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Brian Priestley

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(Rufus)

(bCovington, GA, April 29, 1940; dNew York, Nov 14, 1992). Americantenor saxophonist and flutist. As a teenager he attended Clark College, Atlanta, where he was taught by Wayman Carver; while studying in Cleveland in the early 1960s he worked in organ trios, including that of Bill Doggett, playing a hybrid of rhythm-and-blues and jazz. He settled in New York in 1968 and from 1969 to 1973 worked with Roy Haynes, recording with him around 1972. He then played with Art Blakey, Charles Mingus (1973–6), Gil Evans (1975–8), and McCoy Tyner (1976–9), performed with Hannibal Peterson at the festival in Antibes, France (1977), and recorded with James “Blood” Ulmer (1977). In 1975, while touring Europe with Mingus’s band, he made his first recordings under his own name with some fellow sidemen; during this time Mingus’s pianists included Don Pullen and Hugh Lawson, and Dannie Richmond returned as the group’s drummer shortly after Adams joined. In ...

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Mike Hazeldine

(bNew Orleans, April 21, 1904; dNew Orleans, March 1942). Americandrummer. He first played cigar box in a spasm duo with Raymond Burke (1914). From 1923 to 1925 he was a member of Abbie Brunies’s Halfway House Orchestra, with which he made recordings in ...

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Warren Vaché Sr

(Sylvester)[Bernie]

(bAnnapolis, MD, April 15, 1905; dNew Rochelle, NY, Dec 18, 1990). Americanacoustic guitarist. He began on violin and mandolin as a child. Having moved with his family to Washington, DC, in 1920, he worked in the area as a banjoist, at one point leading a group with Claude Hopkins. In New York he performed and recorded with Louis Armstrong (1930), Benny Carter (late 1932), Fletcher Henderson (summer 1933 – April 1934), and Adelaide Hall (1934) and recorded with Jelly Roll Morton (1930), Bubber Miley (1930), and Coleman Hawkins (1933–4); it was during his association with Armstrong that the guitar became his principal instrument, and he was soon known as an excellent rhythm guitarist. He played a one-night stand at Adrian’s Tap Room as a member of a quartet with Henry “Red” Allen, Buster Bailey, and Pops Foster (late summer ...

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Rainer E. Lotz

[Rama IX Bhumibol; Phoemipol Aduldej]

(b Cambridge, MA, Dec 5, 1927). Thai clarinetist and reed player. He was brought up in the USA and in Switzerland, where he learned to play clarinet; he later mastered the whole family of reed instruments, favoring soprano saxophone. Although he is interested in early jazz he was influenced predominantly by Benny Goodman, and participated in jam sessions with Goodman and other jazz musicians who visited Thailand, notably Jack Teagarden and Lionel Hampton. He occasionally plays with his court orchestra in a swing style of the 1940s that is modified by the strong influence of traditional Thai music, but, on account of his official status as the king of Thailand, no recordings by him have been authorized for distribution. (H. Esman and V. Bronsgeest: “Een jazz king: Koning Phoemipol,” ...

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Gary W. Kennedy and Barry Kernfeld

[Wilton Jameson ]

(b New Albany, IN, July 21, 1939). American educator, publisher, record producer, and saxophonist. He performed locally from the age of 15 and while studying at Indiana University (BM 1961; MM 1962) led groups that worked in southern Indiana and Kentucky. Having taught music education at Indiana University Southeast (1967–9) and classical saxophone at the University of Louisville (1970–72), in the early 1970s he established a week-long jazz workshop (or “jazz camp”) held during the summer; by the late 1990s the workshop took place twice annually. Aebersold also presented workshops in other countries, including Australia, Germany, England, Scotland, Denmark, and Canada. In 1992 he received an honorary doctorate in music from Indiana University and began teaching jazz improvisation at the the University of Louisville.

In addition to his principal instrument, Aebersold plays piano and double bass, but he is far better known as an educator than as a performer. In ...

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André Clergeat

(b Zurich, July 27, 1939). Swiss cellist, violinist, and singer. She studied piano and violin from a very young age and played in the orchestra at the conservatory in Geneva. An encounter with Steve Lacy in Italy in the late 1960s led her to abandon classical music; the couple were married, and in 1970 they settled in Paris. Under Lacy’s counsel, as well as that of Dave Holland and Jean-François Jenny-Clark, Aebi taught herself to play cello, which became her preferred instrument in the group constituted by Lacy. She often makes use of her deep voice in the group, reciting as well as singing literary and political texts (from such authors as Lao Tzu, Guillaume Apollinaire, Herman Melville, and Brion Gysin) set to music by the saxophonist. Aebi has also performed with Kent Carter, notably in the string group Pinch with Jean-Jacques Avenel, with Takashi Kako, and with Oliver Johnson. She may be seen in the video ...

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Robert Pernet

[Josse]

(bAntwerp, Belgium, Nov 11, 1903; dKeerbergen, Belgium, Sept 9, 1973). Belgiandrummer. He first performed as a teenager in revues and minstrel acts, and in the 1920s he worked with local bands in Antwerp and Ostend. He then became a member of the big band led by Chas Remue (1929) and played with Gus Deloof (1931) and in an orchestra led by the Dutch bandleader Jack de Vries (1932). In 1936 he joined a newly formed big band led by Stan Brenders, and he worked with this group, which was the official jazz orchestra of Belgian radio, until the end of World War II. Later he played for various bandleaders, including Fud Candrix, Deloof, and Jean Omer, and worked as a freelance throughout Belgium. Among the musicians with whom he recorded were Remue (1929), Jack and Louis de Vries (...

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Barry Kernfeld

(b Brussels, June 21, 1964). Belgian double bass player. Self-taught, he first played guitar and electric bass guitar at the age of 11. He took up double bass when he was 14 and played with a dixieland band before turning to modern-jazz styles; from around the age of 18 he began to rehearse and to give concerts with Charles Loos. From the mid-1980s he performed and recorded with Félix Simtaine’s Act Big Band and accompanied such visiting soloists as Joe Lovano, Joe Henderson, Larry Schneider, Ali Ryerson, Steve Grossman, Chet Baker, Dave Kikoski, Richard Beirach, and Tom Harrell. He recorded as the leader of a trio (1994) and as a sideman with Loos (from 1987), Jacques Pelzer (1993), Steve Houben (1994), and Lew Tabackin (1996), and appeared at many European jazz festivals. In December 1996 Aerts performed in a trio with Loos and Simtaine in Shanghai, and in summer ...

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(bPittsburgh, Dec 30, 1966). Americanelectric guitarist. He took up guitar at the age of 12 and was primarily self-taught. In 1984 he moved to Los Angeles, where he played with Jack Sheldon, Dave Pike, and Pete Christlieb. From 1987 he has led a quartet, in which his sidemen have included the pianist Brian O’Rourke and Andy Simpkins (both from 1987) and Sherman Ferguson (to 1989). In 1989, when Colin Bailey joined the group, Affif settled in New York. From around 1995 he has worked steadily at the Zinc bar in a trio with Essiet Essiet and Jeff Watts. He has also performed with Dave Kikoski, Leon Parker, Michael Carvin, and Ralph Lalama. Affif plays with a reckless assertiveness that lends immediacy to his cleanly articulated lines. Sudden contrasts of fast moving lines and tuneful motifs, and sudden changes in dynamics, are characteristics of his style. His early stinging, trebly, almost rock-derived sound softened somewhat when he changed the model of his guitar in the mid-1990s....

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Val Wilmer

(Peter )

(b Cape Town, Oct 18, 1950). South African pianist, composer, and arranger. He grew up in the District Six area of Cape Town with the guitarist Russell Herman, studied music at the University of Cape Town, and played in various groups with Herman, including Oswietie, with which they toured South Africa and Angola. After joining Sipho Gumede in the funk-jazz group Spirits Rejoice he traveled along Africa’s west coast as far as Gabon, then in 1979 he settled in London. There he worked with Julian Bahula’s Jazz Africa and with Dudu Pukwana, and in 1981 he founded the trio (later, sextet) District Six with Herman and Brian Abrahams, the latter serving as the group’s leader. In 1984 Afrika performed in the USA as a member of Hugh Masekela’s group, and in 1986 he recorded with Pukwana. He led his own quartets and quintets and accompanied the singer Carmel, and during the same period he collaborated with Masekela, Courtney Pine, and the reed player David Jean-Baptiste and performed frequently as an unaccompanied soloist. In ...

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AFRS  

Howard Rye

[Armed Forces Radio Service]

Broadcasting and recording organization and record label. The organization was established in 1942 as the Radio Section of the Special Service Division of the US War Department; this title appears in full on the earliest discs issued on the label, made before the name AFRS was adopted late in 1943. The service was formed to broadcast to American military bases abroad; the recording department provided fully produced radio programs for this purpose, at first on 16-inch transcription discs, later (from the mid-1950s) on tape. The AFRS became the largest recording enterprise in history. In 1953 it was renamed the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFR&TS); it remained in operation through the 1990s.

Much of the organization’s material has consisted of copies of commercially issued recordings, which are released in such series as the Basic Music Library and the Gold Label Library. Nevertheless, some series have contained recordings of broadcasts made first on commercial radio stations or of live performances specially commissioned by the AFRS. These were particularly prevalent in the 1940s, when demand was at its peak (during World War II) and the supply of commercial material was restricted because of recording bans. Such series as Spotlight Bands, One Night Stand, GI Jive, and Command Performance embrace recordings of hundreds of live performances by jazz and big bands which form an extensive documentation of great value. Especially notable is the Jubilee series, started in ...

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Michel Laplace

(b Mercatello, Italy, April 1, 1921; d nr Paris, 1980). French drummer and teacher. He studied music under the trumpeter and conductor Georges Prêtre and the bassoonist Maurice Allard and at the conservatory in Douai under Jack Diéval. He began to play at the Cambrai Hot Club, then as a professional in Lille with Benny Vasseur and the saxophonist Georges Grenu. In ...

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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 ...

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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....