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Article

Aaltonen, Juhani  

Pekka Gronow

revised by Atro Mikkola

[Junnu]

(b Kouvola, Finland, Dec 12, 1935). Finnish tenor and alto saxophonist and flutist. He learned to play guitar and tenor saxophone during his years of schooling and military service, and spent three years in Sweden without playing; after returning to Finland he took up baritone saxophone, then changed to the alto instrument. He moved to Helsinki in 1961 and studied flute at the Sibelius Academy, and later spent a brief period in Boston at the Berklee College of Music. In the 1950s he played in a sextet led by the trumpeter Heikki Rosendahl in Inkeroinen. He worked frequently as a studio musician, except during the late 1970s, when a three-year government grant gave him the freedom to pursue his own musical interests. At the same time he made a name as a lyrical free-jazz and jazz-rock soloist, recording with Eero Koivistoinen (1969–73), Edward Vesala (from 1969...

Article

Aarons, Al(bert N.)  

Thomas Owens

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Pittsburgh, March 23, 1932; d Laguna Woods, CA, Nov 17, 2015). American trumpeter and flugelhorn player. He studied music in Pittsburgh (1947–50), in Evanston, Illinois (with Renold Schilke of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1951–3), and at Wayne State University, Detroit (mid-1950s), where he worked for seven nights a week in the band at the Flame Show Bar. From 1956 to 1957 he played at Klein’s Showbar with Yusef Lateef, Pepper Adams, Kenny Burrell, Louis Hayes, and Tommy Flanagan, after which he was a member of Barry Harris’s band at the Bluebird Inn. He performed with Wild Bill Davis (1961), then joined Count Basie while working in a club in Washington, DC. He toured and recorded with Basie from August 1961 to July 1969; he appears as a soloist with the group on Back to the Apple on the Swedish television broadcast One O’Clock Jump...

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

Abercrombie, John  

Barry Long

(b Port Chester, NY, Dec 16, 1944; d Cortlandt Manor, NY, Aug 22, 2017). American jazz guitarist, composer, and bandleader. He grew up in Greenwich, CT, and began playing guitar at the age of 14. He was primarily self taught until he studied at the Berklee College of Music (1962–6) and with Jack Petersen. Abercrombie joined Johnny Hammond’s touring band after the blues organist had spotted him performing with other Berklee students at Paul’s Mall in Boston. After studying briefly at the University of North Texas, in 1969 he moved to New York where he performed and recorded in Billy Cobham’s jazz-rock band Dreams (1970), joined Chico Hamilton’s group, and recorded with Gato Barbieri (1971), Barry Miles (1972), and Gil Evans (1974). Abercrombie attracted wider attention performing with Cobham’s fusion band Spectrum from 1974. He also toured with Jack DeJohnette and recorded his debut album, ...

Article

Abrams, Muhal Richard  

Harald Kisiedu

[Abrams, Richard Louis]

(b Chicago, IL, Sept 19, 1930; d New York, Oct 29, 2017). American pianist, composer, and administrator. After receiving private piano lessons, he studied at the Chicago Musical College and taught himself the system of composition devised by Joseph Schillinger. He began to work professionally in 1948 and performed regularly at the Cotton Club in Chicago during the 1950s, accompanying visiting musicians such as Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt, and Max Roach. After composing and arranging for the Walter “King” Fleming band in the mid-1950s, Abrams joined the hard bop ensemble MJT+3 and made his recording debut on the group’s album DADDY-O PRESENTS MJT+3 (1957, VJ 1013). Beginning in 1961 Abrams led the Experimental Band, a composer-centered rehearsal ensemble whose members included the double bass player Donald Rafael Garrett, Jack DeJohnette, Roscoe Mitchell, and the reed player Joseph Jarman. He subsequently co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians...

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

Adams, Bryan  

Michael Ethen

(Guy)

(b Kingston, ON, Nov 5, 1959). Canadian rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and photographer. The son of a diplomat, he spent his youth in England, Israel, Portugal, and Austria. After returning with his family to North America, he began performing and recording at the age of 15 with rock bands in British Columbia and Ontario. In 1978 he began what became a long and successful songwriting partnership with Jim Vallance, with whom he created most songs recorded under his name up to 1987, as well as songs recorded by Rod Stewart, Kiss, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Diamond, and the Canadian groups Prism, BTO, and Loverboy.

Adams’ albums characteristically alternate between down-tempo piano ballads and straight-ahead rock numbers. His third solo album, Cuts like a Knife (1983) launched him to the status of an international celebrity; its singles included the ballad “Straight from the Heart” and the anthem “Cuts like a Knife,” which both featured for weeks on magazine charts and music television. The next album, ...

Article

Adkins, Trace  

John Stanislawski

(b Springhill, LA, Jan 13, 1962). American country music singer. In line with country “hat acts” and neo-traditionalists such as Toby Keith and Tim McGraw, Trace Adkins has forged a working-class image and hard-driving sound by merging honky-tonk with Southern rock, gospel, and blues. His masculine bravado and allegiance to a blue-collar ethos has solidified his position as one of country’s top acts.

After time spent working on an oil rig, Adkins moved to Nashville in 1992 to pursue his musicalcareer. There he met producer Scott Hendricks, who signed him to Capitol Records. His 1996 debut album, Dreamin’ Out Loud, yielded the successful singles “Every Light in the House,” “I Left Something Turned on at Home,” and “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing,” which became his first number-one country hit. Despite problems with alcoholism and a drunk-driving charge, his 2001 album Chrome reached the top five on Billboard’s Country Albums chart. In ...

Article

Bhumibol Adulyadej  

Rainer E. Lotz

[Rama IX Bhumibol; Phoemipol Aduldej]

(b Cambridge, MA, Dec 5, 1927; d Bangkok, Oct 13, 2016). Thai clarinetist and reed player. He was brought up in the USA and in Switzerland, where he learned to play clarinet; he later mastered the whole family of reed instruments, favoring soprano saxophone. Although he was interested in early jazz he was influenced predominantly by Benny Goodman, and participated in jam sessions with Goodman and other jazz musicians who visited Thailand, notably Jack Teagarden and Lionel Hampton. He occasionally played with his court orchestra in a swing style of the 1940s that was modified by the strong influence of traditional Thai music, but, on account of his official status as the king of Thailand, no recordings by him have been authorized for distribution. (H. Esman and V. Bronsgeest: “Een jazz king: Koning Phoemipol,” ...

Article

Aguilera, Christina  

Abel Stewart

(María )

(b New York, NY, Dec 18, 1980). American singer. She is one of the most popular singers of her generation. Her father (originally from Ecuador), a sergeant in the US Army, and her American mother, a Spanish teacher, divorced when Aguilera was seven. As a child, Aguilera placed second on the television show Star Search, and performed on the Mickey Mouse Club along with Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. In 1998, she launched her recording career with a track for Disney’s animated film Mulan. In 1998 she also signed with RCA, and her first album, Christina Aguilera (1999) reached number one on the Billboard 200. Her singles from that album, “Genie in a Bottle,” “What a Girl Wants,” and “Come on Over Baby” reached Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her first Spanish language album, Mi reflejo (2000), stood for 20 weeks at Number 1 on the Billboard Latin charts and earned her a Latin Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Album. In ...

Article

Aho, Erkki  

Pekka Gronow

(Vilhelm)

(bLapinjärvi, nr Lovisa, Finland, Dec 10, 1918; d Finland, Aug 19, 2002). Finnish trumpeter and trombonist. He began his career in dance bands in the late 1930s in Helsinki and played with Eugen Malmstén and others. During World War II he led a band that introduced the big-band swing style to Finland; as the Rytmiorkesteri it made a series of recordings in ...

Article

Akiyoshi, Toshiko  

J. Bradford Robinson

(b Dairen, China, 12 Dec 1929). Japanese jazz composer, pianist, and bandleader.

She was born to Japanese parents in Manchuria. She began classical piano at seven and was playing professionally in her teens. She studied classical music and turned to jazz only in 1947 after moving to Japan. There she was discovered by Oscar Peterson, who urged her to take up a career in the United States. After studying at Berklee College of Music (1956–9) she became a highly regarded bop pianist, especially in groups with the alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano (to whom she was married from 1959 to 1967). She worked in Japan (1961), joined Charles Mingus in the United States (1962–3), then returned to Japan until 1965. In 1973 she founded a large rehearsal band in Los Angeles with the tenor saxophonist and flautist Lew Tabackin, whom she had married in ...

Article

Albright, Gerald  

E. Ron Horton

(Anthony )

(b Hollywood, CA, Aug 30, 1957). American jazz and pop saxophonist. With Grover Washington jr and George Benson he was at the forefront of a movement in the 1970s that combined a jazz sensibility with more mass-market styles such as funk, rock, and rhythm and blues. Albright attended Locke High School where Patrice Rushen was a fellow student. At the University of Redlands, he read business management with a minor in music; during this time he refined his saxophone technique and learned to play bass guitar. He subsequently performed and recorded with Rushen, playing the well-known saxophone solo on her hit single “Forget me nots” (Rhino, 1982). Thereafter, his career flourished as he worked with a range of artists including Anita Baker, the Winans Family, Lola Folana, Whitney Houston, Phil Collins, and Quincy Jones. One of Bill Clinton’s favorite saxophonists, Albright performed at the president’s inauguration as well as at several of his private functions. As a leader, he has made nine albums and sold more than one million records in the United States; his recordings ...

Article

Aldebert, Louis  

Barry Kernfeld

(Joseph Alexander)

(b Ismâ’ ilîya, Egypt, June 8, 1931). American singer and pianist of French origin. His full name appears in his 1972 Declaration of Intention to become a US citizen. He studied music in Paris and played piano with Don Byas (1955) and Stephane Grappelli (1957). He was a singer with the Blue Stars (1955–6), toured and recorded with the Double Six (1959–65), and took part in a session with Jon Hendricks and others (1965). Aldebert was married to the singer Monique Dozo (b Monaco, May 5, 1931; d Los Angeles, Jan 26, 2018; later known as Monique Aldebert-Guérin), who had sung with Bernard Peiffer (1947) and performed in Paris clubs with Byas, Django Reinhardt, Bobby Jasper, the Double Six (with which she recorded in 1959 and 1964), and Bill Coleman (1966). After moving to the USA (...

Article

Alexander, Roland (E.)  

Gary W. Kennedy

(b Boston, Sept 25, 1935; d Brooklyn, NY, June 14, 2006). American tenor and soprano saxophonist. He was born into a musical family and attended the Boston Conservatory (BM). In 1956 he recorded with Paul Chambers as a pianist. Having moved to New York in 1958, he worked with John Coltrane, Matthew Gee, and Sonny Rollins, and recorded with Charli Persip and Howard McGhee (both 1960), Max Roach (1965), the organist Freddie Roach (1967), Eric Gale (1969), the trombonist John Gordon (1975), and the orchestras of Archie Shepp (1972) and Sam Rivers and Clifford Thornton (both 1974). From 1972 to 1974 he worked with Abdullah Ibrahim’s large ensembles – the Dollar Brand Orchestra and the African Space Program – and in 1978 he performed and recorded as the leader of a six-piece group which included Malachi Thompson, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, and John Betsch. Except for his having taken part as a tenor saxophone soloist in a recording session with James Spaulding in ...

Article

Ali, Rashied  

Gareth Dylan Smith

[Patterson, Robert, Jr. ]

(b Philadelphia, PA, July 1, 1935; d New York, NY, Aug 12, 2009). American jazz drummer. He learned congas from the age of nine and studied percussion while in the US Army (1952–5). After attending the Granoff School in Philadelphia, he worked in jazz and rhythm-and-blues bands and in 1963 moved to New York, where he was a key figure in the free-jazz movement, performing with Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Sun Ra, and Archie Shepp. In addition he collaborated with John Coltrane, including the albums Expression and Interstellar Space (both 1967, Imp.), on which Ali’s performance displays the influence of Sunny Murray and Milford Graves. Ali also learned from Elvin Jones, with whom he competed for the drum chair in Coltrane’s band. In 1967 Ali worked in Europe with Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersed, studied with Philly Joe Jones, and worked at Ronnie Scott’s, London, with Jon Hendricks and Dave Holland. The following year he returned to New York, where he played with Sonny Rollins and Jackie McLean, and for five years from ...

Article

Alias, (Charles) Don  

Russ Girsberger and Barry Kernfeld

(b New York, Dec 25, 1939; d New York, March 28, 2006). Drummer and percussionist. In 1957 he played with Dizzy Gillespie’s band at the Newport Jazz Festival, accompanying the singer Eartha Kitt. He studied biochemistry at the Carnegie Institute in Boston, but after graduating he focused on music, working locally with Chick Corea, Alan Dawson, Tony Williams, and, from 1964, Gene Perla. Having returned to New York in 1967, he played in salsa groups before working with Perla again in bands led by Nina Simone and Elvin Jones. He gained recognition through his work with Miles Davis on the albums Bitches Brew (1969, as Charles Alias) and On the Corner (1972), and on tour from November 1971 into 1972; he also made an important album with Weather Report (c1976). During the 1970s and 1980s Alias worked with many jazz, rock, and Latin artists, including Mongo Santamaria (recording in ...

Article

Allan, Jan  

Ken Rattenbury

revised by Erik Kjellberg, Lars Westin, and Barry Kernfeld

(Bertil)

(b Falun, Sweden, Nov 7, 1934). Swedish trumpeter. He studied piano from the age of six and became involved in jazz when he took up trumpet at the age of 14. After first playing professionally in Motala he moved to Stockholm, where as a jazz pianist he won an amateur contest in 1951. In 1954, with Georg Riedel, Rolf Billberg, and the drummer Bosse Stoor, he formed the quartet the Modern Swedes, in which he played trumpet and piano; this band accompanied Lars Gullin on tours in 1954–5. Having settled on the trumpet, Allan worked with Carl-Henrik Norin’s band at the Nalen (1955–8), recorded with his own quartets (1956, 1958), and recorded as a sideman with the sextet led by the double bass player Gunnar Almstedt and Ove Lind (1958). He made substantial contributions to Gullin’s albums of 1958 and 1964, and from ...

Article

Allen, Geri  

Lars Helgert

(Antoinette)

(b Pontiac, MI, June 12, 1957; d Philadelphia, June 27, 2017). American jazz pianist and composer. She began classical piano study at age seven with Patricia Wilhelm, who also encouraged her interest in jazz. After graduating from Detroit’s Cass Technical High School in 1975 (where trumpeter Marcus Belgrave was one of her teachers), she studied with John Malachi at Howard University (BA 1979, jazz studies) and with Nathan Davis at the University of Pittsburgh (MA 1982, ethnomusicology). She also took private piano lessons with Kenny Barron in 1979. She moved to New York in the early 1980s, where she became a member of the M-BASE collective. Allen recorded her first album as a leader, The Printmakers, in 1984 (Minor Music). After that she performed on more than 100 recordings in a variety of capacities. She worked in trios with Ron Carter and Tony Williams (on albums such as ...

Article

Allen, Marshall  

Barry Long

(b Louisville, KY, May 25, 1924). American alto saxophonist and bandleader. He began clarinet lessons when he was ten and later took up alto saxophone. After joining the US Army at 18 years of age, Allen performed in military bands and, while stationed in Paris, formed a trio with Art Simmons and Don Byas. Allen remained in Europe following his discharge, touring with James Moody and studying clarinet at the Paris Conservatory with Ulysse Delécluse. He returned to the United States in 1951 and led dance bands and worked as a composer in Chicago. After hearing a demo recording of Sun Ra’s Arkestra in a record store, Allen sought out the bandleader during a rehearsal and began an apprenticeship. He subsequently rehearsed with the Arkestra for more than a year before joining officially in 1958. His association with the ensemble has lasted more than 50 years.

Allen worked closely with Sun Ra for much of his professional career, composing for the bandleader and performing both in concert and on more than 200 albums; he even shared a house with him. Alongside John Gilmore Allen anchored the reed section, adding flute, clarinet, oboe, and in later years wind synthesizer. He invented the morrow, a woodwind instrument combining a saxophone mouthpiece with an open-holed wooden body, and learned to play and build the kora, a West African multi-string instrument. Allen rarely worked outside the Arkestra, although he made a notable recording with Paul Bley (...