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Gary W. Kennedy and Barry Kernfeld

[Wilton Jameson ]

(b New Albany, IN, July 21, 1939). American educator, publisher, record producer, and saxophonist. He performed locally from the age of 15 and while studying at Indiana University (BM 1961; MM 1962) led groups that worked in southern Indiana and Kentucky. Having taught music education at Indiana University Southeast (1967–9) and classical saxophone at the University of Louisville (1970–72), in the early 1970s he established a week-long jazz workshop (or “jazz camp”) held during the summer; by the late 1990s the workshop took place twice annually. Aebersold also presented workshops in other countries, including Australia, Germany, England, Scotland, Denmark, and Canada. In 1992 he received an honorary doctorate in music from Indiana University and began teaching jazz improvisation at the the University of Louisville.

In addition to his principal instrument, Aebersold plays piano and double bass, but he is far better known as an educator than as a performer. In ...

Article

Daniel Zager

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Jim ]

(b Berwyn, IL, Sept 3, 1940). American editor, writer, teacher, leader, and pianist. He studied composition at the University of Illinois (BMus 1962, MMus 1963, DMA 1971) and from 1966 taught at the University of Michigan. In his work as an editor and writer he has devoted particular attention to the music of Jelly Roll Morton; his book Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton: the Collected Piano Music (1982) offers a comprehensive edition of transcriptions of a jazz musician’s work and includes biographical material and analysis. He also wrote entries on major jazz musicians for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (London, 1980). As a pianist Dapogny has performed widely in concert and on radio and television, and he recorded as the leader of the Chicago Jazz Band, in a duo with Butch Thompson, and with the State Street Aces, the Mysterious Babies, and Sippie Wallace. His Chicago Jazz Band, founded in ...

Article

Daniel Zager

(b Louisville, KY, May 12, 1928; d Skokie, IL, Feb 4, 1982). American editor. After teaching percussion and leading his own band in Louisville (1951–60) he moved to Chicago to become the managing editor of Down Beat, of which he was later the editor-in-chief (1961–7...

Article

Daniel Zager

(b New York, Dec 18, 1928; d Feb 23, 2019). American writer. After attending the University of Missouri (1946–50) and Columbia University (1950) he worked for Prestige Records (1950–55). With Leonard Feather he collaborated on The Encyclopedia of Jazz (1955), for which he was an assistant writer and editor, and The Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Sixties (1966), and he was an author with Feather of The Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Seventies (1976) and the Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz (1999). Gitler wrote for such periodicals as Metronome, Jazz Magazine, Down Beat (of which he was an associate editor), and Jazz Times, produced film scripts on Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton for the US Information Service, and was a commentator for radio station WBAI, New York; he also taught at CUNY. Among his more notable writings is ...

Article

(b Chicago, June 21, 1906; d Gstaad, Switzerland, Oct 22, 1997). American double bass player, tuba player, and music publisher, brother of Benny Goodman. Having begun on tuba, he took up double bass at the request of Ben Pollack, whose band he joined in January 1926 on the coat-tails of his exceptionally talented brother Benny. He toured and recorded with Pollack until spring 1934 and then with his brother until April 1939, though he also took part in numerous studio sessions. Goodman stopped playing to concentrate on running a restaurant in New York; by this time he had founded the popular-music publishing company Regent Music in partnership with his younger brother Gene (Eugene) Goodman (b 1910). Harry and Gene later established Jewel Music and, more significantly, ARC Music, the latter in 1953 in collaboration with the record producers Leonard and Phil Chess (not to be confused with the earlier ARC [American Record Corporation]); as the Arc Music Group, it has maintained a powerful presence in the field of blues. Goodman spent his last 25 years in France....

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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

Daniel Zager

(b Laramie, WY, 1909; d Brielle, nr Spring Lake, NJ, Nov 19, 1967). American writer. After graduating in 1930 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a degree in engineering he moved to Illinois, and from 1935 until the end of World War II he worked as an engineer in Chicago. He took a great interest in jazz recordings, and from 1935 to the 1960s he contributed a column entitled “The Hot Box” to Down Beat which contained important discographical and biographical material on jazz musicians. In the mid-1940s he also wrote for Esquire’s Jazz Book. Hoefer moved in 1951 to New York, where he provided material for the periodicals Metronome, Jazz, and Melody Maker; from 1958 to 1961 he was an editor of Down Beat. His writings are notable for their accuracy and unusual attention to detail.

(selective list)

“Bix Beiderbecke,” “Bessie Smith,” The Jazz Makers...

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 ...

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Article

[Frederick Eugene John ]

(b Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Feb 8, 1928; d Ojai, CA, April 22, 2010). Canadian writer, editor, and lyricist. He received an extensive education in music, which included conservatory study at Hamilton (1949) and later at the Berklee School of Music (1961–2) as well as private lessons in theory, composition, singing, piano, and guitar. Having begun his career as a reporter and critic with the Hamilton Spectator, Toronto Telegram, and Montreal Star (1948–55) he served as editor and critic in music and drama for the Louisville Times (1955–8). From 1959 to 1961 he was editor of Down Beat. He was also a contributing editor and columnist for Stereo Review (1962–5), High Fidelity (1966–79), and American Film (1977–80). In 1981, in Ojai, California, he founded the Gene Lees Jazzletter, a private monthly publication which presents essays on jazz and related topics. Lees worked extensively as a lyricist; in particular, his translations from Portuguese to English of songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim were important in the popularization of bossa nova during the mid-1960s. He was a music commentator for the Canadian Broadcasting Company and Sveriges Radio Television. Later he published a rhyming dictionary, anthologies of his essays, biographies of Oscar Peterson and Woody Herman, a collection of photographs and brief biographies (with J. Reeves), and a controversial survey of jazz and race....

Article

Steve Smith

(Marc )

(b Chicago, Dec 26, 1950). American writer. He learned piano and flute as a child and pursued his formal education at Syracuse University (1970–72), Mills College (1972), and Roosevelt College (1973–5); he also studied boogie-woogie, swing, and blues piano with leading players in Chicago. In 1975 he embarked on his writing career, working for Down Beat (as associate editor, 1978–81), The Wire, Musical America, Tower Pulse!, the Village Voice, the Washington Post, Billboard, the New York Times Book Review, and Jazziz. He contributed scripts for jazz shows on NPR and held editorial positions at Guitar World (1982–3), Ear (1987–92), the JVC Jazz Festival program guide published by Tower Pulse! (from 1994), and Rhythm Music (1996–7). Mandel was a founder of the Jazz Journalists’ Association: in 1992 he became its president and in 1997 editor of its website, ...

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

Gary W. Kennedy

(David )

(b Toronto, Nov 6, 1951). Canadian writer and photographer. He studied at York University in Toronto (BFA 1973) and worked as a contributor to Coda (1973–6, 1988), DownBeat (as its Toronto correspondent, 1975–92), and Jazz Forum (as its Canadian correspondent, 1977–90), as well as writing on jazz for other periodicals; in 1978 he became the jazz critic for the Toronto Globe and Mail. Having served as a subject editor on jazz and English-language popular music for the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (1981), he was one of its associate editors for the second edition (1992). Miller has also written liner notes, notably providing the overview and notes for Radio Canada International’s Anthology of Canadian Jazz (1991), and has published many of his photographs of jazz musicians. Throughout his career he has concentrated on jazz musicians and the development of jazz in Canada, and he is the author of two collections of biographical essays and a history of the early years of jazz in Canada....

Article

Paula Morgan

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(Michael)

(b Munich, Oct 24, 1929). American writer. He grew up in Vienna, but left in 1938 and spent the next nine years as a refugee in Denmark and Sweden. After moving to the USA in 1947 he studied history at Brandeis University (1953–6). From 1958 to 1961 he was the New York correspondent for Jazz Journal. He then served as editor of Metronome (1961), Jazz (1962–3), and Down Beat (New York editor, 1964–6, editor 1966–73) magazines; during the 1960s he also produced jazz concerts in New York and for television. In the mid-1970s he held appointments as visiting lecturer in jazz at Brooklyn College and the Peabody Institute, and in 1976 he became director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers, in which capacity he has worked as an editor of the Journal of Jazz Studies (from 1982 the Annual Review of Jazz Studies...

Article

Daniel Zager

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Robert (D.) ]

(b New York, c1945). American writer. He studied clarinet and drums and played drums in workshops with Jaki Byard (1968–71) and Cedar Walton (1972). In the 1960s and 1970s he wrote for American and European periodicals, including Down Beat, Jazz Journal, and Jazz Forum, and in 1975 he began publishing the monthly magazine Cadence, which in the following years printed many wide-ranging interviews with jazz and blues musicians and reviews of recordings. Later he formed Cadence Jazz Records (1980), which by the late 1990s had issued more than 100 recordings; North Country Record Distribution (1983), which distributes the jazz and blues recordings of more than 900 small independent labels; Cadence Jazz Books (1992), which publishes reference books, histories, and discographies; and CIMP (1996), for which he had produced about 100 recordings by the turn of the century. He donated his extensive indexed collection of books and journals, covering jazz and blues literature in the English language, to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library (...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(b New York, Oct 31, 1950). American writer. After studying music at CUNY and at the guitar center of the New School for Social Research he worked as an editor, feature writer, and columnist for the periodical of Tower Records, Pulse (1983–91), and contributed numerous articles to Down Beat (1984–93). While serving as a music critic for The Nation (from 1986) he was a columnist for 7 Days (1987–9) and Taxi (1988–90); he then wrote essays for Atlantic Monthly and taught at CCNY (both from 1991). As both a music critic and a feature writer he has contributed to the New York Post (1988–90), the New York Daily News (from 1993), and Fi (1996–9), and he has written for the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Village Voice, Rolling Stone, and Musician...

Article

Mark Miller

[William Ernest ]

(b Bristol, England, May 12, 1938). Canadian writer, editor, saxophonist, and clarinetist of English birth. He studied aeronautical design and played drums and trumpet in England before moving to Toronto in 1963. He immediately became art director of Coda magazine, and rose to the position of co-publisher with John Norris in 1967; he succeeded Norris as editor in 1976. He was also co-founder with Norris of Sackville in 1968. Having taken up saxophone and clarinet in Toronto, he developed a modest, conversational style and began performing in freely improvised settings in the mid-1970s, first with the pianist Stuart Broomer, then with the Bill Smith Ensemble (1980–89) and as the sopranino saxophonist in Zes Winden (1986–8). He moved the editorial offices of Coda to Hornby Island, northwest of Vancouver, in 1989 and thereafter played saxophone and drums locally. (The magazine's business office remains in Toronto, under Norris.) The Smith Ensemble (David Prentice, violin; David Lee, double bass) recorded both as a trio and with guests Leo Smith (...

Article

Jonas Westover

(b Boston, MA, May 10, 1937). American music critic, publicist, and editor. Solomon is best known for her contributions to the Village Voice, but has also written for Down Beat, Country Music, Hit Parader, the News World, and Us. She was one of the first women involved in popular music criticism; her work focused on folk music of the 1960s, jazz, blues, rock, and country music. Solomon’s column in the Village Voice was called “Riffs.” She also served as editor for the magazine ABC-TV Hootenanny (1963–4), which highlighted performers on the television show of the same name who were just beginning to rise to fame, including Judy Collins, Earl Scruggs, and Doc Watson. Other writers whose work appeared in the magazine included Theodore Bikel and Jean Shepard. Another of her important editing positions was on the magazine New Musical Express (NME) in the 1970s. Solomon also had a brief tenure as a publicist for Chess Records, where she produced a number of liner notes. Her commentary on such diverse subjects as J.J. Cale and Paul McCartney has given her voice a lasting impression in the music business....

Article

Mark Berresford

(Coleman )

(b Brunswick, MO, Feb 7, 1882; d New York, NY, March 9, 1961). American clarinetist, bandleader, composer, and music publisher. His first professional engagement (c1897–8) was with a “pickaninny” band led by Nathaniel Clark Smith. In 1902 he was assistant leader of P.G. Lowery’s band with Forepaugh and Sells Circus and later that year joined Mahara’s Minstrels band under the leadership of W.C. Handy. In 1903 he formed his own band in Minneapolis, where he made the first recordings by an African American band. Sweatman moved to Chicago in 1908, where he led trios at the Grand and Monogram theaters. In 1911 he made his first vaudeville appearance, and in late 1916 made the first records recognizable as jazz performances. In 1918 Sweatman’s band was signed to an exclusive recording contract with Columbia, their records rivalling those by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. He continued to work through the 1920s and early 1930s in vaudeville, and in ...

Article

Robert Gannon

[Sinc ]

(b Camborne, England, Dec 1904; d Brighton, England, Jan 10, 1981). English writer and editor. After a brief career in banking he began to write about jazz, and with Bill Elliott he developed the feature “Collector’s Corner” for Melody Maker. During World War II he served with the RAF in India, where he produced a program for the radio network of the armed forces, reviewed records for the Forces magazine Victory, and, most significantly, arranged and supervised a series of unaccompanied piano recordings by Teddy Weatherford. He then moved to London, where from 1946 to 1947 he published the magazine Pick Up. He is best known for having edited Jazz Journal (from 1977 known as Jazz Journal International) from May 1948 until his death. As an editor Traill won respect for his taste, tact, fairness, humor, and considerable flamboyance.

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ed.: Play that Music: a Guide to Playing Jazz...