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Article

Abadie, Claude  

Michel Laplace

(b Paris, Jan 16, 1920; d Suresnes, Hautes de Seine, France, March 29, 2020). French clarinetist and bandleader. In 1941 he put together a jazz band which by 1943 had been joined by Boris Vian and was considered the first revival band in France. At its peak, in the years 1944–6, Abadie introduced such musicians as Claude Luter, Jef Gilson, and, from 1945, the Fol brothers, who may be heard on Tin Roof Blues (1946, Swing 212) and I’ve found a new baby (1946, Pathé 1013 [EP]). The band was strongly influenced by the Chicagoans and Bix Beiderbecke. In 1949 Abadie assembled a new band with such young players as Benny Vasseur and Jean-Claude Fohrenbach. He then retired from music (1952–63), but from 1965 led a modern-jazz nonet or tentet, which included the tenor saxophonist Paul Vernon (playing in a style influenced by Lester Young), with a repertory consisting of compositions by Ahmad Jamal, John Lewis, John Coltrane, and others. Abadie continued to lead this group for the remainder of his life, to age 100, directing and playing clarinet solos; they perform compositions of Thelonious Monk in the video ...

Article

Actis Dato, Carlo  

Stefano Zenni

(b Turin, Italy, March 21, 1952). Italian tenor and baritone saxophonist, bass clarinetist, and leader. He first played jazz in the Turin area in the early 1970s. In 1974 he was a founding member, with the guitarist Claudio Lodati, the double bass player Enrico Fazio, and the drummer Fiorenzo Sordini, of the quartet Art Studio, for which all four members provide compositions and arrangements; the group plays throughout Europe in a style mixing free improvisation techniques, extended forms, and contrapuntal work. In 1984 Actis Dato formed his own quartet, consisting of the saxophonist Piero Ponzo, Fazio, and Sordini; it toured internationally through the 1990s, from the USA to Africa to Japan. He was also a member of the Democratic Orchestra (1982–5), Mitteleuropa Orchestra (1982–90), Pino Minafra’s quintet (1984–9) and Sud Ensemble (from 1994), and the Italian Instabile Orchestra (from 1990). In ...

Article

Ashton, Bill  

Digby Fairweather

revised by Simon Adams

[William Michael Allingham]

(b Blackpool, England, Dec 6, 1936). English bandleader. He began playing saxophone and clarinet in school, and after service in an RAF band he organized two jazz bands while studying at Oxford University (1955–62). In the early 1960s he performed in several clubs in London. In 1965 he formed the London Schools Jazz Orchestra, which was later known as the London Youth Jazz Orchestra and then the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO); it became a professional organization in 1974 and is the only full-time big band of its kind in Great Britain. Through its ranks have passed some of Britain’s finest young musicians, including Julian and Steve Argüelles, Guy Barker, Chris Biscoe, Paul Lytton, Dave O’Higgins, Gerard Presencer, and Jamie Talbot. It has toured with Shorty Rogers (1982, 1983), and John Dankworth (1986), made regular appearances at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London, and made a large number of recordings, among them ...

Article

Badini, Gérard  

André Clergeat

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Mr. Swing]

(b Paris, April 16, 1931). French tenor saxophonist, clarinetist, pianist, composer, and leader. His father was a lyric singer, and he grew up in a musical family; he studied classical singing as a child and took up clarinet in 1950. After playing traditional jazz with Michel Attenoux (from 1952) and working with Bill Coleman, Peanuts Holland, Lil Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and Jimmy Archey, he joined Claude Bolling’s trio (1955) and toured Europe, Africa, and the Middle East with Bolling and with Jazz aux Champs Elysées, led by Jack Diéval. From 1958 his principal instrument was the tenor saxophone, which he played for many years with Bolling and as a freelance in studios. He also worked with Roger Guérin and Geo Daly (both 1957), Alice Babs and Duke Ellington (1963), Jean-Claude Naude (1963–4), Cat Anderson (recording in 1965), Paul Gonsalves (...

Article

Battaglia, Stefano  

Stefano Zenni

(b Milan, Aug 31, 1965). Italian pianist and leader. He took up piano at the age of seven and later studied composition. He began his career as a classical pianist, playing works by Bach and early baroque music at many festivals, including the Bach Festival in Düsseldorf in 1986. After turning to jazz he formed his own trio, with Paolino Dalla Porta on double bass, began recording as a leader, and collaborated throughout Europe with such musicans as Tony Oxley, Steve Swallow, Aldo Romano, Kenny Wheeler, and Marc Johnson. He also was a member of Roberto Ottaviano’s quartet from 1986 to 1991. From 1991 to 1992 he played in the Orchestra Nazionale dell’AMJ and in the mid-1990s he established duos with the clarinetist Gabriele Mirabassi and with Pierre Favre. He formed the trio Triplicity with Dominique Pifarély and Dalla Porta in 1993, a quartet with the tenor saxophonist Emanuele Cisi, and a large ensemble, Theatrum, in ...

Article

Bell, Graeme  

Bruce Johnson

revised by Roger T. Dean

(Emerson) [Gay]

(b Melbourne, Australia, Sept 7, 1914; d Sydney, June 13, 2012). Australian bandleader, composer, and pianist, brother of Roger Bell. He began classical piano studies at the age of 11, and was introduced to jazz by his brother. In 1941 he held a pioneering jazz residency at Leonard’s Café in Melbourne and played for the Contemporary Art Society, indicating his radical interests. After working briefly in Queensland (1943) he returned to Melbourne, where he took over the group led by his brother at Heidelberg Town Hall and performed regularly for the Hot Jazz Society of the communist Eureka Youth League. In 1946 he started the Uptown Club in their premises and helped to inaugurate the Australian Jazz Convention. Having established his reputation in Australia with recordings in the dixieland style made in 1947, he toured Europe with his band (1947–8) under the Eureka’s sponsorship. In England his “jazz for dancing” policy was influential in promoting the acceptance of jazz as a major form of youth entertainment. In ...

Article

Bell, Roger  

Bruce Johnson

(Emerson )

(b Melbourne, Australia, Jan 4, 1919; d Melbourne, Australia, June 17, 2008). Australian trumpeter, washboard player, composer, singer, and bandleader, brother of Graeme Bell. He first worked as a drummer, then in 1938 began to play cornet. Having worked in Melbourne with his brother at Leonard’s Café, he briefly led the band at Heidelberg Town Hall (1943), where he recorded with a visiting Max Kaminsky, before Graeme Bell returned from Queensland to take over the group’s leadership. He remained in Graeme’s dixieland groups during their European tours (1947–8, 1950–52), after which he worked with Max Collie (1953) and in the house band at the Melbourne Jazz Club (from 1958). Bell was active as a freelance musician and led his own band, the Pagan Pipers (a name he had used first in 1949), which with various personnel (notably Len Barnard and Ade Monsbourgh) performed and recorded for many years; among its recordings were a number of Bell’s own compositions. His playing may be heard to advantage on ...

Article

Berry, Bill  

Steven Strunk

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[William Richard; Beez]

(b Benton Harbor, MI, Sept 14, 1930; d Los Angeles, November 13, 2002). American trumpeter, cornetist, and bandleader. Born into a musical family, he traveled from infancy with his father, a professional double bass player. He studied piano from about the age of five and took up trumpet as a teenager. After traveling with midwestern territory bands (1947–50) and serving in the air force (1951–4) he studied at the Cincinnati College of Music (1954) and the Berklee School of Music (1955–7). While in Boston he played with Herb Pomeroy. From March to September 1957 he was with Woody Herman, but he returned to Boston, then performed in Cincinnati, and in 1960 briefly rejoined Herman. He worked with Maynard Ferguson (1960–61) and toured with Duke Ellington (1961–4), and became known for the obbligato he played for the tap-dancer Bunny Briggs on Ellington’s album ...

Article

Björksten, Hacke  

Erik Kjellberg

revised by Lars Westin

[Gunnar Olof]

(b Helsinki, Feb 17, 1934; d Stockholm, Dec 17, 2020). Swedish tenor saxophonist and bandleader of Finnish birth. He moved to Sweden in 1945 and gained recognition in the early 1950s in Gothenburg, where he worked with the drummer Kenneth Fagerlund (1951–4). From 1954 to 1959 he led groups which worked at Nalen in Stockholm; these often involved Åke Persson and performed arrangements by Jan Johansson and others. The recording On the Alamo (1955), which Björksten made as the leader of a quintet that included Persson, shows to advantage his fluent technique, large tone, and rhythmic spark. After several years of inactivity he recorded again as a leader (1972, 1979). Although he pursued a profession outside of music, he continued to perform and record as a leader, and in 1987 he made a trio album with Mel Lewis and Ulf Johansson as his sidemen. He resumed recording as a leader in ...

Article

Bolling, Claude  

André Clergeat

(b Cannes, France, April 10, 1930; d Garches, France, Dec 29, 2020). French pianist, composer, and leader. He was a child prodigy as a pianist and in 1944 won an amateur jazz contest in Paris; the following year he formed a small group that played in a style that was both reminiscent of the small groups of Duke Ellington and influenced by New Orleans jazz. After accompanying Chippie Hill at a jazz festival in 1948 he played swing with such American musicians as Rex Stewart (recording in 1948), Roy Eldridge (1950), Buck Clayton and Don Byas (both 1951), Lionel Hampton (1953, 1956), and Albert Nicholas (1953–5), and (from 1955) with his own orchestra. He also recorded with Paul Gonsalves (1964–5), Cat Anderson (1964–5, 1969), Carmen McRae, and Thad Jones. Following in the tradition of Count Basie’s big band, he led the Show Biz Band and then the Claude Bolling Big Band into the 1990s; among those who performed with him as sidemen are Roger Guérin, Gérard Badini, André Villéger, and Claude Tissendier. With this orchestra Bolling toured the USA (...

Article

Bradshaw, Sonny  

Val Wilmer

[Cecil Valentine ]

(b Kingston, Jamaica, March 28, 1926; d Romford, England, Oct 10, 2009). Jamaican trumpeter, flugelhorn player, conductor, arranger, bandleader, journalist, and broadcaster. Self-taught on clarinet, he changed to trumpet to play with the big bands of the drummer Redver Cooke and the saxophonist Eric Deans, then formed the Beboppers with Ernest Ranglin and Dizzy Reece. He performed annually with the Jamaica All-Stars, and in 1950 he formed a septet which included Joe Harriott. From 1954 he promoted concerts and festivals, organizing the annual Big Band, which featured the island’s leading talents, notably Wilton “Bogey” Gaynair, Don Drummond, and the pianist (later politician) Seymour “Foggy” Mullings. Ranglin, Roland Alphonso, and the trombonist Emanuel “Rico” Rodriguez joined this ensemble to accompany such visiting artists as Sarah Vaughan, Donald Byrd, and Jimmy Owens. Bradshaw, who played in a raw, direct style influenced by Dizzy Gillespie, was a tireless promoter of Jamaican music. For 25 years he served as president of the Jamaican Federation of Musicians, and he arranged the island’s national anthem. Although he recorded extensively and toured throughout the Americas playing reggae, jazz was his preferred mode of expression. Among the guests who appeared with his poll-winning small group are Roy Haynes, Reece, Coleridge Goode, and Byard Lancaster. In the 1990s he travelled to England annually, playing in Birmingham with Andy Hamilton’s band....

Article

Brecker, Randy  

Jeffrey Holmes

[Randal Edward ]

(b Philadelphia, PA, Nov 27, 1945). American trumpeter, flugelhorn player, composer, arranger, and bandleader, brother of Michael Brecker. After graduating from Indiana University in 1966, he moved to New York, where he played with Clark Terry, Duke Pearson, and the Thad Jones–Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. A versatile musician, he worked with Blood, Sweat and Tears, performing on their debut album, played hard bop and soul jazz with the Horace Silver Quintet and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and helped form the fusion group Dreams, which included his brother Michael, Billy Cobham, and John Abercrombie. During the 1970s he worked with Silver, Larry Coryell, Stevie Wonder, the Plastic Ono Super Band, and Cobham. He and Michael also performed and recorded (six albums) as the Brecker Brothers, garnering much critical acclaim. He continued to lead his own group into the 1980s and also recorded and toured with virtuoso performers Jaco Pastorious and Stanley Clarke. A reunion of the Brecker Brothers in ...

Article

Brokensha, Jack  

Bruce Johnson

revised by Roger T. Dean

[John Joseph, John Jazza]

(b Adelaide, Australia, Jan 5, 1926; d Sarasota, FL, October 28, 2010). Australian vibraphonist, drummer, arranger, composer, and bandleader. He was playing xylophone by the age of six and later studied piano and drums; he became interested in jazz while serving in an RAAF entertainment unit (1944–6). After the war he led groups in Adelaide and played in coffee lounges and at concerts in Melbourne (1947–8). Among his sidemen at this period was Errol Buddle; Brokensha’s playing is well represented by the recording Buddle’s Bebop Boogie (1948, Jazzart 3–4). Extensive touring established his reputation in Australia, and he worked in Sydney (1949–50), Brisbane (1950), where his group disbanded, and Adelaide (1951). With Bryce Rohde he traveled in 1953 to Canada, where he became a founding member of the Australian Jazz Quartet (December 1954, with Rohde, Buddle, and the reed player Dick Healey). Later expanded to a quintet and occasionally to a sextet, the group was extremely successful in the USA; among its albums were ...

Article

Brötzmann, Peter  

Robert J. Iannapollo

revised by Simon Adams

(b Remscheid, Germany, March 6, 1941). German tenor and alto saxophonist, clarinetist, and leader. He attended the Art Academy of Wuppertal and taught himself to play saxophone; his art training has remained with him, as he still designs many of his own album sleeves and pamphlets. From 1959 he worked with local dixieland bands, in the early 1960s he was associated with the Fluxus movement in Germany, and by 1964 he was playing free jazz. In 1965 he formed a group with Peter Kowald and Sven-Åke Johansson, and the following year he toured Europe in a quintet led by Mike Mantler and Carla Bley and began an association with the Globe Unity Orchestra that lasted until 1981. He was a founder in 1969 of FMP, which sponsors performances and issues recordings of free jazz. Around the same year, with Fred van Hove and Han Bennink, he formed a trio that incorporated into its performances elements of European folk music, African rhythms, and an anarchic brand of theater, and which influenced strongly the shape and direction of free jazz in Europe; among those who performed with the trio as guest soloists were Don Cherry and Albert Mangelsdorff. Van Hove left the group around ...

Article

Papa Bue  

Barry Kernfeld

[Jensen, Arne Bue]

(b Copenhagen, May 8, 1930; d Copenhagen, Nov 2, 2011). Danish trombonist and bandleader. In the mid-1950s he performed and recorded with the Bonanza Jazz Band, Chris Barber, the pianist Adrian Bentzon, and the clarinetist Henrik Johansen. From 1956 he led the New Orleans Jazz Band, a septet based in Copenhagen, which in 1958 he renamed the Viking Jazz Band. The group remained in existence, with only infrequent changes of personnel, into the new century, making its last recordings in 2005; among those who recorded with it were George Lewis (i) (1959), the pianist Champion Jack Dupree (1962), Art Hodes (1970), and Wild Bill Davison (1970, 1974). Papa Bue appeared with the group at the Newport Jazz Festival New York in 1972 and later made a video, Papa Bue’s Viking Jazzband: the 40 Years Jubilee Concert (c1998 [filmed 1996]). His playing is well represented on his albums ...

Article

Capp, Frank  

Rick Mattingly

[FrankieCappuccio, Francis W.]

(b Worcester, MA, Aug 20, 1931; d Studio City, CA, Sept 12, 2017). American drummer and bandleader. He began playing drums around the age of five, after an uncle, who worked at a percussion accessories factory, gave him a pair of drumsticks; later he studied music education at Boston University. Having first worked with Stan Kenton (1951) and Neal Hefti, he led a quartet in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, and then settled in Los Angeles (1953); there he performed with the singers Peggy Lee (1953–4) and Dorothy Dandridge, Betty Hutton, and Ella Fitzgerald (all 1955–6), as well as with Billy May, Harry James, and Charlie Barnet. From 1953 to 1956 he played West Coast jazz with Stan Getz, Red Mitchell, Marty Paich, Art Pepper, and Dave Pell (with whom he recorded between 1959 and 1961), and in 1957 he joined a trio led by André Previn. Capp made several recordings with Previn from ...

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

Castro, Joe  

Scott Yanow

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Joseph Armand]

(b Miami, AZ, Aug 15, 1927; d Las Vegas, Dec 13, 2009). American pianist and leader. He grew up in Pittsburg, California, where he played professionally from the age of 15. After spending two periods at San Jose State College (during the interim, spring 1946 – April 1947, he performed with an army band) he formed his own trio to accompany the singer Treasure Ford; Ralph Peña was their bassist from 1947 to May 1949. They worked mainly on the West Coast and in Hawaii; his sidemen included Red Mitchell and Chico Hamilton. From 1951 into the 1960s Castro was in a relationship with the tobacco heiress Doris Duke. In 1953 she installed a recording studio in her Beverly Hills mansion, where Castro participated in and recorded hundreds of hours of jazz rehearsals and jam sessions from that year to 1960. These recordings involved leading jazz musicians who were based in, or came through, the Los Angeles area, including Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones, Paul Bley, Dexter Gordon, and Billy Higgins....

Article

Choquart, Loys  

Rainer E. Lotz

(b Geneva, Oct 11, 1920; d Puplinge, Switzerland, Dec 10, 1989). Swiss clarinetist, saxophonist, and bandleader. He organized his own Jam Band at the age of 17 and in 1939 he made the first of more than 2000 half-hour broadcasts on Geneva radio. He made his first recording, with the New Rhythm Kings, in 1942, playing alto saxophone on Arrêt facultatif (Parl. B35544). In 1943 he formed the Dixie Dandies, which included Henri Chaix and, occasionally, Wallace Bishop. By 1945 he was considered the best Swiss saxophone and clarinet soloist; his clarinet playing may be heard on Mississippi Moan (1951, Col. DZ1008). After 1953 he performed mainly in the swing style, making a number of recordings with vibraphone and rhythm section for Philips, but he also worked with a dixieland ensemble called Creole Jazz; its recordings of 1952 (among them Dippermouth Blues, Col. ESDF1055 [EP]) were awarded the Prix Jazz Hot in ...

Article

Coleman, (Randolph Denard) Ornette  

Gunther Schuller

revised by Aaron West

(b Fort Worth, TX, 9 March 1930). American jazz alto saxophonist, bandleader, and composer.

He is one of the most controversial and influential figures in jazz history.

He began playing alto saxophone at the age of 14 and developed a style influenced predominantly by Charlie Parker and rhythm-and-blues bands. During a visit in 1945 to New York, Coleman was first exposed to bebop. His early professional work came with a variety of rhythm-and-blues, carnival, and minstrel bands from the Southwest. In 1949 Coleman left Fort Worth with the traveling show Silas Green from New Orleans and then worked with the blues singer Clarence Samuel. By 1950 he had returned to Fort Worth, after which he went to the West Coast with Pee Wee Crayton’s rhythm-and-blues band. When he tried to introduce his more personal and innovative ideas, he was typically met with hostility, both from audiences and from musicians. Once he reached Los Angeles, where he worked as an elevator operator, he studied harmony and theory textbooks and gradually evolved a radically new concept and style....