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Article

Cowell, Stanley (Allen)  

Ed Hazell

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Toledo, OH, May 5, 1941; d Dover, DE, Dec 17, 2020). American pianist, composer, record producer, and leader. He played piano from the age of four and when he was only six heard Art Tatum. Having pursued classical studies on piano and pipe organ, he was, at the age of 14, a soloist with the Toledo Youth Orchestra, a church organist and choir director, and a jazz pianist. He attended Oberlin College Conservatory (BM 1962), spent his junior year (1960–61) at the Mozarteum Academy, and undertook graduate studies at the University of Wichita (1962–3), the University of Southern California (1963–4), and the University of Michigan (MM 1966); while at Oberlin he played with Roland Kirk. Following graduation he worked with Marion Brown (1966–7) and Max Roach (1967–70) and in a quintet led by Bobby Hutcherson and Harold Land (...

Article

Creese, Malcolm  

Mark Gilbert

revised by Simon Adams

(b Bristol, England, Aug 24, 1959). English double bass player and arts administrator. The son of professional classical musicians, he took up cello at the age of three and attended St John’s College, Cambridge, as a chorister (1967–72). He continued his education at Radley College, Berkshire, and then at the Guildhall, London, but left in 1975 to manage a record shop. Five years later he began working for the music publisher Hal Leonard. In the mid-1980s, having bought a double bass, he began to play jazz, and appeared with numerous British players and visiting Americans. He was with Stan Tracey from 1990 to 1996, touring worldwide, and in 1991 became the principal double bass player with John Dankworth and Cleo Laine. In 1994 he began working with Tony Coe; he assembled a band featuring Coe for the Jersey Jazz Festival and made broadcasts and recordings (including ...

Article

Dance, Helen (Margaret) Oakley  

Alex Harris Stein

(b Toronto, ON, Feb 13, 1913; d Escondido, CA, May 27, 2001). American writer and record producer. In 1934 she settled in Chicago, where she became active as a jazz journalist and promoter, writing for the Chicago Herald-Examiner and Down Beat, founding the Chicago Rhythm Club, and promoting listening concerts featuring such performers as Earl Hines and Billie Holiday. At one such concert, Dance was responsible for bringing together Benny Goodman and Teddy Wilson in one of the first highly publicized interracial collaborations in jazz. She also produced her first recordings for the Okeh label (1935). In 1937 she relocated to New York, where she produced many of the legendary Duke Ellington small band recordings, collaborated with Red Norvo, Mildred Bailey, and Bob Crosby, and managed Chick Webb, organizing swing battles at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem featuring the Webb Orchestra and Ella Fitzgerald. Among the many concerts that she organized was Benny Goodman’s historic ...

Article

Moseholm, Erik  

Erik Wiedemann

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Fredericia, Denmark, May 13, 1930; d Oct 12, 2012). Danish double bass player, educator, and music administrator. In the early 1950s he performed and recorded with the baritone saxophonist Max Brüel and the trumpeter Jørgen Ryg and was then a member of the Radiodanseorkesteret (1954–5), Ib Glindemann’s big band (1957), and Finn Savery’s trio (1957–8, 1960). From 1959 he worked in duos and led trios, one of which performed at the festivals in Antibes–Juan-les-Pins and Comblain-la-Tour in 1960; he also led the band Radiojazzgruppen from its inception in 1961 until 1966, when he began working in programming for Danmarks Radio (see Radiojazzgruppen). Moseholm was the leading double bass player in Denmark in the 1950s, and his playing may be heard to advantage on the album Trio Suite (Artist 505), recorded in 1970 with the drummer Jørn Elniff and the pianist Arne Forchhammer. From ...

Article

Tomkins, Les(lie Charles)  

Barry Kernfeld

(b London, Oct 31, 1930; d April 26, 2020). English writer. In 1950 he ran a jazz club near London in which a number of well-known British bop musicians performed, and from 1957 to 1960 he was the secretary of an informal group known as the Contemporary Jazz Society. To broaden the society’s activities he began to interview musicians, including Americans who were visiting England; some of these interviews were later published in Melody Maker (1959–60). In 1961–2 Tomkins was a freelance contributor to Jazz News, and in 1962 he began an association with Crescendo which continued into the 1980s; he was its editor and art editor from 1966 to 1967 and served as a freelance editor, contributor, and art director from 1970. Throughout this association he published each month three or four interviews with jazz musicians, which now represent a major archive of source material for the study of jazz. Later he was a reviewer for and contributor to the ...

Article

Weston, Randy  

Ryan D.W. Bruce

[Randolph Edward ]

(b Brooklyn, NY, April 6, 1926). American jazz pianist, bandleader, composer, and club owner. Weston did not identify with his classical music lessons as a youth, choosing instead to explore a percussive piano style under the influence of Duke Ellington. Other early influences include Count Basie, Nat “King” Cole, Art Tatum, and Coleman Hawkins. Weston’s playing was transformed after attending a concert by Hawkins and Thelonious Monk in 1945: Monk became Weston’s mentor from 1947–9, and inspired his heavy attack and improvisatory rhythmic displacements. He was hired by Marshall Stearns in 1949 to provide demonstrations of different jazz styles for university lectures given throughout the United States; their work lasted eight summers and fostered Weston’s interest in African music.

Beginning with his debut in 1954, his early recordings acquired critical recognition and included band members such as Art Blakey, Cecil Payne, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, and Coleman Hawkins. Some of his compositions of the time, especially “Little Niles” and “Hi-Fly,” gained popularity and have been recorded by many others. Weston also worked with arranger ...