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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 ...

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Howard Mandel

Free-jazz trio. In 1971 the alto saxophonist Henry Threadgill was asked to arrange music by the ragtime composer Scott Joplin for a theater production at Columbia College, Chicago; with the drummer Steve McCall and the double bass player Fred Hopkins he formed a cooperative trio called Reflection to perform the material (which was eventually recorded in 1979, on the trio’s seventh album). Reflection broke up in 1972, but when McCall returned in 1975 from a period in Europe it was re-formed in New York under the name Air. The trio recorded its first album that year and later toured Europe, Japan, and the USA; by 1986 it had made 11 recordings. During the 1980s McCall was replaced first by Pheeroan akLaff (1982) and then by Andrew Cyrille (by 1985), and the group re-formed again as New Air, under which name akLaff recorded with it in 1986. It then disbanded. Threadgill, who composed most of the group’s repertory, performed in ...

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Ajax  

Howard Rye

Record company and label. The company was established by the Compo Company of Lachine, Canada, which marketed records through its subsidiary, the Ajax Record Company of Chicago. Although the label name was registered as a trademark in 1921, issue is not thought to have begun until October 1923; it ceased in the summer of 1925. The label was used to put out race records, most of which were made in New York; a few, however, were recorded in the company’s studios in Montreal and some were leased from Pathé and Plaza. The recordings provide important evidence of the jazz and vaudeville blues styles prevalent in New York at the time.

W. C. Allen: “Discomania, 53: Ajax,” JJ, 9 (1956), no.7, p.56; no.8, p.30; x (1957), no.7, p.8; no.10, p.29; xi/3 (1958), 7C. Kendziora: “Behind the Cobwebs: Ajax,” Record Research, no.74 (1966), 6R. M. W. Dixon and J. Godrich...

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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 ...

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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).

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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 (...

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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 (...

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Alyn Shipton

In 

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Alacra  

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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. ...

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Steven Strunk

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Emmanuel]

(bSamaná, Dominican Republic, June 24, 1922; dCroton, NY, October 2, 2001). Americanarranger and composer. He was brought up in New York, where he first played (usually baritone saxophone) and wrote arrangements for Don Joseph (1940), Muggsy Spanier (1941), Bob Chester (1942), Georgie Auld (1942–5), Charlie Spivak, and Boyd Raeburn (1943–5). Following army service (1945–6) he undertook similar work for Sam Donahue (1947), Charlie Barnet (1948–9), Jerry Wald (1949), and others. In 1951 he gave up playing to concentrate on arranging and composing. He achieved considerable success during the 1950s and 1960s with several albums recorded as the director of his own studio bands and also with his arrangements for prominent jazz musicians, including leaders of small groups (Terry Gibbs, Hal McKusick, Gerry Mulligan, Dizzy Gillespie, Al Cohn, and Stan Getz), and big bands (Count Basie, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich) as well as singers (Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Dakota Staton). From ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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(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 (...

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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 (...

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