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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

Erstrand, Lars  

Lars Westin

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Uppsala, Sweden, Sept 27, 1936; d Uppsala, March 11, 2009). Swedish vibraphonist. He started on piano but soon, influenced by the recordings of Lionel Hampton, made the vibraphone his main instrument. In the mid-1960s he began collaborating with Ove Lind, whose group, modeled after Benny Goodman’s classic swing quartet, was a tremendous success at the jazz club Stampen (the Pawn Shop), which opened in Stockholm in 1968. He made numerous recordings with Lind and, later on, with his own groups and with the Goodman-styled quartet Swedish Swing Society (which included Antti Sarpila and Ulf Johansson). Hailed as a leading exponent of swing and mainstream jazz in Sweden, Erstrand found himself in demand as an accompanist for American soloists on their tours of Europe, among them Goodman himself (1972). He also played and recorded with Hampton and participated in all-star groups at concerts and festivals worldwide. He made dozens of albums as a leader in Sweden to ...

Article

Gill, Elmer  

O Flückiger

(Lee)

(b Indianapolis, Feb 17, 1926; d Anghiari, Toscana, Italy, May 24, 2004). American pianist, vibraphonist, singer, and bandleader. After serving in France during the war he studied music at the conservatory in Dijon, at the University of Washington, and elsewhere. He led a jump band, the Question Marks, in Seattle through the late 1940s, then formed a trio modeled after that of Nat “King” Cole. From 1952 to mid-1953 he toured the USA and Canada with Lionel Hampton and later traveled in Alaska and California with his own groups. Having settled on the Canadian west coast, Gill hosted jazz projects involving such guest stars as Wes Montgomery. From the mid-1980s he toured internationally.

Article

Hampel, Gunter  

Roger Dean

revised by Simon Adams

(b Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany, Aug 31, 1937). German vibraphonist and composer. He studied music and architecture and formed his first group in 1958. In 1969 he established his own record company, Birth, which exclusively documents his own work. His involvement in forms of contemporary music besides jazz led to his working with the composer Krzysztof Penderecki, Don Cherry, and the New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra on the recording Actions (1971). In 1972 he formed the Galaxie Dream Band, an improvising collective. After working mainly with European musicians such as Manfred Schoof and Alex Schlippenbach, he formed lasting associations with several Americans, notably Perry Robinson and Jeanne Lee (whom he later married); Lee performed on many of his recordings and appeared regularly with the Galaxie Dream Band until her death in 2000. The saxophonist and flute player Thomas Keyserling was also a longstanding member of the group. Hampel toured widely in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and South America, often under the auspices of the Goethe Institute, and worked frequently in New York. He produced several videos of his performances, including ...

Article

Hyams, Margie  

[Marjorie]

(b New York, Aug 9, 1920; d Arcadia, CA, June 14, 2012). American vibraphonist. She recorded with Flip Phillips (1944) and was a soloist with Woody Herman’s First Herd (September 1944 – June 1945), with which she recorded and appeared in the film Earl Carroll Vanities (1945). She then led her own trio (1945–8). In 1946 she made recordings with Mary Lou Williams and Charlie Ventura, and the following year she performed in a concert with Williams and Ventura at Carnegie Hall. In February 1949 she began working with George Shearing (for illustration see ) and performed and recorded with him until she married and retired from music in 1950. Hyams may well be the piano soloist heard on Shearing’s pairing Cherokee/Four Bars Short, on which he plays accordion.

Article

Kerr, Anthony  

Mark Gilbert

revised by Simon Adams

(Michael)

(b Belfast, Northern Ireland, Oct 16, 1965). British vibraphonist. He studied percussion at the City of Belfast School of Music (1981–4) and tuned percussion and composition with David Friedman and Kenny Werner at the New School for Social Research in New York (1986–8). Later he played with Tim Garland (from 1989), the singer and keyboard player Georgie Fame (from 1990), Mike Westbrook (from 1992), Norma Winstone (from 1993), Claire Martin (from 1993), Alan Barnes (from 1993), and Jacqui Dankworth (1993–4) and worked with John Taylor, Louis Stewart, the drummer Charlie Watts, Jim Mullen, and the English alto saxophonist Peter King. In 1997 he led and recorded with his own quartet at Ronnie Scott’s club in London. In 1998 he joined the BBC Big Band, appearing with the group in a broadcast from the Northsea Jazz Festival in ...

Article

Lehn, Erwin  

Barry Kernfeld

(b Grünstadt, Germany, June 8, 1919; d Stuttgart, Germany, March 20, 2010). German bandleader, arranger, and vibraphonist. He grew up in a musical family, played violin from the age of five and piano from the age of six, and took up clarinet about five years later; he studied clarinet and drums at the conservatory in Peine. His first professional engagement in big bands was as a saxophonist with Erhard Bauschke in Berlin in 1938–9, and he played piano and wrote arrangements for German radio bands from 1945. With Horst Kudritzki he led the Rundfunk Berlin Tanzorchester, with which he recorded in 1948. In the 1950s he began to play vibraphone, and from 1951 to 1991 he led the big band of Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR Big Band) in Stuttgart; he produced the jazz program “Treffpunkt Jazz” for the same station in 1955. Many famous guest artists performed with the SDR Big Band, and Wolfgang Dauner, Bill Holman, Manfred Schoof, Alex Schlippenbach, and Eberhard Weber are among those who wrote for it; bandmembers included Horst Jankowski (...

Article

Lindström, Erik  

Pekka Gronow

(Wilhelm)

(b Helsinki, May 29, 1922; d Helsinki, Aug 27, 2015). Finnish composer, double bass player, vibraphonist, and pianist. He played in amateur swing bands during World War II, and with the drummer Ossi Aalto (1945–8), the bandleader Onni Gideon (1948–52), and his own groups (from 1952). He frequently accompanied visiting musicians and recorded with Peanuts Holland (1950, 1959) and Benny Bailey (1959). His Main Road 7 was among the first Finnish jazz compositions to be recorded (by Manu Teittinen, 1954, HMV TF50). Lindström wrote several of the most popular Finnish songs of the 1950s, including Muistatko Monrepos’n (“do you remember Monrepos”), recorded by Annikki Tähti in 1955. With compositions like Ranskalaiset korot (“French heels”), recorded by Helena Siltala (1958), he created a jazz-influenced style that was widely imitated by other songwriters. In 1974 he recorded an LP of his jazz compositions, ...

Article

Mannette, Ellie  

Jonas Westover

[Elliot ]

(b Sans Souci, Trinidad, Nov 5, 1927). American steel pan musician. Called the “father of the modern steel drum,” Mannette began playing music as a child, and by age 11 he was already performing with the New Town Calvary Tamboo Bamboo. When the colonial British government banned traditional instruments, locals began experimenting with alternatives. Mannette was among those to introduce new percussion instruments made of trash can lids and other found objects, and he and several friends started the Oval Boys, which eventually took the name the Woodbruck Invaders. As a talented machinist, Mannette took oil drums and their lids to produce musical instruments, and he spent decades honing these skills to develop sophisticated creations. By 1951 the Trinidadian government realized the importance of Mannette’s work, and formed an 11-person pan-band called the Trinidad All-Steel Percussion Orchestra that was organized by Lt. Joseph Griffith. Mannette continued to work with the Invaders, however, and in ...

Article

Montgomery family  

Family of musicians.

Montgomery, Monk [William Howard] (b Indianapolis, Oct 10, 1921; d Las Vegas, NV, May 20, 1982)

Montgomery, Wes [John Leslie] (b Indianapolis, March 6, 1923; d Indianapolis, June 15, 1968)

Montgomery, Buddy [Charles F.] (b Indianapolis, Jan 30, 1930; d Palmdale, CA...

Article

Osterwald, Hazy  

Rainer E. Lotz

[Osterwälder, Rolf]

(b Berne, Feb 18, 1922; d Lucerne, Switzerland, Feb 26, 2012). Swiss trumpeter, vibraphonist, and bandleader. He studied piano in Berne. At the age of 17 he wrote an arrangement of Rosetta for a recording by Fred Böhler, which was coupled with his own composition Fred’s Jump (1939, Col. ZZ1006). He performed as a trumpeter with Böhler (1941), Edmond Cohanier, Philippe Brun, and Teddy Stauffer’s Original Teddies. In 1944 he formed his own band, with which he made a large number of recordings (1946–78); among his soloists were Ernst Höllerhagen and Werner Dies. He also recorded as a sideman with the bandleader Bob Huber (1942), the Original Teddies under Eddie Brunner (1944), and Gil Cuppini (1949). Osterwald performed and recorded on vibraphone at the Paris Jazz Fair (1949) with various American musicians, including Sidney Bechet and Charlie Parker, and he toured Europe, Latin America, Israel, and the USA. His band’s recordings of modern jazz are well represented by ...

Article

Pollard, Terry  

Barry Kernfeld

(Jean)

(b Detroit, Aug 15, 1931; d New York, Dec 16, 2009). American pianist and vibraphonist. Pollard took up piano at age 3. By her mid-teens she was sneaking out of the house to play in jazz clubs. She studied nursing, but at her graduation celebration in 1948, the pianist failed to appear. Pollard took over, earned $15, and realized that she could make more money as a musician than as a nurse. While working at Hudson’s department store, she began to play locally, most often at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. She performed and recorded in Detroit alongside Thad and Elvin Jones in Billy Mitchell’s quintet (1952–3), playing both piano and vibraphone. From 1953 to 1957 she toured and made recordings (notably Terry Gibbs Quartet, 1953, Bruns. BL58055) as the pianist and second vibraphonist in Terry Gibbs’s groups. Her virtuoso playing is at the forefront of the video ...

Article

Pyysalo, Severi  

Pekka Gronow

revised by Atro Mikkola

(b Pori, Finland, Oct 18, 1967). Finnish vibraphonist. From the age of nine he studied classical music at the conservatory in Turku, and while there he became acquainted with the vibraphone. He made a sensational début at the Pori Jazz Festival at the age of 16 and in the same year, 1984, recorded his first album. From 1986, when he recorded as co-leader with the marimba player Riku Niemi, he studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and later he led a group, the Front, which gave an acclaimed performance at the Nordic Radio Jazz Days in 1989. In the 1990s he played mainly with the group Perko-Pyysalo Poppoo, which he formed with Jukka Perko. In 1995 Helsinki Festivals commissioned him to compose a classical piece for seven percussionists, and in 1996 he wrote two pieces, Devotion and What If, which featured him on vibraphone with the Finnish Radio Orchestra. He collaborated with Antti Sarpila on a Finnish Blue Note album which mainly featured Pyysalo’s compositions (...

Article

Richards, Emil  

Leroy Ostransky

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Radocchia, Emilio Joseph]

(b Hartford, CT, Sept 2, 1932; d Los Angeles, Dec 13/14, 2019). American vibraphonist and percussionist. He started on xylophone when he was six and became a percussionist with the Hartford Symphony at the age of 16. While attending the Hartford School of Music (1949–52) he played percussion in several local symphony orchestras (1950–54). During his military service he played in an army band in Japan (1954–5), where he worked with Toshiko Akiyoshi, and after being discharged he became a studio musician in Los Angeles (1956). He performed and recorded as a vibraphonist with George Shearing (1956–8) and Paul Horn (1960–64), with whom he was seen in the Paul Horn Quintet episode of the television series “Frankly Jazz” (1962), and then played with Don Ellis (1964–9) and led his own group, the Microtonal Blues Band (...

Article

Ricotti, Frank  

Simon Adams

(b London, Jan 31, 1949). English vibraphonist. A member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra in his teens, he studied at Trinity College of Music, London (1967–70), and played with Neil Ardley (recording in 1968, 1969, and 1971) and the tenor saxophonist Dave Gelly. He formed his own quartet in the early 1970s, but also worked with Graham Collier, Mike Gibbs (recording in 1969–72), Stan Tracey (recording in 1970), Harry Beckett (recording in 1970–72), Norma Winstone (recording in 1971), and Gordon Beck’s Gyroscope (1973–4). In the 1980s he played with Chris Laurence and John Taylor in Paragonne (with whom he recorded Aspects of Paragonne, 1985, MMC 010), and also recorded with Beck (1984) and Guy Barker (the album Holly J, 1989, Miles Music 078).

Having appeared on film soundtracks occasionally in the 1970s, from the mid-1980s into the new century Ricotti concentrated on studio and freelance work, playing and composing music for films, television, and other media; in these settings he utilized a wide array of percussion instruments in addition to the vibraphone. Apart from contributing to the soundtracks of many popular films, early on in this work he composed and served as music director for the made-for-television serial “The Beiderbecke Trilogy” (1985–8), for which he produced music in the style of Bix Beiderbecke; in 1989 he won a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Award for original television music for ...

Article

Robinson, Orphy  

Mark Gilbert

revised by Simon Adams

(Everton)

(b London, Oct 13, 1960). English vibraphonist, marimba player, and composer. He played alto saxophone, trumpet, and drums before taking up tuned percussion. In the late 1970s and 1980s he was a member of various jazz-funk bands, including Savanna. He then worked with, among others, the Jazz Warriors (1985), Courtney Pine (late 1980s, touring the USA in 1987), Andy Sheppard’s big band Soft on the Inside (1988–90, including an appearance in the documentary video Soft on the Inside, 1990), Andy Hamilton (1992), Byron Wallen and the multi-cultural group Shiva Nova (both from 1993), David Murray (touring in May 1994), and the guitarist Alan Weekes and the reed player David Jean-Baptiste (both 1997). In the 1990s Robinson led several of his own bands, notably Annavas (named after his former group, Savanna), Nubian Vibes Ensemble, and Codefive. He wrote music for television and film and composed a suite for the Balanescu String Quartet (...

Article

Roland, Joe  

Barry Kernfeld

[Joseph Alfred]

(b New York, May 17, 1920; d Palm Beach County, FL, Oct 12, 2009). American vibraphonist and bandleader. He began his career as a clarinetist and leader and studied at the Institute of Musical Art (1937–9); he took up xylophone in 1940. After the war he bought a vibraphone and began playing the instrument as a freelance in New York. He also organized his own bop group, which recorded in 1949 and 1950, and in 1951 he played and recorded with Oscar Pettiford. From 1951 to 1953 Roland was a member of George Shearing’s quintet, with which he may be seen in five Snader telescriptions, including Conception and Move (both 1951). He then led a group with Howard McGhee and toured and recorded with Artie Shaw’s Gramercy Five; his playing with this group is well represented by Sunny Side Up, from the album Artie Shaw and his Gramercy Five...

Article

Rollini, Adrian  

John Chilton

(b New York, NY, June 28, 1903; d Homestead, FL, May 15, 1956). American jazz bass saxophonist and vibraphonist. He was originally a pianist and xylophone player, and worked from 1922 to 1927 with the California Ramblers, with whom he made hundreds of recordings. While with this band he bought his first bass saxophone, and specialized on this instrument throughout the 1920s and early 1930s; he also provoked admiring astonishment among fellow musicians by playing jazz on novelty instruments such as the “hot fountain pen” and the “goofus” (an instrument resembling a toy saxophone and made by Couesnon in France during the 1920s). In these years he became one of the first outstanding white jazz musicians; his adept improvisations on the unusually cumbersome bass saxophone were melodically inventive and possessed rhythmic vitality and swing. He is best remembered for his series of recordings with Bix Beiderbecke, wherein he displays considerable adroitness, both in the improvised ensembles and in his solos. During the 1930s he began to concentrate on playing vibraphone; he never rose above competence on that instrument, however, whereas in his by then rare performances on bass saxophone he still showed mastery. The last years of his life were spent mainly playing commercial engagements in Florida. His brother Art Rollini was a tenor saxophonist with Benny Goodman’s band....

Article

Russell, Hal  

Simon Adams

[Luttenbacher, Harold Russell jr]

(b Detroit, Aug 28, 1924; d Chicago, Sept 5, 1992). American saxophonist, trumpeter, vibraphonist, drummer, and bandleader. His birth year had been published as 1926, but 1924 appears on his December 1942 draft registration card, which he signed “Harold Russell Luttenbacher Jr.” He began to play drums at the age of four and led a quartet while at high school; as a percussionist he received a scholarship to the University of Illinois, where he led a big band and learned trumpet. In the late 1940s he served as drummer in the big bands of Woody Herman, with whom he made his recording début, Boyd Raeburn, and Claude Thornhill. In 1950 he briefly played vibraphone with Miles Davis’s quintet, and for the remainder of the decade he was based in Chicago, where he accompanied visiting musicians, notably Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. In 1959 he played an early form of free jazz as the drummer in a trio led by saxophonist Joe Daley, with whom he recorded at the ...

Article

Schlüter, Wolfgang  

W Knauer

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Berlin, Nov 12, 1933; d Hamburg, Nov 12, 2018). German vibraphonist. He studied piano as a child and percussion and timpani at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin from 1950 to 1954, during which time he began playing in dance bands. He focused on jazz after being inspired by a Lionel Hampton concert in Berlin in 1952. He recorded with Michael Naura in Berlin in 1955 and then moved to Hamburg to join Naura (1956–64), whose quintet played music after that of George Shearing, the Modern Jazz Quartet, and Cannonball Adderley’s group; they mainly worked at the Barrett, a cellar bar in Hamburg, and they performed at the Deutsches Jazz Festival Frankfurt in 1964. He also played with Rolf Kühn (1956), Horst Jankowski (1961), the German All Stars (1963), and Volker Kriegel (1978). In Hamburg in 1965 he joined the orchestra of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk, with which he remained until ...