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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

Giddins, Gary  

Michael C. Heller

(Mitchell )

(b Brooklyn, NY, March 21, 1948). American jazz and film critic and historian. After studying English at Grinnell College (BA 1972), he returned to New York and began writing on film for the Hollywood Reporter (1972) and on jazz for Down Beat (1972–3). Citing influence from the writers Martin Williams and Dan Morgenstern, he decided to focus his efforts exclusively on jazz and in 1973 was hired as a music critic by the Village Voice. His regular column “Weather Bird” became highly influential during the next three decades. Unlike critics who concentrated primarily on recent performances, Giddins wrote on a range of topics, including the legacies of historical figures, contemporary developments, and issues relating to jazz advocacy and education. From the 1980s he began publishing collections of his essays as well as book-length monographs, including biographies of Charlie Parker (1987), Louis Armstrong (...

Article

Jost, Ekkehard  

Barry Kernfeld

(b Breslau [now Wrocław], Jan 22, 1938; d Marburg, Germany, March 23, 2017). German musicologist and baritone saxophonist. While at the University of Hamburg, where he gained the PhD in 1966 with a dissertation on the acoustic and psychometric properties of the clarinet, he became involved with the emerging European free jazz movement and eventually performed with leading musicians such as the saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and the drummer Tony Oxley. As a research assistant at the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung, Berlin (1966–72), he worked variously in acoustics, the psychology and sociology of music, and jazz. From 1973 he was professor of systematic musicology and head of the musicology department at the University of Giessen. He continued to perform avant-garde jazz, an activity that informed his musicological work. He was a central figure in the founding of Jazzinstitut Darmstadt in 1990.

Jost was the author of numerous articles and several books, of which the most significant is ...

Article

Nicholson, Stuart  

Michael C. Heller

(b Cardiff, UK, Jan 8, 1948). British jazz journalist and historian. He studied music theory and clarinet at the Welsh College of Music and Drama (1967–71), followed by ten years leading a jazz-rock band under the stage name Nick Stewart. In the early 1980s he began writing on jazz for various magazines and newspapers in the UK. Since then his pieces have appeared in a range of publications in Europe and the United States, including The Western Mail, Gramophone, The Observer, Jazzwise, Jazz Times, and The Wire. His writing expanded to book-length studies in the 1990s, including highly regarded biographies of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington, as well as broader surveys of jazz in the 1980s and jazz-rock. Since the early 2000s Nicholson has been a key chronicler of the European scene, especially movements blending jazz with local folkloric forms, classical music, and electronica. His controversial ...

Article

Rudd, Roswell  

William Kirk Bares

(Hopkins)

(b Sharon, CT, Nov 17, 1935; d Kerhonkson, NY, Dec 21, 2017). American trombonist, ethnomusicologist, and composer. A well-regarded jazz soloist, he is perhaps best known as a musical collaborator with ecumenical tastes. Strongly influenced by New Orleans jazz at a young age and seasoned by work in traditional jazz bands as a student at Yale, he transitioned easily to the collective free improvisation scenes of 1960s and 70s New York. Early partners included Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy, Sheila Jordan, Enrico Rava, Carla Bley, John Tchicai, and Milford Graves; he worked with the last two in the New York Art Quartet. The open spirit of his early work is preserved on Archie Shepp’s Four for Trane (1964, Imp.), to which he contributed adventurous arrangements, and his own eclectic Blown Bone (1976, Phillips), which features several of the above artists.

Rudd’s subsequent collaborations extended his longtime interest in non-Western music. He carried out research for Alan Lomax’s cantometrics project (from the early 1980s) and taught ethnomusicology at Bard College (...

Article

Simmen, Johnny  

John Chilton

[Hans Georg]

(b Brugg, Switzerland, April 7, 1918; d Zurich, Sept 23, 2004). Swiss writer. His numerous articles appeared in magazines published in Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, and Canada, and he gave lectures on jazz in several countries. One of the most knowledgeable jazz writers, he specialized in musicians of the pre-bop era and writes with a deep understanding of the improviser’s craft; his biographical features clearly indicate the trust and confidence that his subjects, who are usually veteran musicians, place in him. Although Simmen studied piano for seven years he never played professionally, but his knowledge of keyboard technique made his articles on jazz pianists particularly incisive. His extraordinarily acute musical ear allowed him to recognize jazz soloists with ease, and his lectures on individual musicians were models of learned enthusiasm.

(selective list)

“Carnet de notes, xvii: Mrs. Emily Kraft-Banga and Mr. Kaiser Marshall,” BHcF...