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Peter Schwalm

revised by Simon Adams and Barry Kernfeld

(b Lugano, Switzerland, Dec 10, 1941). Swiss trumpeter and flugelhorn player, son of Flavio Ambrosetti. He first learned piano from the age of eight. When he was 17 he taught himself to play trumpet, and from 1963 he performed with his father’s quintet, alongside George Gruntz and Daniel Humair. In 1964 he recorded with Gato Barbieri (under the leadership of the Italian double bass player Giorgio Azzolini) and with Gruntz, with whom he remained associated into the 1990s; in 1965 he made his first recording as a leader. The following year he won first prize in the trumpet category at a competition sponsored by Friedrich Gulda, and in 1967 he appeared at the Monterey Jazz Festival as a member of his father’s quintet, captured in the film documentary Monterey Jazz Festival (1967); during the same period he earned a master’s degree in economics from the University of Basel. In ...

Article

Rick Mattingly

[Robert Lane ]

(b New Haven, CT, Dec 7, 1960). American drummer. After studying drums with Ed Blackwell and classical percussion at Yale University (graduating in 1982) he moved to New York and toured and recorded with Dave Valentin (from 1983). He recorded with Dizzy Gillespie (1984, 1988) and maintained an affiliation with the actor and singer Ruben Blades over an extended period (from 1985), during which he toured the Americas, Europe, and Japan, made numerous recordings, and appeared in the film The Return of Ruben Blades (1987); later he toured and recorded with the group Seis del Solar (from 1992), which both accompanied Blades and performed on its own. In 1986 he toured with Paquito D’Rivera, and the following year he began a long association with Kip Hanrahan, with whom he made several tours and recordings. Ameen has been in demand as a studio musician and recorded with Hilton Ruiz and the pianist Bill O’Connell (...

Article

Peter C. Muir

(b Chicago, IL, Sept 23, 1907; d Chicago, Dec 2, 1949). American jazz pianist. He was one of the most important figures in the popularization of boogie-woogie. Ammons began playing professionally as a teenager and performed in jazz bands and on the rent party circuit in Chicago. By the late 1920s he was working regularly as the pianist in several small bands, including those of Francis Moseley, William Barbee, and Louis D. Banks. It was with the last of these that he first recorded, in 1934. Around the same time Ammons formed his own six-piece band, the Rhythm Kings, with whom he recorded for Decca in 1936. A seminal event in Ammons’ career was his participation in the “From Spirituals to Swing” concert in Carnegie Hall in 1938 as a member of a boogie-woogie piano trio with Pete Johnson and Meade “Lux” Lewis (the latter had been a close friend and musical influence since childhood). There followed a series of successful solo and small band recordings for the fledgling labels Solo Art and Blue Note that consolidated his reputation among the jazz public. Ammons continued to perform and record in the 1940s and made an important series of more than 30 recordings with the Rhythm Kings for Mercury between ...

Article

Kenny Mathieson

[Eugene; Jug]

(b Chicago, IL, April 14, 1925; d Chicago, Aug 6, 1974). American jazz tenor saxophonist and bandleader, son of Albert (C.) Ammons. He studied music under Captain Walter Dyett at Du Sable High School and was influenced by Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins. After touring with the trumpeter King Kolax in 1943, he was a member of Billy Eckstine’s seminal big band from 1944 to 1947—Eckstine is said to have given him the nickname Jug, referring to his hat size—and was also a member of Woody Herman’s Second Herd in 1949. Ammons began leading his own small groups in 1947 and had a hit with “Red Top” (named after his wife) that year. In the early 1950s he co-led a popular two-tenor band with Sonny Stitt and in the early 1960s he took part in successful collaborations in a soul-jazz idiom with several organists, including Jack McDuff and Johnny Smith. He served prison sentences for drug offences (...

Article

Lori Burns and Jada Watson

[Myra Ellen]

(b Newton, NC, Aug 22, 1963). American alternative-rock singer-songwriter, pianist, and record producer. She emerged in the early 1990s amid a resurgence of female singer-songwriters and has been one of the few well known alternative-rock artists to use the piano as her primary instrument. She attended the preparatory division of the prestigious Peabody Conservatory but left the school at the age of 11. She began to play her own music in nightclubs at 14, chaperoned by her father, who was a preacher. After Amos moved to Los Angeles in her late teens to pursue a recording career, her band Y Kant Tori Read released a self-titled album (Atl., 1987). Although this was unsuccessful, Atlantic Records retained her six-album contract.

Amos’s debut solo album, Little Earthquakes (Atl., 1992), earned her critical acclaim for her vocal expressivity, pianistic virtuosity, and fearless exploration of a wide range of personal themes, notably female sexuality, personal relationships, religion, sexual violence, and coming of age. The album ...

Article

Jacques Aboucaya

(b Oran, Algeria, Oct 25, 1961). French pianist and composer. After taking lessons in classical piano he went to the USA to study at the Berklee College of Music (1981–3) and then at the Manhattan School of Music (MM composition). He appeared in the BMI Jazz Composition Workshop under the direction of Bob Brookmeyer (1984) and wrote for Mel Lewis’s orchestra. Based in New York from 1985, he worked in clubs with such musicians as Joshua Redman, Bobby Watson, Ernie Watts, and Sonny Fortune and toured Brazil with Gerry Mulligan’s quartet. In 1987 he formed a quartet with the saxophonist Tim Ries for a tour of Europe, and then in 1990 recorded his first album as a leader, with Gary Peacock and Bill Stewart as his sidemen. He composed for a Belgian chamber orchestra and for the Orchestre National de Jazz in Paris. Amsallem has continued to play with Ries, and in the course of working in both the USA and Europe he recorded with the saxophonist in a trio with Leon Parker (...

Article

Nevil Skrimshire

[William ]

(b London, Aug 20, 1911; d London, December 19, 2005). English clarinetist and saxophonist. He took up piano when he was ten and taught himself alto saxophone from the age of 13. Although he began playing professionally in Glasgow, in 1930 he moved to London. In 1931 he played with the bandleader Roy Fox, and in September of that year he joined Bert Ambrose; after changing to tenor saxophone he became a principal soloist with the band (1932). He remained with Ambrose until summer 1940, apart from a period from April to July 1939, when he was with the bandleader Jack Harris. Having joined the RAF, he played in service bands (through 1943), then worked with the bandleader Geraldo (1944 – September 1945) and again with Ambrose (October 1945 – March 1947). Amstell spent six years in the dance orchestra of the BBC, after which he was active as a session musician with such leaders as George Chisholm. He also played on cruise ships. In the 1980s and 1990s he concentrated on playing clarinet and made recordings with his own quartet (including ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(Edward )

(b Houston, Oct 11, 1927; d Los Angeles, June 5, 2002). American tenor and soprano saxophonist and leader. Published sources have given his year of birth as 1929, but the Texas birth index gives 1927, and Amy confirmed that the earlier year is correct. He learned to play clarinet as a child, took up tenor saxophone while playing in an army band, and attended Wiley College (Marshall, Texas) (1946–7), Texas Southern University (1950), and Kentucky State College (BS 1952). Later he studied television and film scoring at the University of Southern California (1968). He worked as a schoolteacher in Tennessee, performed in clubs in the Midwest, and in 1955 moved to Los Angeles, where he joined the sextet led by the rhythm-and-blues pianist Amos Milburn and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie. From 1960 to about 1967 he led groups which played hard bop, soul jazz, and modal jazz, at first with the organist Paul Bryant as his co-leader; members of these quartets, quintets, and sextets included at various times Carmell Jones, Marcus Belgrave, Dupree Bolton, Jimmy Owens, Roy Ayers, Bobby Hutcherson, Frank Strazzeri, Victor Feldman, Kenny Barron, Jimmy Bond, and Frank Butler. His group made two television appearances in ...

Article

Randi Hultin

(b Lilleström, Norway, Oct 27, 1945). Norwegian double bass player. He took up guitar at the age of 12 and changed to double bass a few years later. Having begun to play with Bjørn Johansen and others in 1964, he studied electronics (1965–8), double bass with Karel Netolicka, and the lydian chromatic concept of tonal organization with its originator, George Russell (1969). In 1967 he accompanied Karin Krog and began working in Jan Garbarek’s trios and quartets. Also from 1967 he appeared at festivals in Norway, including that at Molde, at which he was heard by Don Cherry in 1968; his first engagement outside Norway was with Cherry at the Berliner Jazztage later that year. He worked in various groups with Garbarek until 1973, and during the same period appeared at festivals in Bologna (Italy) with Russell (1969); Antibes–Juan-les-Pins (France) with Stan Getz, with whose quartet he also toured South Africa (spring ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

[Andrew; Jug]

(b Mandeville, LA, Aug 12, 1905; d ?New Orleans, late 1982 or early 1983). American trumpeter. His father played double bass with Bunk Johnson from around 1915 to 1918. Anderson moved to New Orleans around 1922 and played locally. Later he made recordings as a leader (1939, 1942), including his own composition Chant of the Tuxedos (1939, first issued on Dance New Orleans Style 1937–41, Mono 12), and at some point he performed with John Casimir’s band and on the SS Capitol with A. J. Piron. Around the early 1940s he worked with Oscar Celestin, but he was then drafted and served in the army air force (1942–5). Following his discharge Anderson led his own six-piece band, and in the early 1950s he deputized for Celestin. In Chicago he recorded with George Lewis (i) (1959–60), with whom he toured, even though he was not a regular member of Lewis’s band. From the late 1950s to the early 1970s he played and recorded with the Young Tuxedo Brass Band and the Olympia Brass Band, making a tour of Europe with the latter in ...

Article

Scott Yanow

[William Alonzo]

(b Greenville, SC, Sept 12, 1916; d Norwalk, CA, April 29, 1981). Americanjazz trumpeter. Orphaned when he was four, he grew up at the Jenkins Orphanage in South Carolina. He took up trombone at the age of seven but switched to trumpet in 1929, and learned music theory as a member of the school’s band. In 1932 Anderson and a group of students left the school and formed the Carolina Cotton Pickers. He was a member of the group until 1935, after which he had stints with the orchestras of Claude Hopkins, Doc Wheeler, Lucky Millinder, Erskine Hawkins, Lionel Hampton, and Sabby Lewis, and joined Duke Ellington in 1944. Although he left Ellington’s group in 1947, he returned to work with him again during the periods 1950–59 and 1961–71. He was subsequently based in Los Angeles, playing in the studios and with big bands led by Bill Berry and Louis Bellson. Anderson was a high note specialist, often hitting pitches in the upper register during the climax of pieces; on a recording of “Satin Doll” he made with Ellington in ...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(Elliot )

(b New York, Oct 5, 1957). American trombonist. His mother was a singer and his father was an organist. He began playing trombone at the age of seven, and later attended the High School of Music and Art and the Manhattan School of Music. His primary musical association has been with his uncle, Sonny Rollins, with whom he first worked in 1983 and collaborated regularly from 1985. He has also played in Slide Hampton’s World of Trombones, Carlos Garnett’s Cosmos Nucleus, Frank Foster’s Loud Minority, and McCoy Tyner’s big band. In addition he has recorded with Muhal Richard Abrams’s big band (1989), with Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy in Japan (1990), and with James Jabbo Ware’s We, Me and Them Orchestra (1993). Anderson plays with an assured, full tone, and draws from the style of Curtis Fuller, although he also employs pre-bop devices, such as slides and smears....

Article

Howard Rye

[Andy ]

(b Jacksonville, FL, July 1, 1910). American trumpeter. After playing in Florida with Luckey Roberts he traveled with him in September 1926 to New York, where he worked at the Nest Club with the band led first by the drummer George Howe and then by Luis Russell. He recorded occasionally with Clarence Williams (1927–9) and performed and recorded with Jelly Roll Morton (1927–8) and King Oliver (1928); his association with Oliver has sometimes led to his playing being confused with Oliver’s as an accompanist to singers. Following work with Benny Carter, Charlie Johnson, and Bingie Madison he joined the Mills Blue Rhythm Band in 1930, and between 1931 and 1934 took part in the group’s recordings. Anderson was a member of Charlie Turner’s Arcadians when the band was led by Fats Waller (1935), and later he played with Hazel Scott (...

Article

David G. Such

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Monroe, LA, March 22, 1929; d Evanston, IL, June 24, 2010). American tenor saxophonist. He took up tenor saxophone while living in Evanston, Illinois, and also studied theory; his influences were Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, and Gene Ammons, and later Ornette Coleman. Around 1962 he led a quartet which included Bill Brimfield. In 1965 he was a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in Chicago and led a number of its groups, variously involving Brimfield, Joseph Jarman, Charles Clark, and Steve McCall; he also recorded as a sideman with Jarman (1966, 1968). In 1974 he toured Europe with his own quintet, in which Douglas Ewart was a sideman. He opened his own nightclub, the Birdhouse, in Chicago in May 1977, but it was active only intermittently until it closed in June 1978. In the latter year he performed in Germany with a new group, another quintet, among the members of which were Brimfield, Ewart, and George Lewis (ii). In Germany he also recorded with the group Neighbors (...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(b Upland, CA, Oct 24, 1955). American double bass player. He studied performance at California State University, Long Beach (BM 1978), and began his career with Woody Herman (1978–9), with whom he toured Europe (October 1978). Later he played with Carmen McRae (1979–81) and the quintet of Ira Sullivan and Red Rodney (1981–6). He continued to work with Rodney’s quintet (1986–92), as well as with Michael Brecker (1989–91), Toots Thielemans (1992–6), and Joe Sample (from 1993). As a freelance he has performed with numerous small groups, including those of Randy Brecker and Eliane Elias, as well as big bands. Anderson has recorded with Bennie Wallace, Toshiko Akiyoshi’s orchestra, and Brian Lynch (all 1986), Bob Belden and Michael Brecker (both 1989), Warren Bernhardt and Joey Calderazzo (both 1990), Mike Stern (...

Article

(b Birmingham, AL, Jan 31, 1921; d Birmingham, Aug 18, 1974). American trumpeter. He attended the Los Angeles Conservatory and the Westlake College of Music, played with Tiny Bradshaw (1941), and was a member of a navy band (1942–6). From 1946 he worked as a freelance on the West Coast, and in the spring of that year he joined the Stars of Swing, a cooperative septet which included Britt Woodman, Buddy Collette, Lucky Thompson, and Charles Mingus. He performed with Benny Carter and recorded as a soloist on Collette’s album Tanganyika Jazz (1956, Dig 101); he also performed and recorded with Earl Bostic (1957) and recorded with Count Basie’s orchestra accompanying Nat “King” Cole (1958). From September 1959 to mid-January 1960 he toured and recorded with Basie; later he toured with Ray Charles. Anderson led West Coast jazz groups that involved Collette, Curtis Counce, and Woodman as sidemen, and in ...

Article

David Wild

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(Robert )

(b Chicago, Oct 16, 1952). American trombonist and leader. He grew up with George Lewis (ii) and learned trombone from the age of eight. After taking part in a summer jazz workshop sponsored by the University of Illinois he played in funk and jazz-rock groups while attending Macalester College for a year. In California he rehearsed with the free-jazz musicians Keshavan Maslak, David Murray, Charles Moffett, and Stanley Crouch, and in 1972 he moved to New York. Later he produced concerts with Maslak while rehearsing in New Haven, Connecticut, with a group that included Lewis, Anthony Davis, and others. He played with Bennie Wallace from 1974 into the 1980s. In 1977 he replaced Lewis in Anthony Braxton’s quartet and began working with Barry Altschul (to 1982), and the following year he formed what became a longstanding trio, BassDrumBone, with Mark Helias and Gerry Hemingway; he recorded with all of these groups, as well as in bands led by Hemingway and Allan Jaffe (ii) (both ...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(Patrick, III) [Wes(s); Warmdaddy]

(b New York, Nov 27, 1964). American alto saxophonist. He learned classical piano from the age of 12 but changed to alto saxophone two years later after hearing recordings by Charlie Parker; he studied privately and on the Jazzmobile with Frank Wess, Frank Foster, and Charles Davis. Following the advice of Branford and Wynton Marsalis, in 1982 he enrolled at Southern University in New Orleans, where he had lessons with Alvin Batiste. Having worked briefly with Betty Carter he joined Wynton Marsalis in 1988, playing intially in his sextet and later in his septet (until 1993), with which he may be seen in the videos Accent on the Offbeat (c1994) and Garth Fagan’s Griot New York (c1995). In addition he joined the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (early 1990s) and performed and recorded in New Orleans alongside Nicholas Payton, Peter Martin, the double bass player Christopher Thomas, and Brian Blade as a member of the New Orleans Collective (...

Article

Lars Westin

(b Eskilstuna, Sweden, May 3, 1951). Swedish tenor saxophonist and clarinetist. He began his professional career at the age of 16 as a clarinetist in a military band, and at the same time played saxophone in dance bands. Following clarinet studies at the Kungliga Musikhögskolan (Royal College of Music) in Stockholm he worked as a clarinet soloist and as a member of chamber groups and orchestras, though he continued to play jazz on the side until 1977, when he became a professional jazz tenor saxophonist. From 1978 to 1983 Andersson worked in Egil Johansen’s hard-bop sextet Jazz Inc. Thereafter he played in a variety of Swedish groups and big bands, among them the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, and made numerous recordings. He co-led a quintet with the trumpeter Bertil Lövgren and played with Bernt Rosengren in the double bass player Sture Nordin’s quintet Summit Meeting. In 2000 he was a member of a quintet led in Sweden by the expatriate South African drummer Gilbert Matthews....

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(b Manchester, CT, Nov 17, 1931; d August 26, 2003). American trombonist. After studying at the Schillinger House in Boston (1949–50) he performed and recorded with Charlie Spivak (1950–51), the Sauter–Finegan Orchestra (July 1955 – December 1956), and Woody Herman (31 December 1955 – July 1956) and recorded with Kai Winding’s septet (July 1956 – May 1958). He also composed and arranged for Winding, and he plays a solo in his own piece Nutcracker on Winding’s Trombone Sound (1956, Col. CL936). He then studied at the Manhattan School of Music (BA 1962) and began working as a studio musician in New York (from 1958), in which capacity he recorded in big bands accompanying Art Farmer (1959), Sarah Vaughan (1964), Wes Montgomery (1965–8), Chick Corea (1975), Dexter Gordon (1977), Jaco Pastorius (...