, he was editor of the latter from December 1956 until the journal’s demise in 1971. He contributed to Albert McCarthy’s Jazz on Record (1968) and thereafter wrote two further critical guides to the recorded repertory; the second of these, The Essential Jazz Records, i: Ragtime to Swing (1984, written with Charles Fox and Eric Thacker), places each of 250 selected recordings in its musical context and offers a detailed critical review. Harrison is the author of the major article on jazz in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (...

Article

Robert Gannon

(b Reading, England, Sept 13, 1932; d Somerset, England, Jan 26, 1998). English writer . He studied at Reading University and in Strasbourg. His career as a jazz writer began in earnest in 1957, when he first wrote articles for Jazz Monthly, to which he continued to contribute until the magazine ceased publication in 1971. He also wrote many articles for the Jazz Review (1959–61) and Melody Maker (1978–80) and occasionally contributed to Coda and Jazz Forum. His brief monographs on Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie include not only biographies of their subjects and assessments of their influence but also detailed analyses of their recordings, which illustrate how the musicians departed from conventional harmony, rhythm, and phrasing to establish their own distinctive styles.

(selective list)

Dizzy Gillespie (London, 1959) Ten Modern Jazzmen: an Appraisal of the Recorded Work of Ten Modern Jazzmen (London, 1960) Miles Davis...

Article

(well )

(b London, Feb 28, 1917; d Chichester, England, Aug 1, 1993). English writer. He taught himself to play saxophone and clarinet and worked in dance bands from 1930. After abandoning his career as a performer in 1935, in the late 1930s he formed the High Wycombe Rhythm Club and the Challenge Jazz Club. He was the jazz editor of Challenge in 1941–2 and worked as a commentator for the BBC’s program “Radio Rhythm Club” from 1942 to 1943; he continued to work occasionally in radio during the following decades. In 1942 he was a founder, with Albert McCarthy, of the journal Jazz Music (which he edited in 1944 and again from 1946 to the early 1950s) and from 1944 to 1946 he was the editor of a series of pamphlets entitled Jazz Music Books. Jones had a long association with Melody Maker, first as an editor with Rex Harris of “Collector’s Corner” (from ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(b New York, March 2, 1923; d El Cerrito, CA, March 1, 2015). Record producer. After graduating from Columbia University (BA English 1943) and serving in the army he worked for a publishing company; from 1948 he wrote for Record Changer, published by his former classmate Bill Grauer. In 1952 he and Grauer initiated for RCA Victor’s X label a series of 10-inch albums of reissues of important recordings by such artists as Johnny Dodds, Jelly Roll Morton, Bennie Moten, and King Oliver. In the following year they founded the record company and label Riverside, which at first offered a similar series of reissues but soon made many important new recordings in bop and related styles, including seminal albums by Thelonious Monk and Bill Evans (ii); Keepnews acted as producer for most of these sessions himself. Following a period during which he undertook freelance work he ran the company and record label ...

Article

Brian Priestley

(John )

(b Camborne, England, April 17, 1920; d London, Oct 3, 1987). English writer. He became interested in jazz in the mid-1930s and established contact with record collectors such as Max Jones, Charles Fox, and Leonard Hibbs. In 1942 McCarthy and Jones founded the Jazz Sociological Society and became the editors of its journal, Jazz Music; from 1944 to 1946, to circumvent wartime rationing of paper, the journal was temporarily discontinued and instead a series of separate booklets entitled Jazz Music Books was issued. McCarthy then edited the short-lived Jazz Forum: Quarterly Review of Jazz and Literature (1946–7), and, with Dave Carey, compiled six volumes of a discography of jazz. From 1955 to 1972 he was editor of the influential periodical Jazz Monthly, which, in addition to its catholic coverage of jazz and blues, also included items on related topics such as the record industry; in March 1971...

Article

Robert Gannon and Barry Kernfeld

[Barrington Donald ]

(b London, Feb 25, 1935). English writer. From 1960 he wrote regularly for Jazz Journal (from May 1977 known as Jazz Journal International), to which he later contributed a feature on free jazz called “Avant Courier” that ran for many years; he also worked as a freelance for Music Maker, Jazz Down Under, Jazz Forum, and The Wire and contributed extensively to a photo album (with P. Gamble and P. Symes), Focus on Jazz (London, 1988), as well as to two guides to jazz on compact disc. His book The Jazz Cataclysm (1967) traces the history of jazz to the late 1950s and examines the ways in which Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, and Ornette Coleman effected a transition from bop to free jazz. Later he published a number of brief biographies of leading players. McRae is an insightful writer with a clear, concise style; his work displays a sympathy towards musicians for whom self-expression is more important than commercial success....

Article

Sergey Belichenko

(Pavlovich )

(b Braşov, Romania, April 20, 1947). Russian pianist, keyboard player, and journalist of Romanian birth. In Lithuania he studied accordion at Vilnius Music College (1961–5) and composition at the Lithuanian State Conservatory (1965–8). He first led quartets at the festivals in Tallinn (Estonian SSR [now Estonia]) in 1966 and 1967, and from 1969 to 1970 he led groups in Vilnius. In 1979 he began working with Vladimir Chekasin in settings ranging from a duo to a large orchestra. He performed at Soviet festivals in Riga and Krasnoyarsk, and internationally in Karlshamn (Sweden), Münster, Göttingen, and Munich (Germany), Lyons (France), Skopje (Yugoslavia), Salzburg (Austria), Venice and Rome (Italy), and Budapest, and played with such leading Lithuanian musicians as Petras Vyšniauskas, Vytautas Labutis, and the alto saxophonist Danielius Praspaliauskis. After studying journalism he published articles on Lithuanian jazz, and in 1989 he joined the staff of the new Russian magazine ...

Article

Michael C. Heller

(b Cardiff, UK, Jan 8, 1948). British jazz journalist and historian. He studied music theory and clarinet at the Welsh College of Music and Drama (1967–71), followed by ten years leading a jazz-rock band under the stage name Nick Stewart. In the early 1980s he began writing on jazz for various magazines and newspapers in the UK. Since then his pieces have appeared in a range of publications in Europe and the United States, including The Western Mail, Gramophone, The Observer, Jazzwise, Jazz Times, and The Wire. His writing expanded to book-length studies in the 1990s, including highly regarded biographies of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington, as well as broader surveys of jazz in the 1980s and jazz-rock. Since the early 2000s Nicholson has been a key chronicler of the European scene, especially movements blending jazz with local folkloric forms, classical music, and electronica. His controversial ...

Article

John Chilton

[Hans Georg ]

(b Brugg, Switzerland, April 7, 1918). Swiss writer. His numerous articles have appeared in magazines published in Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, and Canada, and he has given lectures on jazz in several countries. One of the most knowledgeable jazz writers, he specializes in musicians of the pre-bop era and writes with a deep understanding of the improviser’s craft; his biographical features clearly indicate the trust and confidence that his subjects, who are usually veteran musicians, place in him. Although Simmen studied piano for seven years he never played professionally, but his knowledge of keyboard technique makes his articles on jazz pianists particularly incisive. His extraordinarily acute musical ear allows him to recognize jazz soloists with ease, and his lectures on individual musicians are models of learned enthusiasm.

(selective list)

“Carnet de notes, xvii: Mrs. Emily Kraft-Banga and Mr. Kaiser Marshall,” BHcF, no.208 (1971), 4; no.209 (1971), 7; rev. Eng. trans. in ...

Article

Daniel Zager

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Cambridge, MA, Oct 18, 1908; d Key West, FL, Dec 18, 1966). American writer. He learned to play drums before attending Harvard University as an undergraduate (BS 1931) and law student (1932–4), then studied medieval English literature at Yale University (PhD 1942); at graduate school he was a founder of the United Hot Clubs of America, a jazz appreciation society. While pursuing a career as a professor in English literature at several universities he served as a columnist on jazz for Variety and Saturday Review, contributed to Down Beat, Record Changer, Esquire, Harper’s, and Life, and edited articles on jazz for Musical America. In 1950 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to begin work on The Story of Jazz (1956), a historical survey that became widely used. He developed a course on jazz at New York University in 1950 and another at Hunter College, where he settled the following year. Stearns founded the ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(b London, Oct 31, 1930). English writer. In 1950 he ran a jazz club near London in which a number of well-known British bop musicians performed, and from 1957 to 1960 he was the secretary of an informal group known as the Contemporary Jazz Society. To broaden the society’s activities he began to interview musicians, including Americans who were visiting England; some of these interviews were later published in Melody Maker (1959–60). In 1961–2 Tomkins was a freelance contributor to Jazz News, and in 1962 he began an association with Crescendo which continued into the 1980s; he was its editor and art editor from 1966 to 1967 and served as a freelance editor, contributor, and art director from 1970. Throughout this association he published each month three or four interviews with jazz musicians, which now represent a major archive of source material for the study of jazz. Later he was a reviewer for and contributor to the ...

Article

Michel Laplace

(b Paris, March 10, 1920; d Paris, June 22, 1959). French cornetist, songwriter, and jazz critic. In 1934 he began to play trumpet in a group with his brother, the drummer Alain Vian. Influenced by Bix Beiderbecke, he then played cornet with Claude Abadie (1943–7, 1949–50), with whom he recorded Tin Roof Blues (1946, Swing 212), and he led his own group at Le Tabou in Paris (1949). He may be seen along with his brother in the film Le désordre à vingt ans (1967); by 1950, however, he had ceased to play trumpet. He recorded as a singer with the Fol brothers (1947), and later recorded some of his own songs with the pianist Jimmy Walter and Claude Bolling (1955). Together with Michel Legrand, he wrote the first French rock-and-roll tunes (1956), and his hit song ...