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Article

Alpert, Herb  

Terence J. O’Grady

revised by Bryan Proksch

(b Los Angeles, CA, March 31, 1935). American trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and record company executive. He studied trumpet as a child and left college to play in the army for a two-year period. After three years of producing records on his own, he launched A&M Records with Jerry Moss in 1962. A&M’s first issue was also Alpert’s first recording as a trumpeter and bandleader, The Lonely Bull (A&M, 1962). The title track included sounds from the bullring in Tijuana, Mexico, so Alpert dubbed his band the Tijuana Brass. His music exploited a distinctive combination of Mexican mariachi-style brass with jazz rhythms, which was dubbed Ameriachi. A string of hits including “Mexican Shuffle” (A&M, 1964) and “Tijuana Taxi” (A&M, 1965) followed. In 1966 Alpert had five recordings simultaneously listed on the Billboard Top 20. His cover of “This guy’s in love with you” reached no.1 in ...

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

Barber (Donald) Chris(topher)  

Alyn Shipton

(b Welwyn Garden City, England, April 17, 1930; d Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, March 2, 2021). English trombonist and bandleader. He began studying violin while evacuated to Royston, England, in 1943 during World War II, starting a sizeable collection of jazz and blues records at the same time. In 1946, in London, he took up the trombone. He formed his first amateur band in 1948. In 1951, while studying to become an actuary, he led this band, which included Dickie Hawdon, on its first issued recordings, modeled on King Oliver’s 1920s work. Barber’s early bands often included Alexis Korner, who shared his interest in the blues. In September 1951 he abandoned accountancy to study trombone and double bass at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

In 1952 he formed his first professional band, with Pat Halcox, Monty Sunshine, and Lonnie Donegan, to play jazz in the New Orleans revival style. Ken Colyer replaced Halcox and assumed titular leadership of the group. After touring to Denmark and recording there and in the UK, the band split from Colyer in ...

Article

Barth, Christian Frederik  

Bo Marschner

Member of Barth family

(b Copenhagen, Feb 24, 1787; d Middelfart, Fyn, July 17, 1861). Danish oboist and composer of German descent, son of Christian Samuel Barth. He was a pupil of his father, and at the age of 15, a year after his début as an oboist, he joined the royal orchestra in Copenhagen. In 1804 a scholarship enabled him to go to Berlin, where he gave concerts with great success. On his return to Copenhagen Barth, then 18 years old, was appointed principal oboist, and on frequent concert tours in Europe soon won international fame as one of the greatest artists on his instrument. In Denmark his oboe technique had lasting influence (his most important pupil was the court oboist Christian Schiemann), but in his own time he also won renown as a composer. Of his published works special mention may be made of the five oboe concertos, the ...

Article

Barth, (Frederik) Philip  

Bo Marschner

(Carl August)

Member of Barth family

(b Kassel, Oct 21, 1774; d Copenhagen, Dec 22, 1804). German, later Danish, oboist and composer, son of Christian Samuel Barth. Though not as eminent a player as his father and his brother Christian Frederik, he was skilful enough to be admitted to the royal orchestra by ...

Article

Bellest, Christian  

Michel Laplace

(b Paris, April 8, 1922; d Dec 6, 2001). French trumpeter and arranger. He began on cornet in an amateur band. He made his professional début at the Moulin Rouge in Paris (1939) and played with Maceo Jefferson (1939–41). After taking informal lessons from Aimé Barelli he played with Alix Combelle’s group the Jazz de Paris (1940–41), Fred Adison’s band, the pianist Raymond Wraskoff (1940–41), the drummer Jerry Mengo (1941–2), the violinist Claude Laurence (1942), and Combelle again (1943). In 1945 he led a big band that made several recordings (including Rockin’ the Blues/Two o’Clock Jump, BStar 9). He also worked with the bandleader and saxophonist Raymond Legrand (1953), the pianist Christian Chevallier (1955, 1957), Lucky Thompson (1956), and Jacques Hélian’s band (1956). He collaborated frequently with André Hodeir in the 1960s and continued to appear with him in the 1970s; also during the 1970s he played with the trumpeter Sonny Grey (...

Article

Bergonzi, Benedetto  

Charles Beare

revised by Duane Rosengard

Member of Bergonzi family

(b Cremona, Feb 8, 1790; d Cremona, Sept 30, 1839). Italian horn player and composer, son of Nicola Bergonzi. He designed mechanical improvements to the corno di caccia which were recognized by the Royal Institute of Milan in 1824. Benedetto was apparently the source of some of the historical anecdotes on the great Cremonese violin makers published by Fétis in the 19th century....

Article

Bermel, Derek  

Eliot Gattegno

(b New York, NY, Oct 14, 1967). American composer and clarinetist. A native of New York City, Bermel as a youth studied clarinet with Ben Armato. He studied composition with Michael Tenzer at Yale University (BA 1989) and with William Bolcom and william hugh Albright at the University of Michigan (DMA 1998). Later he worked with Louis Andriessen as a Fulbright Fellow in Amsterdam and Henri Dutilleux at the Tanglewood Music Center. He has also studied ethnomusicology and orchestration with André Hajdu in Jerusalem; Lobi xylophone (gyil) in Ghana; Thracian folk style with Nikola Iliev in Bulgaria; and caxixi in Brazil with Julio Góes.

In 1998 Bermel premiered his own clarinet concerto, Voices, in Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra under Tan Dun. He has since performed it with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as well as in London and Beijing. He was the founding clarinetist of Music from Copland House, the resident ensemble at Copland’s New York home, which has been restored as a creative center for American music. He also performs with Brooklyn-based band Peace by Piece, for which he serves as bandleader, singer, and songwriter. The group has released two albums, Peace by Piece (...

Article

Besozzi, Alessandro (ii)  

Guido Salvetti

revised by T. Herman Keahey

Member of Besozzi family

(b Parma or Piacenza, July 22, 1702: d Turin, July 26, 1793). Italian oboist and composer, son of Cristoforo Besozzi. He played in the Guardia Irlandese from 1714 to 1728, after which he served Duke Farnese as virtuoso d’oboe until 1731. For the rest of his life he served the King of Sardinia, Carlo Emanuele III, as virtuoso d’oboe in the court chapel at Turin. In 1735 he and his brother Paolo Girolamo were favourably received in Paris at the Concert Spirituel, but they soon returned to Turin. Burney heard the brothers play duets at their home in Turin on 13 July 1770. In spite of their advanced years, Burney judged their performances to be remarkable. In 1776 Alessandro was named primo virtuoso di camera, dire Hore generale della musica istrumentale e suonatore di Hautbois.

Alessandro’s known output includes several concertos, only one of which was printed during his lifetime, and hundreds of works for chamber groups. The style of the concertos is characteristic of the late Baroque. The harmonic language lacks the simple directness developed by Vivaldi and others. There is a predominance of a sequentially generated counterpoint, but the texture frequently features contrasting sections consisting only of solo and bass. The chamber music, much of which was printed, is often jointly attributed to Alessandro and his brother Paolo Girolamo....

Article

Besozzi, Antonio  

Guido Salvetti

revised by T. Herman Keahey

Member of Besozzi family

(b Parma, 1714; d Turin, 1781). Italian oboist and composer, son of Giuseppe Besozzi. He was in the service of the Duke of Parma from 1727 to 1731, in the Guardia Irlandese, and in 1734 he performed at Naples. In 1738 he joined the royal chapel in Dresden, becoming first oboist in the following year. In ...

Article

Besozzi, Carlo  

Guido Salvetti

revised by T. Herman Keahey

Member of Besozzi family

(b Naples, 1738; d March 22, 1791). Italian oboist and composer, son of Antonio Besozzi. His father Carlo was undoubtedly his teacher. He must have displayed phenomenal ability for in 1755 he became a regular member of the Dresden court orchestra, a position which he retained throughout his life. His tours of Europe with his father included visits to Paris (1757) and Stuttgart (1758–9). He was judged favourably by Burney and by Leopold Mozart, who heard him play in Salzburg in 1778. Schubert heard Carlo in Augsburg and referred to him as the monarch of oboists and a great, ‘but somewhat unusual’, theorist.

Even though none of Carlo’s music was printed during his lifetime, 23 concertos, 26 sonatas and a divertimento have survived. The concertos were clearly written for Carlo to play himself, and while conceived to display his skill, they rarely indulge in virtuoso display ...

Article

Blake, Jerry  

Howard Rye

[Chabania, Jacinto]

(b Gary, IN, Jan 23, 1904/1906/1908; d c 1961). American saxophonist, clarinetist, arranger, and singer. Various sources give alternative birth years: 1904 appears on a 1929 passenger list; he gave his age as 20 upon marrying in 1926; 1908 appears on his 1940 draft registration, which he signed as Jacinto Chabania. Blake is the name of his adoptive parents. His birth father was Cuban and his birth mother was reportedly born in France. Blake studied violin, then alto saxophone and clarinet. After playing briefly with Charlie Turner’s Arcadians he took ship for Europe with Sam Wooding (1928), with whom he recorded in Barcelona and Paris (1929). He then moved to New York, played with Chick Webb, toured with Zack Whyte’s Chocolate Beau Brummels, and performed and recorded with Don Redman (late 1933 – spring 1934). In April 1934, calling himself Jacinto Blake, he moved to France to work with Willie Lewis, remaining in Europe until May 1935. He worked with Claude Hopkins, both in New York and on tour (mid-...

Article

Boom, Johannes (Eduardus Gerardus) van  

Jan G. A. ten Bokum

Member of van Boom family

(b Utrecht, April 17, 1783; d Utrecht, March 17, 1878). Dutch flautist and composer. The son of an artisan, he studied the flute with Louis Drouet and became solo flautist in the court of Louis Bonaparte at Utrecht from 1807. He later succeeded his teacher, and was also solo flautist of the Société Noble and the Collegium Musicum Ultrajectinum. He composed a Flute Concerto op.4, many variations and other virtuoso pieces for flute with piano, guitar or orchestral accompaniments, duets and trios for flute, waltzes for piano, all written in an early Romantic style, and some Dutch songs....

Article

Bott, Anton  

Sergio Martinotti

revised by Christopher Fifield

Member of Bott family

(b Gross-Steinheim, nr Mainz, Dec 24, 1795; d Kassel, Dec 19, 1869). German oboist, violinist, and composer. He was the younger brother of Johann Joseph Bott, a musician in the Darmstadt Kapelle who wrote many dances and variations, mostly for guitar. Anton trained as a military musician and became a friend of Spohr, through him obtaining a position as oboist in a regimental band at Kassel. He was also an unpaid violinist in the Kassel Kapelle. From ...

Article

Bradford, Bobby  

Ed Hazell

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(Lee)

(b Cleveland, MS, July 19, 1934). American cornetist, trumpeter, and composer, father of Carmen Bradford. He grew up in Dallas from 1946, took up cornet in 1949, and played with Buster Smith and John Hardee during his last year of high school. After graduating in January 1952 he enrolled at Sam Houston College in Austin, where the college big band included Leo Wright on lead alto saxophone; in summer 1953 he left college, went to Los Angeles, and played there with Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy. He served in air force bands and while stationed in Waco, Texas, deputized briefly in Ray Charles’s band; following his discharge he returned to Austin. In New York he was a member of the Ornette Coleman Quartet (1961). He attended Huston-Tillotson College (BM 1963) and then moved to Los Angeles (1964), where he formed the New Art Jazz Ensemble with John Carter. From ...

Article

Braun, Carl  

Werner Braun

(Anton Philipp)

Member of Braun family

(b Ludwigslust, Dec 26, 1788; d Rommehed, Sweden, June 11, 1835). German oboist and composer, son of Friedrich Braun. He was taught the oboe by his father and made his début in 1806 at the Mecklenburg court. From 1 August 1807 he was engaged under his uncle and composition teacher F.L.A. Kunzen as a musician at the royal court in Copenhagen. He made a long concert tour in 1811, and in 1812 he played in Munich, where he met Meyerbeer. After returning to Copenhagen, he left for Stockholm and joined the court orchestra there at a higher salary in 1815; later he became music director of various regiments stationed there. He also organized subscription concerts (1817) and military concerts (from 1826).

Carl Braun’s output, which is centred on his own instrument, was well received by German critics, and his mastery of humorous writing, as in the finale of the Sonata for oboe and piano, was widely acknowledged. However, his attempt in the Fourth Symphony to develop his compositional style was criticized by E.T.A. Hoffmann in ...

Article

Braun, (Johann) Friedrich  

Werner Braun

Member of Braun family

(b Kassel, Sept 15, 1759; d Ludwigslust, Sept 15, 1824). German oboist and composer, son of Anton Braun. He studied the oboe with C.S. Barth in Kassel and (thanks to the support of Landgrave Friedrich II) with Carlo Besozzi in Dresden. From June 1777 he served as an oboist and violinist in the Mecklenburg court orchestra at Ludwigslust; he also went on concert tours to cities including Hamburg (1784), Copenhagen (1786, 1793), Berlin (1792, 1800) and Breslau (1801).

As an oboist, Friedrich Braun strove to achieve a cross between Barth’s expressive and cantabile style of playing and Besozzi’s brilliant style. His own compositions, which are somewhat routine in character, exemplify this approach, which he also followed when teaching his pupils.

Friedrich Braun married in 1786 Louise Friederica Ulrica Kunzen (b Lübeck, 15 Feb 1765; d...

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

Cannabich, Matthias [Martin] Franciscus  

Jean K. Wolf

[Franz, Friedrich]

Member of Cannabich family

(b c1690; d Oct 12, 1773). German flautist and composer. The earliest known reference to him occurs in a list of the musicians at the Margrave of Baden’s court in Rastatt in 1706. In Düsseldorf on 1 January 1715 he married Anna Margaretha Essers (d 1725), by whom he had four children; he served there as flautist to the Palatine electors Johann Wilhelm and (from 1716) Carl Philipp. He later moved with the court to Heidelberg (1718) and to Mannheim (1720). In 1727 he married his second wife Rosina Arnold (d 8 February 1774), who bore him five children. His name appears, in various forms, in the Mannheim orchestra lists from 1723 to 1773, although by 1756 he had retired; he earned a substantial salary and gave flute lessons to Elector Carl Theodor until ...

Article

Clemencic, René  

J.M. Thomson

(b Vienna, Feb 27, 1928; d Vienna, March 8, 2022). Austrian recorder player, conductor, teacher, and composer. He studied the recorder with Hans Ulrich Staeps, Johannes Collette, and Linda Höffer von Winterfeld, and keyboard instruments with Eta Harich-Schneider. He took the doctorate in philosophy at Vienna University in 1956. He cultivated a lyrical style of playing and was much attracted by improvisatory techniques in both early and contemporary music. His instrument collection included a tenor trombone by Georg Neuschel of Nuremberg (1557), one of the oldest surviving specimens.

In 1958 he founded Musica Antiqua, known as the Ensemble Musica Antiqua from 1959. This group performed music of the Middle Ages to the Baroque on authentic instruments. In 1968 Clemencic founded a group known, from 1969, as the Clemencic Consort, an ensemble for the performance of medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and avant-garde music. Based in Vienna, it is notable for its exploration and staging of little-known 17th-century operas (such as Antonio Draghi’s ...