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date: 30 March 2020

Jordan, Louis (Thomas )locked

  • Frank Driggs
  •  and Howard Rye

Extract

(Thomas )

(b Brinkley, AR, July 8, 1908; d Los Angeles, Feb 4, 1975). American saxophonist, singer, and bandleader. He was taught clarinet and saxophone by his father, who led the band for the Rabbit Foots Minstrels (Jordan toured with them while still in high school). He made his professional début with Jimmy Pryor (1929), then worked with Ruby Williams and other bandleaders in Arkansas until moving to Philadelphia to join the tuba player Jim Winters (1932). He performed with Charlie Gaines (1933–5), the violinist Leroy Smith (1935–6), and Chick Webb (1936–8), and played briefly with Fats Waller and Kaiser Marshall before forming his own ensemble to work in New York. This group, which became known as the Tympany Five, was tremendously popular both in Harlem and throughout the rest of the country until the late 1950s. Jordan also appeared in films with the Tympany Five. He led a big band briefly (...

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