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Article

John Koegel

(b Puerto Príncipe, Cuba, ?Nov 28, 1844; d Havana, ?Dec 31, 1918). Pianist, music teacher, arranger, conductor, composer, and lawyer of Cuban birth, naturalized American. Born into a prominent family in Puerto Príncipe, Cuba (present-day Camagüey), Agramonte strongly supported the movement for independence from Spain. He studied music and the law in Cuba, Spain, and France. After vocal studies with Enrico Delle Sedie (1822–1907) and François Delsarte (1811–71) at the Paris Conservatory, he immigrated to the United States, settling in New York in 1869, where he remained until after Cuban independence in 1898. He became a US citizen in 1886.

In the 1870s and 1880s, Agramonte taught music at the Academy of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx. In the 1890s he taught with Dudley Buck and William Mason at the Metropolitan College of Music and ran his own School of Opera and Oratorio at his home, teaching singers such as ...

Article

Pekka Gronow

(bLapinjärvi, nr Lovisa, Finland, Dec 10, 1918). Finnishtrumpeter 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

Pekka Gronow

[Hooley]

(bGloucester, MA, May 24, 1902; dGloucester, Feb 13, 1995). Americantrumpeter. He played drums from the age of six and two years later changed to cornet. After playing in the brass band of the local Finnish-American temperance society he became a professional dance-band musician in Boston. In 1925 he moved to New York to play with the violinist and bandleader Paul Specht (to February 1927). From December 1927 he lived in London, where he performed with the Savoy Orpheans and Ambrose and his Orchestra (October 1928 – August 1931) and played in many studio groups. He moved back to the USA in 1931 and worked as a studio musician in New York, then returned to Gloucester in 1940. Ahola was much admired for his technique, pure tone, and imaginative solos, but he never recorded jazz as a leader. His solos are scattered through the hundreds of recordings he made with obscure and often indifferent studio groups. From the 1970s his work was the subject of renewed interest among record collectors....

Article

Howard Rye

[Augustine]

(bCharleston, SC, July 26, 1902 or 1903; dNew York, April 1973). Trumpeter. He was unsure of his year of birth (his social security file gives 1903), and he was brought up in the Jenkins Orphanage in Charleston, South Carolina, where he received extensive musical tuition and toured with the orphanage bands. In about 1921 he moved to New York, and from November 1921 until January 1922 he toured with the Black Swan Masters under the direction of Fletcher Henderson, accompanying Ethel Waters. From May 1922 to mid-1924 he was a member of the Real Jazzers of Jazz, under the singer Gonzell White, working mainly in New York, although the band also made a lengthy tour of Cuba in 1923. He continued working with shows in the later 1920s and recorded with Charlie Johnson in 1930, as well as with such vaudeville blues singers as Clara Smith, on whose ...

Article

Mark Gilbert

(b Sendai, Japan, March 16, 1953). Japanese pianist and keyboard player. He grew up in Cleveland and studied piano, theory, and music history at the Cleveland Music School Settlement (1959–65). In his early teens he returned to Japan, where he read philosophy and composition at the International Christian University in Tokyo (1971–5); he then began, but did not complete, a doctorate in philosophy at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Apart from leading his own small groups, Akagi played with, among others, Art Pepper (1975), Blue Mitchell (1975), Eddie Harris (1976), Airto Moreira and Flora Purim (1979–86), Kazumi Watanabe (mid-1980s), Joe Farrell (1984–5), James Newton (from 1985), Allan Holdsworth and Jean-Luc Ponty (both 1986), Al Di Meola (1986–7), Miles Davis (1989–91), Steve Turre, Robin Eubanks (1990), Stanley Turrentine (from ...

Article

André Clergeat

(b Paris, Dec 7, 1968). French guitarist, leader, and composer. He studied guitar under the guidance of Philippe Petit and Marc Ducret and was influenced by the avant-garde musicians Derek Bailey and John Zorn. After having played alongside John Abercrombie, Tal Farlow, and Dave Liebman he abandoned bop, oriented himself “beyond” jazz, and adopted a violent “jungle style,” which had nothing to do with Duke Ellington’s aesthetic of the same name but borrowed instead mainly from electronics. In the early 1990s he founded the groups Unit (including Julien Lourau) and Trash Corporation (involving Bojan Zulfikarpasic), played in the cooperative Astrolab, and appeared frequently in Henri Texier’s group. Later he joined the groups Machination (alongside Hélène Labarrière), Tribulation, and the Recyclers, and led the ensemble M.A.O. Akchoté has taught at the Centre d’Information Musicale and at EDIM (Enseignement Diffusion Information Musique).

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, Jan 17, 1955). Japanese guitarist. Self-taught, he took up drums at the age of eight and guitar when he was ten. In 1975 he made his professional début with Isao Suzuki’s group Soul Family. He performed with Mikio Masuda, Motohiko Hino, Hiroshi Murakami, Yoshio Suzuki (...

Article

J. Bradford Robinson

(b Dairen, China, Dec 12, 1929). Japanese jazz composer, pianist and bandleader. 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 USA. 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 (who was at that time her husband). She worked in Japan (1961), joined Charles Mingus in the USA (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 1969. Its first album, Kogun (1974, RCA), was commercially successful in Japan, and the group attracted increasing popularity and critical acclaim until, by ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

[Maddox, Paul]

(bDetroit, Jan 27, 1955). Americandrummer. Ak Laff, ak Laff, aKlaff, and akLaff are among numerous variant spellings of his name found in the jazz literature and on recordings; by his own account the preferred spelling is akLaff. He was captivated by percussion from an early age and practiced on various instruments before acquiring a set of drums at the age of 15. He studied speech and drama at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti (1972–4), then studied and performed for several months with drummers on the Ivory Coast and joined a rhythm-and-blues band in Detroit. In 1975 he moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where he played free jazz with Dwight Andrews, Jay Hoggard, and Leo Smith’s group New Dalta Ahkri. This last affiliation led to long associations with Oliver Lake and Anthony Davis: in New York he performed and recorded as a member, with Michael Gregory Jackson, of Lake’s trio (...

Article

Alfredo Papo

(bSpain, c1905; d after 1949). Spanishtenor saxophonist. He learned music as a youth, but pre-ferred to improvise rather than study conventionally. At the age of 20 he traveled to New York; he later moved to Paris and then to Berlin, where he played mainly tangos and Latin American music. After returning to Spain at the beginning of the 1930s he worked with the best jazz bands in Barcelona. He continued to play during the 1940s and was considered one of the finest Spanish saxophonists. ...

Article

André Barbera

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Albani, Joseph]

(bAtlantic City, NJ, Jan 24, 1924; dNew York, Jan 12, 1988). Americanpianist. He studied accordion as a child and took up piano in high school. He moved to the West Coast when he was 17 and in 1942 joined Leo Watson’s group, heard Art Tatum, and met Lester Young. After playing with Max Kaminsky in New York and touring with Benny Carter (1943) and Georgie Auld he met Charlie Parker (New York, 1944), and the two men lived together. Albany worked again with Auld in 1945, touring and recording, and then performed with Boyd Raeburn. In 1946 he played with Parker in Los Angeles, but was dismissed owing to an argument; the same year he recorded four sides with Young, and his reputation rested on these alone until a recording of a rehearsal with Warne Marsh was issued in 1957. In the late 1950s he wrote songs for Anita O’Day, and in ...

Article

Lawrence Koch

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Dominique, Albert]

(bNew Orleans, Aug 5, 1908; dSan Antonio, Jan 1980). Americantrumpeter and bandleader, nephew of Natty Dominique. His father was a singer and violinist with whom Albert began to take voice and violin lessons at the age of eight; his cornet studies got underway the following year and involved several teachers, including Papa Tio, A. J. Piron’s elder brother Milford Piron, and Manuel Perez, to whom he turned when Milford Piron disapproved of his having taken professional work in a Mardi Gras parade at the age of 14. He played with Perez’s band and on the steamer Susquehanna. From the age of 16 he became active in the Southwest and toured with one of Alphonso Trent’s bands (1925) and Troy Floyd (1926–9). While with Floyd he also recorded as a soloist, playing muted and open trumpet, in a small group accompanying the singer Hattie Burleson; among the results of this session was the pairing ...

Article

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

Alan Barrell

revised by Howard Rye

(Elmore, Sr.)

(bNew Orleans, Sept 7, 1912). Americantrumpeter. He was taught music theory by his brother Oliver (b New Orleans, 3 Aug 1910; d New Orleans, 21 March 1981), a clarinetist and alto saxophonist. Having moved with his family to Chicago in 1930 he returned almost immediately to New Orleans to start his professional career with the violinist Clarence Desdune, with whom he toured Nebraska and Kansas in 1931. He joined A. J. Piron in a small group nominally led by one of Piron’s sidemen, the trombonist William “BeBe” Ridgely, and also played with the Sunny South Syncopators. From 1932 to 1941 he toured with Don Albert’s band. Apart from a period of army service during World War II he played with Sidney Desvigne, Papa Celestin, Alphonse Picou, and George Lewis (i) (this last for two recording sessions in 1951). At some point during these years he left New Orleans with Sidney Desvigne and went to California; he was again in New Orleans from ...

Article

(bIsmâ’ ilîya, Egypt, June 8, 1931). Frenchsinger and pianist. 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, 5 May 1931; 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 (1967) the couple settled first in Las Vegas, where they appeared in revues, and then in Los Angeles (...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(Vincent )

(b Newport Beach, CA, Oct 17, 1958). American guitarist and leader. He grew up in Huntington Beach, California, and played piano, harmonica, four-string guitar, and then four-string banjo, which he studied from the age of ten; within two years he was playing weekend jobs at a local pizza parlor. As a teenager he took up the conventional six-string guitar and performed locally while in high school. After graduating he moved to Hollywood and attended the Guitar Institute of Technology, studying with Howard Roberts, Joe Pass, and Herb Ellis. In 1979 he was a member of Red Norvo’s trio in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He returned to Los Angeles, but went to New York to work briefly with Dick Sudhalter and then to join the pianist Max Morath at Michael’s Pub. In autumn 1982 he moved to New York and was with Joe Bushkin at the Hotel Carlyle. Bushkin’s group performed arrangements by Buck Clayton, whose big band Alden later joined (...

Article

Gary Carner

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(Marcelo)

(bResistencia, Argentina, Feb 20, 1909; dBuenos Aires, Oct 10, 1980). Argentineguitarist. He first danced in the folk troupe of his father, the guitarist Jorge Alemán Moreira, but when he was ten his father died. Self-taught, he took up cavaquinho (a four-stringed Brazilian ukulele) and guitar, and in 1924 formed a guitar duo with Gastón Bueno Lobo. In 1929 the dancer Harry Flemming engaged the duo (known as Les Loups) to play in Spain. By 1931 Alemán was in Paris leading the Baker Boys, who accompanied the popular singer Josephine Baker; he then played regularly with Freddy Taylor’s Swing Men from Harlem (1933–5) and led a band with Frank “Big Boy” Goudie at Le Chantilly. Late in 1940 Alemán returned to Buenos Aires, where he formed his Quinteto de Swing (with violin, rhythm guitar, bass, and drums; 1940s) and Orcuesta (with clarinet, three violins, and rhythm section; 1950s). Little is known of his work during the 1960s. In his final decade he experienced somewhat of a rediscovery and worked steadily until his death....

Article

[Alessandrini, Anthony Victor]

(bGarfield, NJ, Aug 28, 1921; dNew York, Sept 1985). Americanpianist and leader. The first edition of this dictionary gave his birthdate as 22 August (as in Feather’s The Encyclopedia of Jazz), but his social security application gives 28 August. He played with Bunny Berigan (c1938) and performed and recorded with the bandleader Teddy Powell (1941–2). After serving in the army he appeared briefly with Charlie Spivak and played and recorded with Woody Herman (1945 – March 1946). He taught jazz at the short-lived New York Conservatory of Modern Music (1946–9) and played in Chubby Jackson's small groups (1946–7); he also spent a brief period with Jackson in a small group under Charlie Ventura’s leadership (1947). Aless recorded with Georgie Auld (1945), Flip Phillips (1945), Jackson (1945, 1947...

Article

Howard Rye

[Charles Wesley]

(bCincinnati, May 29, 1890; dLos Angeles, Feb 4, 1970). Americanpianist. The year of his birth had been estimated as 1904, but the combination of a birthplace of Cincinnati (given by zur Heide, 1977) and the middle initial W. (in a musicians’ union report of 1932) suggests that he is almost certainly the Charles Wesley Alexander whose social security application gives 29 May 1890. He studied music and played in theater orchestras in Cincinnati. After moving to Chicago he was house pianist at Kelly’s Stables at least from 1924 to 1928. He worked there with Johnny and Baby Dodds and Freddie Keppard, among others, and in 1927–8 made a number of recordings under Johnny Dodds’s leadership, including Blue Piano Stomp (1928, Vic. 21554). In spring 1931 he joined Louis Armstrong’s big band, with which he may be seen and heard in the short films ...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(Wells )

(b Galesburg, IL, Aug 4, 1968). American tenor saxophonist. His family moved to Olympia, Washington, when he was 14, and he began studying classical saxophone shortly afterwards. He attended Indiana University (1986–7), then transferred to the jazz studies program at William Paterson College, Wayne, New Jersey, under Rufus Reid and Harold Mabern (1987–90). After graduating he spent six months in New York before moving to Chicago, where he performed locally and worked with Von Freeman and Mabern (1990–92). In 1991 he was placed second, behind Joshua Redman, at the Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition and began working regularly with Charles Earland. The following year he recorded in Chicago and moved back to New York, where he studied with George Coleman. In 1993 he began playing with Ralph Lalama and Tad Shull in the recording group Tenor Triangle (on the Criss Cross label), and also worked with Cecil Payne and as a freelance. In ...