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date: 22 September 2019

Bauer, Billy [William Henry ]locked

  • Jim Ferguson
  • , revised by Barry Kernfeld

Extract

[William Henry ]

(b New York, Nov 14, 1915; d New York, June 17, 2005). American guitarist. He played ukulele and then banjo as a child and was performing and broadcasting as a professional banjo player from his early teens; he changed to guitar in the early 1930s. Having worked in a band led by the clarinetist Jerry Wald (1940–41), in 1944 he joined Woody Herman’s First Herd. He left Herman in August 1946, and between then and early 1950 enjoyed his most creative period as a member of Lennie Tristano’s ensembles, where he ceased to be purely a rhythm guitarist and quickly became an advanced bop stylist; he was known particularly for his fleet improvisations and his remarkably precise playing of unison thematic statements. He also played on Tristano’s recordings Intuition and Digression (1949), which are early explorations of free jazz, and he contributed the composition ...

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