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Article

Brooks, Roy  

J. Kent Williams

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Mjumbe ]

(b Detroit, Sept 3, 1938; d Detroit, Nov 15, 2005). American drummer, percussionist, and jazz educator. His mother sang in church. Brooks cites Elvin Jones as his first important influence. He first worked with Yusef Lateef, then joined Horace Silver’s quintet, of which he was a member from 1959 to 1964; during the same period he recorded with his fellow sidemen Junior Cook (1960) and Blue Mitchell (1961, 1963), as well as with Sonny Red (1960), Buddy Tate and Stanley Turrentine (both 1961), and Shirley Scott (1961–3). Later he performed with Wes Montgomery, Lateef (1967–70), Pharoah Sanders, James Moody (1970–72), Sonny Stitt (recording in 1972–3), Jackie McLean, Dexter Gordon, Randy Weston, Milt Jackson, Charles Mingus (mid-1972–1973, beginning with a tour of Europe), and Abdullah Ibrahim (including recordings, 1973, 1976, 1977), and recorded with Chet Baker (...

Article

Carr, Ian  

Stan Britt

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Dumfries, Scotland, April 21, 1933; d London, Feb 25, 2009). English trumpeter, flugelhorn player, bandleader, composer, writer, and teacher, brother of Mike Carr. His mother played ukulele and banjo. Carr grew up in northeast England, where he took piano lessons from the age of 12 and taught himself trumpet from 1950. After studying at King’s College, Newcastle upon Tyne (1952–60, degree, English literature, diploma, education) he served in the army (1956–8), then played with his brother in a band, the Emcee Five (1960 – August 1962). He briefly joined Don Rendell in November 1962 and, after recovering from illness, formed a long-lived quintet with Rendell from 1963 to July 1969; during this period he also worked with Joe Harriott (recording in 1969), Don Byas, and John McLaughlin. In September 1969 he formed his own band, Nucleus, which rapidly became recognized internationally for its experiments with jazz-rock. As a result of its performance at the Montreux International Jazz Festival in ...

Article

Coker, Jerry  

Dave Gelly

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b South Bend, IN, Nov 28, 1932). American tenor saxophonist, composer, and teacher. On his birth certificate, Jerry Coker is his full given name. He joined Woody Herman’s orchestra in late 1953, interrupting his music studies at Indiana University, and toured with the group until summer 1954; his solo on I Love Paris (1953, Mars 1002) attracted considerable critical acclaim. He recorded in Paris for the Vogue label (1954) and in San Francisco as a leader and with Mel Lewis (both 1956), then worked as a freelance on the West Coast, playing for a brief period with Stan Kenton. His work with college bands led to his becoming a prominent teacher of jazz, and in 1960 he was appointed to the first of several university posts. Coker has written a number of books about jazz and is one of the most highly regarded writers within the field of jazz education; he has also composed for student bands. In the mid-1980s he recorded two new albums as a leader, ...

Article

Coltrane [née McLeod], Alice  

Franya Berkman

[Sangitananda, Turiya]

(b Detroit, MI, Aug 27, 1937; d Los Angeles, CA, Jan 12, 2007). American jazz pianist, organist, harpist, composer, and spiritual teacher, wife of John Coltrane and mother of Ravi Coltrane. Raised in a musical family in Detroit, she studied piano between the ages of seven and ten, then percussion at North Eastern High School. A keyboard protégée, she played for gospel choirs during her teen years and attended bebop jam sessions with her half-brother, a bass player, Ernest Farrow (1928–69). Early piano mentors include Barry Harris and Terry Pollard.

From 1956 to 1960, she played organ with the Premieres in Detroit and accompanied the saxophonists Yusef Lateef and Sonny Stitt. In 1960, she married the singer Kenneth “Pancho” Hagood and moved to Paris, where she befriended Bud Powell and gave birth to a daughter, Michelle. After returning to New York, she played with Johnny Griffin and Lucky Thompson. Between ...

Article

Dapogny, James  

Daniel Zager

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(Elliot)[Jim]

(b Berwyn, IL, Sept 3, 1940; d Ann Arbor, MI, March 6, 2019). 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 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 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

Doozie, Christopher  

Laurence Libin

(b Jirapa, Ghana, June 22, 1958). Ghanaian xylophone maker, player, and teacher. Born into a family of gyilli makers and players in northwest Ghana, Doozie began playing at six years of age. When he was 12 his father taught him to make his first gyilli and he was a practised maker by age 15. After secondary school Doozie moved to Accra to become a xylophonist with the Ghana Dance Ensemble. He was also an instructor at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon. Among other appointments, he has performed with the National SO Ghana and has been associated with the Institute of African Studies and the music and performing arts departments of the University of Ghana. In 1990 he established a workshop to produce xylophones; he made the xylophones used in the Broadway production of The Lion King. He has also restored instruments in museum collections. He continues to teach and perform and is managing director of Dagarti Arts and Music in Accra and a member of the Arts Council of Ghana. He is also involved in promoting fair trade practices. Doozie’s xylophone bars—from eight to 18 for each instrument—are made of aged, fire-dried planks of wood from male shea trees. Gourd resonators are affixed under the bars, which are tied to the curved frame. The tips of the wooden beaters are padded with rubber recycled from tyres....

Article

Garrick, Michael  

Mark Gilbert

revised by Simon Adams

(b Enfield, England, May 30, 1933; d Harefield, England, Nov 11, 2011). English pianist, organist, composer, and educator. He studied literature at London University and in the late 1950s led a trio and a quartet; from 1962 he combined these interests and took part in more than 250 events entitled Poetry and Jazz in Concert, in which leading poets read their works accompanied by jazz musicians, among them Joe Harriott and Shake Keane. Such combinations of jazz and literature became a recurrent preoccupation throughout his career. In 1965 he formed a sextet with Tony Coe, Harriott, Ian Carr, Coleridge Goode, and John Marshall; he also played with and composed works for the Don Rendell–Ian Carr Quintet (1965–9) and Neil Ardley’s New Jazz Orchestra (1965–7); Jazz at the Maltings: the Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet (1969) captures a television broadcast from 1968. During the 1960s and early 1970s Garrick made a series of popular recordings with his own groups, in configurations which ranged from trio to septet; the latter consisted of Norma Winstone, the flutist and tenor saxophonist Jimmy Philip, Art Themen, Henry Lowther, Trevor Tomkins, Dave Green, and the drummer Colin Barnes. He experimented with the use of harpsichord and celeste in jazz on ...

Article

Handy, John  

Luca Cerchiari

(Richard)

( Dallas, TX, Feb 3, 1933). American alto saxophonist and music educator. He was raised in California, where he studied clarinet before switching to alto saxophone. He has also played tenor and baritone saxophones, flute, piano, oboe, and percussion. Handy started his career performing in San Francisco with the blues musicians Lowell Fulson and Pee Wee Crayton and the jazz musicians Freddie Redd, Pat Martino, and Bobby Hutcherson. He then moved in 1958 to New York, where he formed his own group and worked with the pianist Randy Weston and the bass player and composer Charles Mingus (including the album Mingus Ah Um, 1959, Col.). In 1959 he recorded his first album, for Roulette. After studying music at San Francisco State College (BA 1963), he had a parallel career as a teacher, working at San Francisco State University and Conservatory, the University of California at Berkeley, and Stanford University, among other institutions. He rejoined Mingus in ...

Article

Harris, Barry  

Andrew Scott

(Doyle)

(b Detroit, MI, Dec 15, 1929; d North Bergen, NJ, Dec 8, 2021). American jazz pianist, composer, and pedagogue. He first encountered music through the church where his mother worked as a pianist and he first performed. After starting piano lessons at the age of four, he taught himself the boogie-woogie style of Albert Ammons before hearing bebop at a performance by Charlie Parker at Club El Sino in 1947. Having played some of his first professional engagements with Frank Rosolino, Harris became the house pianist at the Blue Bird Inn in Detroit, where he accompanied Lester Young, Sonny Stitt, Miles Davis, and Parker, among others. After travelling to New York in 1956 to record with Thad Jones and Hank Mobley, Harris remained in Detroit until 1960, when he moved to New York to join Cannonball Adderley’s group. Harris made his first recording as a leader in 1958...

Article

Higgins, Billy  

John Bass

[William]

(b Los Angeles, Oct 11, 1936; d Inglewood, CA, May 3, 2001). American jazz drummer, recording artist, and educator. He played drums from an early age, and his first professional experiences came backing up the rhythm-and-blues performers Amos Milburn and Bo Diddley. After turning his attention to jazz in the late 1950s, Higgins performed and recorded with Dexter Gordon and Thelonious Monk. He was also a member of the Jazz Messiahs with the trumpeter Don Cherry and of Ornette Coleman’s quartet with Cherry and the bass player Charlie Haden; he played with the latter group during a residency at the Five Spot in New York. Higgins performed on three of Coleman’s recordings: Something Else!!!! The Music of Ornette Coleman (1958, Cont.), which included the bass player Don Payne and the pianist Walter Norris; The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959, Atl.); and Change of the Century...

Article

Izu, Mark  

Lars Helgert

(George)

(b Vallejo, CA, Sept 30, 1954). American composer and bass player. He studied bass as a youth with Charles Manning and then under Charles Siani at San Francisco State University, where he received a BA in music. He also studied Japanese gagaku music with Togi Suenobu and has become proficient on the shō, sheng, and other Asian instruments. Izu has performed with Cecil Tayor, Steve Lacy, and James Newton, and has been an important figure in Asian American jazz. He was a founding member of the groups United Front and Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra, performing on the latter’s Grammy-nominated recording of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s Far East Suite (1999, Asian Improv). He has also worked with Jon Jang’s Pan Asian Arkestra. Izu has served as artistic director of the Asian American Jazz Festival and on the faculty of Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts....

Article

Joseph, Julian  

Mark Gilbert

revised by Simon Adams

(Raphael Nathaniel)

(b London, May 11, 1966). English pianist, composer, educator, and broadcaster. Classically trained as a child, he took up jazz after seeing Oscar Peterson on television and hearing Herbie Hancock, his chief inspiration. He attended the Weekend Arts College directed by Ian Carr in north London, then spent the years 1985–9 on a scholarship at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. While in America he played with Branford Marsalis (1986–7), with whom he appeared in a performance of Royal Garden Blues on the video Jacksonville Jazz Festival VII (1987); he made frequent trips home to Britain, where he played with Courtney Pine, Steve Williamson, and others. He settled in London again in 1990 and recorded as a leader. In the early 1990s he played in New York, Australia, Jamaica, and St. Lucia, and in Europe with Chico Freeman, recording in 1993. In 1994...

Article

Katz, Fred(erick)  

Barry Kernfeld

(b New York, Feb 25, 1919; d Santa Monica, CA, Sept 7, 2013). American cellist and educator. A Strings magazine obituary gives his birth name as Fedya, but the New York Birth Index gives Frederick. After studying with Pablo Casals he became a professional musician and composer; he was music director for the 7th Army in Europe after World War II and in the early 1950s worked as a piano accompanist to the popular singers Lena Horne and Tony Bennett, among others. His jazz activities took place chiefly in the later 1950s, when he was a member of Chico Hamilton’s quintet (from 1955), made recordings with the group (until 1959, including The Chico Hamilton Quintet with Buddy Collette, 1955, PJ 1209), and appeared with it in the short film Cool and Groovy (1956) and the film documentary Jazz on a Summer’s Day (1960). He also recorded as an unaccompanied soloist (...

Article

Keïta, Mamady  

Vera H. Flaig

(b Balandugu, Guinea, West Africa, 1950). Drummer, director, and teacher of Guinean birth. Mamady Keïta began his official apprenticeship with the village djembéfola at the age of eight. By his late teens, he was lead drummer of Ballet D’Joliba. By 22 he became the company’s first drummer to act as artistic director. Upon his retirement from the ballet in 1986, Keïta played briefly for the national ballet in Côte D’Ivoire before settling in Belgium where he founded an international djembé school called Tam Tam Mandingue.

Keïta came to live in the United States in 2004. At his first official workshop as an American resident, Keïta announced: “I spent fifteen years cleaning up the djembé drumming in Europe. Now it is time to do the same in America.” Despite the growing popularity of the djembé, Keïta was surprised by the lack of understanding about its history and music within American drum circles. Keïta, together with six other ...

Article

LaBarbera family  

Steven Strunk and Barry Kernfeld

Family of musicians. Their surname appears as both LaBarbera and La Barbera in the literature (and sometimes in the brothers’ own hands), but their birth certificates give LaBarbera.

LaBarbera, Pat [Pascel Emmanuel] (b Warsaw, NY, April 7, 1944)

LaBarbera, John (Phillip) (b Warsaw, NY, Nov 10, 1945...

Article

LaBarbera, Pat  

Steven Strunk and Barry Kernfeld

[Pascel Emmanuel]

Member of LaBarbera family

(b Warsaw, NY, April 7, 1944). American tenor saxophonist and educator. His home town, Mt. Morris, had no hospital, hence he was actually born in the nearby town of Warsaw. He was first taught by his father, the clarinetist Joseph LaBarbera, then attended Potsdam (New York) State Teachers College and the Berklee School of Music (1964–7). While playing with Buddy Rich’s band (1967–74) he gained a reputation as a fine soloist; his style is derived principally from that of John Coltrane (as exemplified by the latter’s recording of Giant Steps), to which he adds his own rhythmic looseness and lyricism. In 1974 he settled in Toronto, where he undertook various engagements and worked for television; the following year he joined Elvin Jones, with whom he performed and recorded extensively until 1985 and again from 1990, after Jones returned from Japan; he appears with the group in the film documentary ...

Article

LaPorta, John  

Brian Priestley

(Daniel)

(b Philadelphia, April 13, 1920; d Sarasota, FL, May 12, 2004). American saxophonist, clarinetist, and teacher. He was a sideman in the big bands of Bob Chester (1942–4) and Woody Herman (1944–6; while with Herman he appeared in the film Earl Carroll Vanities (1945). He then studied with Lennie Tristano and other teachers, and he recorded with Tristano in 1947. With Teo Macero, Charles Mingus, and others, he was a founding member in 1953 of the Jazz Composers’ Workshop; this established an experimental movement in New York which rivaled that in Los Angeles. LaPorta studied at the Manhattan School of Music (BS clarinet 1956, MME 1957), after which he began teaching there. From 1959 to 1985 he served on the faculty at the Berklee School of Music (from 1973 the Berklee College of Music), where he performed in a faculty saxophone quartet. He also played in Herb Pomeroy’s big band from ...

Article

Longnon, Guy  

Howard Rye

(b Paris, July 16, 1924; d Marseille, France, Feb 4, 2014). American trumpeter and educator, uncle of Jean-Loup Longnon. In June 1947 he was a member of Boris Vian’s band at the Tabou in Paris, but by October 1950 he had joined Claude Luter’s band at the Vieux Colombier, initially playing valve trombone. He recorded on trumpet with Don Byas in the Saratoga Jazz Hounds early in 1951. Longnon remained with Luter until summer 1953, working much of the time with Sidney Bechet (including tours of France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Algeria) but also on occasion also with Mezz Mezzrow. In summer 1953 he was a member with Big Chief Russell Moore of a band led by the drummer Moustache Galipedes which performed at the Palm Beach in Cannes and recorded. He was with Michel Attenoux’s band accompanying Bechet on a tour of France and Belgium from January to ...

Article

Mangione, Chuck  

Mark C. Gridley

revised by Barry Long

[Charles Frank ]

(b Rochester, NY, Nov 29, 1940). American jazz flugelhorn player, composer, and bandleader. While studying at the Eastman School (BMEd 1963) he recorded with his brother, the pianist Gap Mangione, for the Riverside label as the Jazz Brothers. With an early style that bore similarities to early Miles Davis and Clifford Brown, his work with bandleaders such as Woody Herman (1965), Maynard Ferguson (1965), and Art Blakey (1965–7), drew wider attention. Following a brief tenure on the Eastman faculty (1968–1972), Mangione concentrated on flugelhorn, and his work began to synthesize jazz elements, string arrangements, and a pop sensibility. Following the success of his album Land of Make Believe (1973, Mer.), he moved to Herb Alpert’s A&M label to record Bellavia (1975, A&M) and won his first Grammy Award, for Best Instrumental Composition, for its title track. He began to draw a large following with performances of catchy original melodies, particularly “Land of Make Believe” and “Feels So Good,” with simplified arrangements and a reduced improvisational element that attracted widespread radio airplay. Strong sales for a jazz artist, including an extraordinary two million copies of his album ...

Article

McGhee, Andy  

Barry Kernfeld

[Andrew]

(b Wilmington, NC, Nov 3, 1927; d Marietta, GA, Oct 12, 2017). American tenor saxophonist. He moved to Boston in 1945 to enroll in the diploma program at the New England Conservatory. After graduating in 1949 he worked briefly with Roy Eldridge. Drafted in 1950, he served as an instructor in an army band in New Jersey and then, in his second year, as a soldier in the Korean War. Following his discharge in 1952 he took Sam Rivers’s place with the rhythm-and-blues saxophonist Paul “Fat Man” Robinson, whose band was based at the Knickerbocker Cafe in Boston and toured extensively; he remained with Robinson for five years. Between 1957 and 1963 he played for Lionel Hampton, with whom he toured the USA, Europe, and the Far East; among the recordings he made with Hampton is The Many Sides of Lionel Hampton (c1960, Glad Hamp 1001...