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Paul Rinzler

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Montgomery Bernard]

(bKingston, Jamaica, June 6, 1944). Jamaicanpianist and leader. He played calypso and boogie-woogie from the age of four, began classical piano lessons two years later, and turned to jazz at the age of 14 after hearing recordings by Louis Armstrong and Nat “King” Cole. In 1961 he moved to Miami and began working in local clubs, though he struggled for work early in his career. He spent a period playing electric bass guitar as accompanist to a nightclub singer before Frank Sinatra and the singer’s friend Jilly Rizzo took him to New York for an engagement with Les Spann. In 1964–5 he made his first albums as a leader in the Los Angeles area, with Gene Bertoncini, Bob Cranshaw, Victor Gaskin, and Paul Humphrey among his sidemen, and in 1967 he returned to New York, where he played at Minton’s Playhouse and other establishments. For five summer seasons he worked with Milt Jackson and Ray Brown, recording with both musicians. He then formed his own trio, with which he toured Europe regularly from ...

Article

Rick Mattingly

[MousieElmer]

(bGary, IN, June 29, 1922; dLongwood, FL, Oct 9, 1988). Americandrummer. He studied in Chicago at the Roy Knapp School of Drumming and then worked in the city at the Blue Note as a dixieland drummer with Jimmy and Marian McPartland (1948–50). In 1952 he moved to New York, where he performed and recorded for a year in Marian McPartland’s bop trio. After spending three years with the Sauter–Finegan Orchestra he performed briefly (1955–6) and recorded (1955, 1957, 1959–60) with Johnny Smith. From February 1956 to February 1957 he was a member of Benny Goodman’s band, in which capacity he toured the Far East. He then played and recorded with such leaders as Bud Freeman (1958) and Buck Clayton (1960) and performed at Eddie Condon’s club in New York (from June 1959). In the early 1960s he toured Europe with Georgie Auld (...

Article

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

Gareth Dylan Smith

[Patterson, Robert, Jr. ]

(b Philadelphia, PA, July 1, 1935; d New York, NY, Aug 13, 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

Russ Girsberger and Barry Kernfeld

(b New York, Dec 25, 1939; d New York, March 29, 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

Ken Rattenbury

revised by Erik Kjellberg and Lars Westin

(Bertil)

(bFalun, Sweden, Nov 7, 1934). Swedishtrumpeter. 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 settling 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

Gary W. Kennedy

(b Omaha, NE, Dec 9, 1939). American alto saxophonist. In 1949 his family moved to Los Angeles, where he started on clarinet, though in 1952 he changed to alto saxophone. At John Coltrane’s urging, Allen became a musician and in February 1964 he moved to New York. That year he recorded a free-jazz album, ...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(Lee )

(b Milwaukee, April 25, 1961). American drummer and leader, brother of Eddie Allen. His mother was a gospel singer and an elder brother also played drums. He took up drums around the age of ten, was a member of a drum and bugle corps when he was 13, and organized his first jazz group a year later. The director of his high school band, who was himself a drummer, introduced him to recordings by Sid Catlett, Baby Dodds, Roy Haynes, and Philly Joe Jones. Allen performed locally with Sonny Stitt and Red Holloway at the age of 16 and then worked with James Moody. In 1979 he declined an offer from Mel Lewis to join Count Basie’s orchestra because he thought he was not good enough, and instead he studied classical percussion at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay; in 1981 he transferred to William Paterson College, Wayne, New Jersey, where he earned a degree in jazz studies and performance (...

Article

(bJackson, MS, Sept 25, 1908; dChicago, Nov 19, 1972). Americantrumpeter. He grew up in Chicago, where he played with the trombonist Hugh Swift (1925), Dave Peyton and Doc Cook (both 1927), and Clifford “Klarinet” King (1928). Later he rejoined Cook, after which he performed and recorded with Earl Hines (summer ...

Article

Bob Zieff

revised by Howard Rye

(bNashville, Dec 15, 1897; dNew York, Jan 28, 1974). Americantrumpeter. He took up piano and cornet as a youth in St. Louis. After some early professional work in Seattle (1916) he played frequently on Mississippi riverboats, both under Charlie Creath and as the leader of his own band on the SS Capitol (1922); he then worked in New Orleans until May 1923. In 1924 he moved to Chicago, where he joined Earl Hines. The following year, while in a touring show with Joe Jordan’s band, he went to New York, and later worked there with various groups and recorded frequently with Clarence Williams (1927–37). From the late 1930s he played predominantly in taxi-dance halls, notably with the pianist Benton Heath from 1945 until 1963, when ill-health forced him to cease full-time playing.

In his early work Allen sometimes used the cackle-like muted timbre employed by contemporary jazz cornetists, and he produced a pleasant tone with a wa-wa mute; on the open instrument he often affected a singing, lyrical style in the manner of Joe Smith, but he showed a substantial New Orleans influence, especially in his lead playing....

Article

Kevin Whitehead

[Eddie J(ames) ]

(b Milwaukee, July 12, 1957). American trumpeter, brother of Carl Allen. He sang in rhythm-and-blues vocal groups from the ages of five to 11, learned guitar from ages 11 to 13, and then took up trumpet, which he played in rhythm-and-blues groups from the time he was 15. Later he studied theory and jazz piano at the Wisconsin Conservatory in Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay. In 1981 he moved to New York, where he performed with Charli Persip's big band (1982–9) and Billy Harper (1983–90). He also played with and occasionally arranged music for Mongo Santamaria (1984–8, 1993–8), Craig Harris (1986–90), and Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy (1988–94). For Bowie he arranged several compositions by the soul singer James Brown, including I got you, and for Santamaria he made an arrangement of Smooth Operator, originally by the pop singer Sade, which Brass Fantasy frequently performed. From ...

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(bLaCrosse, WI, July 25, 1905). Americansaxophonist and clarinetist. In 1926 he went to New York with Lloyd Scott’s band and the following year he performed and recorded there with Scott and his brother Cecil. He then joined Leon Abbey, with whom he traveled to Europe and made recordings in England (1928), but these were not issued. Allen remained in Europe, toured with Louis Armstrong (making another visit to Britain, 1932), played and recorded in Paris with Freddy Taylor (1935), and worked in India with Abbey (1936); he also arranged music and led his own band for long periods. In 1938 he made recordings in Paris as a leader (including Fletcher’s Stomp, Swing 29) and with Benny Carter and Willie Lewis. After a trip to Egypt with the Harlem Rhythmakers late in 1938 he returned in 1940 to the USA. He took up baritone saxophone in the late 1940s and recorded on the instrument in ...

Article

[Sufana, Eugene]

(bEast Chicago, IN, Dec 5, 1928). Americanbaritone saxophonist and bass clarinetist. He studied piano and clarinet from the age of eight. He played with Louis Prima (1944–7) and Tex Beneke (1951–3), performed and recorded with Claude Thornhill (1949–50), the Sauter–Finegan Orchestra (at intervals from 1953 to 1961), and Tommy Dorsey’s last orchestra, and toured and recorded with Benny Goodman (performing in Europe in 1958 and the USSR in 1962) and Gerry Mulligan (1957, 1960–62). Allen worked principally as a baritone saxophonist in big bands, including one that accompanied Thelonious Monk in concert in 1963. He also recorded with Hal McKusick (1956), Manny Albam (1958, 1961–2), Bob Brookmeyer (1959, 1961), Woody Herman (1959, 1962), Urbie Green (1960), Mundell Lowe (1961), Rod Levitt (1963–6), and Rusty Dedrick (?...

Article

Mark Gilbert and Gary W. Kennedy

(Antoinette )

(b Pontiac, MI, June 12, 1957). Pianist. She was introduced to jazz by her father and began playing piano at the age of seven. Later she studied classical music and learned jazz from Marcus Belgrave, with whom she later worked; he recorded on her album The Nurturer in 1990. After reading jazz studies at Howard University (BA 1979), where she had piano lessons with John Malachi, Allen received private tuition in New York from Kenny Barron. She then undertook graduate work in ethnomusicology under Nathan Davis, among others, at the University of Pittsburgh (MA 1982) and played in Pittsburgh in a trio led by Cecil Brooks III (1982–3). She then returned to New York and began an extensive recording and performing career, first playing in Oliver Lake's group Jump Up (1982–c1987) and with James Newton (touring Europe, c1984) and touring with the pop singer Mary Wilson (of the Supremes) for about six months (...

Article

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

Gary W. Kennedy

(Adams )

(b Washington, DC, Oct 12, 1966). American tenor saxophonist. His father was a professional drummer during the swing era. He spent his childhood in Los Angeles and played the accordion from the age of seven; when he was 11 his family moved to Rhode Island, where he took up clarinet and a year later tenor saxophone. Around 1983 Allen began working professionally with Major Holley and Oliver Jackson, with whom he toured Europe, and the following year he replaced Zoot Sims in Bucky Pizzarelli’s quintet. He then attended Rutgers at Newark, New Jersey, but left in 1988 to pursue his career. In the 1990s he worked with Peanuts Hucko’s big band and Ranee Lee (both 1992) and in Bob Wilber’s group (1993), and recorded with, among others, John Pizzarelli (from 1993), Wilber, Johnny Varro, and Butch Miles (all 1994), and Jon-Erik Kellso (...

Article

Marcel Joly

(bNew Orleans, 1877; dNew Orleans, Jan 11, 1952). Americancornetist, father of Henry “Red” Allen. For more than 40 years he was the leader of the Allen Brass Band in New Orleans.

R. Goffin: La Nouvelle-Orléans: capitale du jazz (New York, 1946), 59J. L. Anderson...

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Howard Rye

(b Pittsburg, KS, July 2, 1926; d Hawthorne, CA, Oct 18, 1994). American tenor saxophonist. Some sources give his year of birth as 1927, but on balance the evidence of his career supports 1926. When he was only one year old his father died and his family moved to Denver; he learned saxophone in high school there. In 1943 he was offered a music and athletic scholarship to Francis Xavier University, New Orleans, where he played in campus bands and at local venues, notably the Dew Drop Inn. By October 1947 he had joined the band led by the singer and pianist Paul Gayten and the singer Annie Laurie at the Robin Hood Club on Jackson Avenue, and the following year he made his recording début with them. After 1950 he was involved in extensive studio work in New Orleans, and he took part in many sessions with Dave Bartholomew’s band, accompanying such singers as Fats Domino. In ...

Article

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 (...

Article

Howard Rye

(bMemphis, July 30, 1906; dNew York, Feb 2, 1983). Americandouble bass and tuba player and singer. His date of birth, previously unknown, is taken from the social security death index. At Le Moyne College, Memphis, he played in a band with Jimmy Crawford. Both men recorded two titles in 1927 with the Chickasaw Syncopators (Col. 14301D), and Chickasaw Stomp includes an example of Allen’s half-spoken, half-sung vocal “preaching.” In summer 1928 Allen joined Jimmie Lunceford’s orchestra, and four years later he changed from tuba to double bass. He may be heard on tuba on Sweet Rhythm (1930, Vic. 38141), while his double bass playing is prominent on such recordings by Lunceford as Avalon (1935, Decca 668), Organ Grinder’s Swing (1936, Decca 908), and Harlem Shout (1936, Decca 980), which reveal him as one of the major practitioners of the era; he also appears in the short film ...