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Avakian, George  

(b Armavir, Russia, March 15, 1919; d New York, Nov 22, 2017). Record producer and writer of Armenian descent. He grew up in New York, played piano (from 1930), and studied English literature at Yale University (BA 1941); while a student he began to work as a jazz critic for Tempo (1937). Later he was a contributing editor on jazz to Mademoiselle and Pic (1946–8), contributed to Esquire’s 1947 Jazz Book, and, with W.E. Schaap, revised and enlarged Charles Delaunay’s Hot Discography for its first American edition (1948). He wrote articles for Down Beat and Metronome and provided numerous liner notes for jazz albums. Avakian produced the pioneering documentary jazz album Chicago Jazz (1939–40) for Decca, and in early 1940 began to work for Columbia, where he established a series of jazz reissues. After four years of military service he returned to Columbia as a full-time record producer for jazz and popular music; he was director of the international department and later head of the popular album department. In ...


Ertegun, Ahmet (Munir)  

Howard Rye


(b Constantinople [now Istanbul], July 31, 1923; d New York, Dec 14, 2006). American record producer, brother of Nesuhi Ertegun. He traveled internationally in his youth—his father was minister to Switzerland, Turkish observer at the League of Nations, and the Turkish ambassador to France (living in Paris from 1929), Great Britain (London from 1931), and the United States (Washington, DC, from 1934)—and was educated at St. John’s College, Annapolis (BA 1944). He first became involved with Herb Abramson in running two small, short-lived record labels, Quality and Jubilee; then in late 1947 the two men founded the company and label Atlantic (jazz), with Ertegun as vice-president. It became one of the largest independent labels concerned with jazz, rhythm-and-blues, and soul recordings, and retained this position throughout the 1950s and 60s. The company was purchased by Warner Bros. in 1967 but remained under its previous management. In the 1980s and 90s Ertegun continued to be an executive of great importance in popular music, and in ...


Farnham, Allen  

Gary W. Kennedy

(Nicholas )

(b Boston, May 19, 1961). American pianist and record producer. He attended the Oberlin (Ohio) Conservatory of Music (BM piano and jazz 1983) and also studied classical Indian music (1983–4). Between 1986 and 1990 he led his own quartet, with either Joe Lovano or Dick Oatts on saxophone and Drew Gress and Jamey Haddad filling out the rhythm section, and from ...


Kawasaki, Ryo  

Yozo Iwanami and Barry Kernfeld

(b Tokyo, Feb 25, 1947). Japanese guitarist and record producer. He gained a BS degree in physics at Nippon University in Tokyo and first played professionally with the tenor saxophonist Seiichi Nakamura in the 1960s; he also worked with the tenor saxophonist Jiro Inagaki and with Takeshi Inomata. After forming a group with Shigeharu Mukai and the alto saxophonist Hidefumi Toki, in 1973 he moved to New York, where he played with Joe Lee Wilson (1973), Gil Evans (1973–5), Chico Hamilton (for a tour of the USA, c1975>), and Elvin Jones (1976–7), with whom he toured the Americas and Europe and appeared in the documentary film Different Drummer (1979). In 1977–8 he toured Europe with JoAnne Brackeen and worked as a leader. Active from 1979 through the 1980s in computerized music and in the development and utilization of guitar synthesizers, in New York he formed the record company and label Satellites (...


Lim, Harry  

Barry Kernfeld

(b Batavia, Dutch East Indies [now Jakarta], Feb 23, 1919; d New York, 26 or July 27, 1990). Record producer of Javanese birth and Dutch parentage. He was educated in the Netherlands, where he first became acquainted with jazz, and he pursued this interest on returning to Batavia and after he moved to the USA in 1939. He worked as a record producer in New York and Chicago, then produced jazz recordings for the Keynote company (1943–6). In 1949 he recorded Al Haig for his own label, HL. After producing a few sessions for the label Seeco, including one by Wardell Gray, he briefly revived Keynote (1955), and thereafter worked as the principal expert on jazz at Sam Goody’s record store in New York (1956–73). In 1972 he founded a new company and label, Famous Door (see Famous Door). Obituaries give his death date as both 26 and 27 July....


Nakamura, Teruo  

Yozo Iwanami

(b Tokyo, March 3, 1942). Japanese bass player and record producer. He attended Nippon University in Tokyo and in 1964 moved to New York, where he studied double bass with Reggie Workman. In the mid-1970s he played both double bass and electric bass guitar in his own Rising Sun Band, which performed at many venues in New York, including The Kitchen, the Bottom Line, and the Village Gate; in ...