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Article

Andrew Berish

[Charles Daly]

(b New York, NY, Oct 26, 1913; d San Diego, CA, Sept 4, 1991). American bandleader and tenor saxophonist. Born to a wealthy New York family, he began studying saxophone and immersing himself in New York’s jazz scene while in his early teens. He achieved commercial success as a bandleader, beginning in 1939 with the release of a hard-swinging version of Ray Noble’s “Cherokee” (1939, Bb). Subsequent recordings, including “Pompton Turnpike” (1940, Bb) and “Skyliner” (1944, Decca), confirmed his position as the leader of one of the era’s hottest swing bands.

At the height of its popularity, the Barnet Orchestra was frequently compared to the Duke Ellington band. Although the influence of Count Basie as well as Ellington is clear, Barnet’s group had a distinctive sound shaped by his easygoing direction, Andy Gibson’s and Billy May’s dynamic charts, and the band’s virtuosic soloists, notably guitarist Bus Etri, pianist Dodo Marmaroso, and trumpeter Peanuts Holland. Along with Benny Goodman, Barnet was an important force for interracial musical collaboration, and he invited such African American musicians as Benny Carter, Andy Gibson, Lena Horne, Holland, and Frankie Newton to play with and write for his band. Like Woody Herman and Stan Kenton, Barnet was open to the sounds of bebop and incorporated some of its musical practises into his orchestra’s performances. With the decline of the dance bands, however, Barnet was forced to disband his group in the late 1940s, although he reunited it several times during the next few decades. As well as tenor saxophone, he also occasionally played the soprano instrument....

Article

John L. Clark

(b New Orleans, LA, March 25, 1897; d New Orleans, Jan 28, 1983). American pianist, singer, and bandleader. The daughter of the Civil War veteran and Louisiana state senator W.B. Barrett, she learned piano by ear as a child and was playing professionally by her early teens. She never learned to read music and worked almost exclusively in New Orleans. During the 1920s Barrett played with many of the uptown New Orleans groups, including those led by Papa Celestin, Armand Piron, and John Robichaux. In the following decade she worked most often with Bebe Ridgley, with whom she developed a local following that subsequently brought her success at the Happy Landing from 1949 and the Paddock Lounge during the late 1950s. It was at this time that she became known as Sweet Emma the Bell Gal because of her habit of wearing garters with bells attached that created a tambourine-like effect as she played. In ...

Article

Jairo Moreno

(b Brooklyn, NY, April 29, 1929; d Hackensack, NJ, Feb 17, 2006). American conga player, bandleader, and producer of Puerto Rican descent. He began playing percussion informally during time in Germany as part of the US occupation army (1946–9). Returning to New York City in 1949, he participated in the lively jam-session scene in Harlem, playing bongos in sessions with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1957, he replaced Mongo Santamaría in Tito Puente’s band. By 1960, he became the house percussionist for various jazz labels (Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside), recording his first album as leader for Riverside in 1961. The Charanga La Moderna was his first full-fledged Latin dance band, beginning in 1962. In 1963, his song El Watusi became the first Latin tune to enter the Billboard Top 20. By 1990, his salsa career stagnant, he formed a small, jazz-influenced sextet, New World Spirit, recording a number of Grammy-nominated albums....

Article

Gerard Béhague

(Evangelista)

(b Ubá, Nov 7, 1903; d Rio de Janeiro, Feb 9, 1964). Brazilian composer and conductor. In 1920 he moved to Rio de Janeiro where he developed his career, first as a pianist in dance bands and cinemas, then as a composer of pieces for musical theatre, as a radio programmer and announcer, and later as a television programmer. He also composed the sound tracks for various films, especially Walt Disney’s The Three Caballeros (‘Você já foi à Bahia?’), for which he received a diploma from the Hollywood Academy of Cinematographic Sciences and Arts. In 1955, the Brazilian government bestowed upon him, together with Villa-Lobos, the National Order of Merit.

Barroso greatly contributed to the establishment of the classic urban samba in the 1930s. Among the over 160 sambas that he wrote, those of the 1930s and 40s have remained the most popular. Such pieces as Faceira (...

Article

Randolph Love

(b Edgard, LA, Dec 24, 1920). American Trumpeter, arranger, producer, songwriter, bandleader, and singer. He started his career as a trumpeter playing with established bands led by, among others, Papa Celestin, Joe Robichaux, and Claiborne Williams before joining Fats Pichon’s ensemble, considered one of the top groups in New Orleans, in 1939. During World War II he played in the 196th AGF (Army Ground Forces) Band, where he met Abraham Malone, who taught him how to write and arrange. After the war, he formed his own band in New Orleans, which made its debut at the Dew Drop Inn and later performed at Sam Simoneaux’s club Graystone where many of the city’s top instrumental players, including the drummer Earl Palmer and the saxophonists Lee Allen and Red Tyler, were showcased.

Bartholomew is best known for his talents as an arranger and songwriter. In the 1950s and 60s he worked with many of the biggest stars of the day, including Smiley Lewis, Lloyd Price, Shirley and Lee, and Joe Turner. By the 1970s he had associations with some of rock and roll’s most established talents, including Paul McCartney, Elton John, and the Rolling Stones. His most productive association was with fats Domino, whom he met through Lew Chudd, the owner of Imperial Records, where he worked as a house arranger, an A&R man and an in-house bandleader. From ...

Article

Michael Fitzgerald

(Lee)

(b Baltimore, MD, Sept 26, 1940). American jazz alto and soprano saxophonist, bandleader, composer, and vocalist. He began playing in Baltimore, where his father owned the well-known club the North End Lounge. He attended the Juilliard School between 1957 and 1958 and then studied at the Peabody Conservatory. After moving to New York he worked with Charles Mingus (1962–4) and Max Roach (1964 and 1968–9, when he traveled to Europe and the Middle East). He also performed and recorded with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (1965–6) and Miles Davis (1970–71). Between 1969 and 1974 Bartz led his own ensemble, Ntu Troop, which recorded six albums blending African music and funk with jazz. In the late 1970s and 1980s, he worked occasionally with Woody Shaw’s group as well as with McCoy Tyner. After playing with Kenny Barron (1990s), Bartz was a member of the ensemble Sphere (...

Article

Adriano Mazzoletti

(b Genoa, Italy, May 15, 1902). Italian violinist, pianist, bandleader, arranger, and composer. In Genoa he studied violin and composition and played banjo for a brief period in an orchestra. He was the leader and an arranger for the group Blue Star (to 1931), of which Sid Phillips was a member, and the orchestra Cetra (from ...

Article

Wolfram Knauer

[Bill; William]

(b Red Bank, NJ, Aug 21, 1904; d Hollywood, CA, April 26, 1984). American jazz pianist and bandleader. After taking piano lessons as a child, he was soon playing ragtime and show tunes at local dance events and performing for silent movies. In 1924 he worked with the singer and dancer Katy Krippen with whom he also toured. In the mid-1920s he met Fats Waller, who introduced him to the sound of the pipe organ, after which he was always fascinated by the instrument. He played in several bands in New York and in 1926 he embarked on a tour with Gonzelle White, during which he heard Walter Page’s band, the Blue Devils, in the Midwest. Basie left White’s group in Kansas City, worked as a silent movie organist, and was active on the city’s lively music scene. He heard many of the so-called territory bands, played for a while with Page’s Blue Devils, and then became a member of the Bennie Moten Orchestra, first as an arranger and then as a pianist....

Article

Xoán M. Carreira

(b Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, March 12, 1884; d El Ferrol, Coruña, Nov 4, 1938). Spanish composer and conductor He studied the flute and composition at the Madrid Conservatory, where he was a pupil of Tomás Bretón. After playing in chamber groups and touring abroad (1906–9), he was appointed director of music of a regiment in El Ferrol, where he spent the rest of his life except for a period in Africa, 1915–17. As well as a large amount of military music, three dramatic scenes and five symphonic poems, he composed many zarzuelas (alone and in collaboration), of which few survive. In 1928 he conducted the première of his opera Cantuxa, whose success led to further performances in Spain and at the Teatro Colón. A story of jealousy (including a death quarrel at a local folk festival) in rural Galicia, the opera exemplifies verismo in its continuous melodic tension, vocal characterization, immediacy of emotion and the anguish of its brutal ending. Of Baudot-Puente’s other opera, ...

Article

Rainer E. Lotz

[Funny ]

(b Breslau, Germany, Sept 27, 1912; d Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Oct 7, 1945). German alto saxophonist, clarinetist, and bandleader. He studied violin, piano, and saxophone at Breslau (1927–31). After working locally from 1929, he joined José Wolff’s orchestra in Berlin around 1931 and then James Kok’s Jazz Virtuosen in 1934. When Kok had to leave Germany in 1935, his sidemen elected Bauschke as their new leader. The band toured the German provinces and Baltic sea resorts and held long residencies at the Berlin Moka Efti (1936–9). From 1936 Bauschke’s dance orchestra recorded prolifically for the Grammophon label, including hot numbers in defiance of the Nazi ideology. When his musicians were drafted, Bauschke was forced to disband in 1940, but he recorded occasionally with studio orchestras until 1941. After his release from an American prisoner of war camp he directed a group in US Army clubs in the Frankfurt area until his death in an automobile accident. Although not a prominent hot soloist (his clarinet may be heard on ...

Article

Monica F. Ambalal

(b Mexia, TX, March 14, 1922; d Palm Springs, CA, Jan 15, 1996). American Composer, conductor, and arranger. His family moved to Michigan, where he studied piano at the Detroit Conservatory. They later moved to Los Angeles, where Baxter continued his studies at Pepperdine University. After attempting to become a concert pianist, Baxter decided to focus his career elsewhere in the recording industry and joined Mel Tormé and his Mel-Tones as a vocalist and arranger in 1945. Two years later he collaborated with theremin player Dr. Samuel Hoffman and composer Harry Revel to make his first recording, Music out of the Moon, which established Baxter’s place in the genre of Exotica. By 1950 he had signed a contract with Capitol Records as a conductor and arranger and helped to produce such recordings as Nat “King” Cole’s “Mona Lisa” and “Too Young,” both of which became hits. In the same year he also produced the album ...

Article

Robert Pernet

[Bayetz, Frans ]

(b Rijkevorsel, Belgium, 1914). Belgian trombonist, multi-instrumentalist, and bandleader. In 1936 in Germany he formed an association with the violinist Paul Godwin, which continued intermittently until World War II. He worked in Belgium at Lionel’s Club and played and recorded in the Netherlands with Dick Willebrandts (1943) and the Dutch group the Ramblers (1945–6). In the mid-1940s he was a founding member of the Skymasters, and in 1948 he formed a band with Boyd Bachmann, which worked in Switzerland, Sweden, and Belgium. His own big band, formed in Belgium in the 1950s, later became the dance orchestra of Belgian radio and television. Bay was said to have made numerous recordings as a leader (1958–61, 1971), many of them for the American market in connection with the Brussels World’s Fair of 1958, but a considerable number of these have proved to be from sessions led by Maxwell Davis for the American Crown label and reissued under Bay’s name on the Mecca label in Belgium; the precise details of this situation are still a matter for research, but certainly the album ...

Article

Bruce Johnson

revised by Roger T. Dean

(Emerson) [Gay]

(b Melbourne, Australia, Sept 7, 1914; d Sydney, June 13, 2012). Australian bandleader, composer, and pianist, brother of Roger Bell. He began classical piano studies at the age of 11, and was introduced to jazz by his brother. In 1941 he held a pioneering jazz residency at Leonard’s Café in Melbourne and played for the Contemporary Art Society, indicating his radical interests. After working briefly in Queensland (1943) he returned to Melbourne, where he took over the group led by his brother at Heidelberg Town Hall and performed regularly for the Hot Jazz Society of the communist Eureka Youth League. In 1946 he started the Uptown Club in their premises and helped to inaugurate the Australian Jazz Convention. Having established his reputation in Australia with recordings in the dixieland style made in 1947, he toured Europe with his band (1947–8) under the Eureka’s sponsorship. In England his “jazz for dancing” policy was influential in promoting the acceptance of jazz as a major form of youth entertainment. In ...

Article

Bruce Johnson

(Emerson )

(b Melbourne, Australia, Jan 4, 1919; d Melbourne, Australia, June 17, 2008). Australian trumpeter, washboard player, composer, singer, and bandleader, brother of Graeme Bell. He first worked as a drummer, then in 1938 began to play cornet. Having worked in Melbourne with his brother at Leonard’s Café, he briefly led the band at Heidelberg Town Hall (1943), where he recorded with a visiting Max Kaminsky, before Graeme Bell returned from Queensland to take over the group’s leadership. He remained in Graeme’s dixieland groups during their European tours (1947–8, 1950–52), after which he worked with Max Collie (1953) and in the house band at the Melbourne Jazz Club (from 1958). Bell was active as a freelance musician and led his own band, the Pagan Pipers (a name he had used first in 1949), which with various personnel (notably Len Barnard and Ade Monsbourgh) performed and recorded for many years; among its recordings were a number of Bell’s own compositions. His playing may be heard to advantage on ...

Article

Piero Rattalino

(b Bitonto, Bari, Feb 17, 1888; d Rome, Feb 8, 1964). Italian conductor . At the Naples Conservatory he studied with Alessandro Longo, Nicola d’Arienzo and Giuseppe Martucci. He made his début at the S Carlo with Aida in 1908, and as music director of the Caramba-Scognamiglio Operetta Company, 1912–16, he toured Italy. In 1917 he went to the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, and for some years alternated between South America and Europe. He first appeared at Covent Garden in 1926, conducting Boito’s Mefistofele at Shalyapin’s Covent Garden début and participating in Melba’s farewell performance. From 1926 to 1930 he was a regular conductor of the Italian repertory at Covent Garden, during which time he conducted the British première of Turandot (1927) and the London débuts of Ponselle (1929) and Gigli (1930), and from 1926 to 1935 he was also guest conductor at the Metropolitan. In ...

Article

Brian Peerless

[Gordon ]

(b Fort Worth, Feb 12, 1914; d Costa Mesa, CA, May 30, 2000). American tenor saxophonist, singer, and bandleader. As a child he played soprano saxophone, and in his teens he worked with territory bands in Texas and Oklahoma. In 1938 he joined Glenn Miller, to whom he had been recommended by Gene Krupa. Miller gave him a highly prominent role, and his playing may be heard on In the Mood and other pieces. Beneke also became one of the band’s principal singers; he often took duets with Marion Hutton, and sang with the Modernaires on such recordings as Chattanooga Choo Choo. He appeared with the band in films and became extremely popular, winning several polls. When the ensemble disbanded in 1942 Beneke toured with the Modernaires. During World War II he directed a navy dance band in Oklahoma, and following his discharge he was selected by the administrators of Miller’s estate to assume leadership of the latter’s band (...

Article

Brian Peerless

[William ]

(b Charleston, WV, 1902). American tuba player and bandleader, brother of Tommy Benford. His mother died when he was young, and after his father, aunt, and uncle ran into personal difficulties they sent the brothers to the Jenkins Orphanage in Charleston, South Carolina, where they received their musical education; despite reports to the contrary, only Bill toured with its band to England in 1914. To escape from the orphanage the brothers joined the Green River Minstrels (c1920), then, around 1922, played together in New York, where they worked for a number of bandleaders, including Marie Lucas and Elmer Snowden. In the mid- to late 1920s Benford led his own band. Jelly Roll Morton admired this group and recorded with it under his own name between 1928 and 1930; Benford’s playing is well represented on Morton’s Kansas City Stomps (1928), Shoe Shiners Drag (...

Article

Géza Gábor Simon and Rainer E. Lotz

(b Budapest, Aug 25, 1940). Hungarian bandleader, clarinetist, and alto saxophonist. He learned violin (1947–52) and then clarinet (1950–58). In 1957 he formed the Benkó Dixieland Band, which, although it originally also played dance music, from 1962 has performed only in the dixieland style. It has made a large number of recordings, often performing with such soloists as Albert Nicholas, Wild Bill Davison, George Probert, Al Grey, Buddy Tate, Joe Newman, the banjo player Eddie Davis, Chris Barber, Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard, and Joe Muranyi. Benkó won several prizes and his group received awards at various jazz festivals. He performed as a leader in Germany (twice a year from 1966), the USA (1982, 1983, 1986), Mexico (1984), and Indonesia (1985), and at the Oude Stijl Jazz Festival Breda (1976), the Sacramento Dixieland Jubilee (1983...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

[Benoit, Jean-Louis ]

(b Philadelphia, May 18, 1926; d nr Paris, Feb 10, 1997). American organist and leader. His father was from Martinique. A child prodigy, he grew up in Baltimore, where he was taught by his grandmother; his grandfather was a Baptist minister, and Bennett directed their church choir from the age of 12. After military service (1943–6), during which time he played tuba and thereby developed his ability to invent bass lines, he began his jazz career in Baltimore (1947), leading a piano trio modeled after that of Nat “King” Cole. In 1949, under the influence of Wild Bill Davis, he began to play organ, an instrument he used professionally from 1951. By 1956 he was performing in a style much closer to that of Jimmy Smith rather than Davis, and from 1957 to 1959 he toured the Midwest and the East Coast with his own hard-bop organ trio. The following year he moved to Paris, where he performed at the Blue Note with Jimmy Gourley or René Thomas in Kenny Clarke’s trio, accompanying numerous distinguished guest soloists (until ...

Article

Alyn Shipton

(b Leeds, Nov 11, 1913; d Clacton, May 6, 1993). English dance bandleader, saxophonist, pianist and singer. She was a child prodigy as a pianist, broadcasting on ‘Children’s Hour’ in 1922, and playing frequently in public. She took up the clarinet and saxophone in her teens, and in 1929 joined her first all-female band, led by Edna Croudson. After some years with Croudson, she came to London and in 1937 played in female orchestras directed by Teddy Joyce, becoming leader of his Girl Friends. In 1940, after leading small groups of her own, she formed a nine-piece band for the revue Meet the Girls, which had an entirely female cast. For the rest of her career Benson led an all-female band, variously called her Rhythm Girl Band, her Ladies’ Dance Orchestra and her Showband. She broadcast frequently during World War II and afterwards, and toured internationally for the Entertainments National Servicemen’s Association from the 1940s onwards. In the 1940s she mainly played in a jazz-influenced swing style, but later often added a string section to play dance music in the manner of Victor Sylvester or Mantovani....