(b Newaygo, MI, July 31, 1894; d Vista, CA, Jan 16, 1974). American composer and pianist. He began to study piano at the age of five in Toledo, Ohio. By the time he was 17 he had discarded his ambitions to become a concert pianist, having become fascinated with ragtime pianists in Toledo’s red-light district, including the famous exponent of eastern ragtime Luckey Roberts. After playing professionally in cinemas and organizing a dance band, he was engaged in 1919 by the ragtime composer Charley Straight to edit, play, arrange and compose for Imperial Player Rolls. Bargy’s association with Straight led to his acquaintance with the agent Edgar Benson, who assembled a band directed by Bargy to record for Victor. Bargy later joined Isham Jones’s orchestra for two years and, in 1928, began a 12-year association with Paul Whiteman’s band, for which he is best remembered today. Later he served as conductor and arranger for Larry Ross’s radio show, and from ...
David Thomas Roberts
(b New Orleans, LA, Jan 13, 1909; d New Orleans March 13, 1994). American guitarist, banjoist, singer, composer, and writer, husband of the singer Blue Lu Barker. His great-uncle Louis Arthidore was a clarinet virtuoso who played with the Onward Brass Band and his grandfather Isidore Barbarin played alto horn; on the latter’s advice he studied clarinet (with Barney Bigard) and ukulele, banjo, and guitar (with Bernard Addison). He also learned drums with Louis and Paul Barbarin. Barker performed professionally in the 1920s in Mississippi and Florida, before moving in 1930 to New York, where he played guitar in the groups of James P. Johnson, Albert Nicholas, Sidney Bechet, and Henry “Red” Allen and in the swing orchestras of Lucky Millinder, Benny Carter, and Cab Calloway. In the 1940s he switched to six-string banjo and took part in the dixieland revival. During the same period he worked with West Indian musicians and recorded for Spotlite with Sir Charles Thompson and Charlie Parker. Before returning to New Orleans in ...
(b Beverley, May 20, 1858; d Geneva, Nov 18, 1929). English composer . He studied music with Parry, Stanford, Humperdinck and others, took the Oxford BMus in 1890, and taught the organ at the Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore. He later settled in Cambridge. He wrote three operas: Romeo and Juliet...
Robert H. Dickow
revised by Barry Kernfeld
(b Detroit, Dec 27, 1936). American trombonist, composer, and arranger, brother of Gary Barone. He grew up in Cleveland and first studied trombone with his father, who played trumpet with Bob Crosby (briefly in 1936) and many other lesser-known bands. He also learned guitar and the Schillinger method of composition. Following military service, during which he played in army bands, he moved in 1959 to Los Angeles, where he worked with Si Zentner, Louie Bellson, and Gerald Wilson and took part in recording sessions with Dave Grusin, Tom Scott, and Lalo Schifrin. He led the first big band at Donte’s from 1966 to 1969. Although after the turn of the decade he continued to record occasionally, he largely ceased performing and concentrated on composing and arranging (his works are published by Barone Music, Jenson, and H. Leonard). Barone has written and orchestrated music for several television shows and commercials and composed scores for the Grammy and Academy Award ceremonies; in the course of an association of 23 years he contributed more than 300 scores to Doc Severinsen’s “Tonight Show” big band. His large-scale orchestral piece Themes and Variations won the first annual Shelly Manne award in ...
(b La Solana, Ciudad Real, Feb 13, 1870; d Madrid, July 16, 1938). Spanish composer . The son of a carpenter, he developed musical interests while working in a piano store. He moved to Madrid with an introduction to Ruperto Chapí, who found him a place in the orchestra of the Teatro de la Zarzuela and assisted the completion of his musical studies under Valentin Arín. Barrera later became conductor at the Teatro de la Zarzuela and was a prolific exponent of the zarzuela, composing in a fluent and direct style well suited to pleasing the undemanding audiences. He is best remembered for the tenor solo ‘Granadinas’ (from Emigrantes, 1905), popularized by Tito Schipa, Miguel Fleta and others.
selective list; mostly one-act zarzuelas
(b Lisbon, July 18, 1957). Portuguese double bass player and composer. He began his musical training at the age of eight on guitar and piano and later took up double bass. After graduating from the Conservatório Nacional in Lisbon in 1979 in double bass and music theory he continued his studies in Vienna (1980–82), during which time he played with Fritz Pauer. On his return to Lisbon he joined the Radiodifusão Portuguesa Symphony Orchestra and worked with a number of Portuguese jazz groups. In 1984 he moved to Paris, where he played at the city’s leading clubs, including New Morning, Magnetic Terrasse, Petit Journal Montparnasse, La Villa, Bilbouquet, and Dunois, with artists such as Steve Grossman, Steve Potts, Barry Altschul, Aldo Romano, Hal Singer, Alain Jean-Marie, Michel Graillier, and many others. He also appeared at numerous French festivals alongside such notable musicians such as Horace Parlan, Tony Scott, Lee Konitz, Glen Ferris, and Siegfried Kessler. In ...
revised by Barry Kernfeld
[William, Jr. ]
(b Philadelphia, March 27, 1927; d Middletown, CT, Sept 21, 1989). American tenor and soprano saxophonist, composer, and teacher, brother of Kenny Barron. He first studied piano with his mother from the age of nine, but four years later changed to soprano saxophone and then to the tenor instrument. At the age of 17 he toured with the Carolina Cotton Pickers, after which he served as a musician in the army (1943–6), where his fellow bandsmen included Randy Weston and Ernie Henry. He then played tenor saxophone in Philadelphia with Red Garland, Jimmy Heath, and Philly Joe Jones; Dexter Gordon influenced his early style. In 1958 he moved to New York. There he performed and in 1959 recorded with Cecil Taylor, recorded with Jones in 1959–60, and co-led the group the Barron Brothers; he also formed a group with Ted Curson which in 1964 toured Europe, where it frequently broadcast on radio and television and recorded in Paris. He appeared with Taylor’s free-jazz group at the Newport Jazz Festival in ...
revised by Barry Kernfeld
(b Philadelphia, June 9, 1943). American pianist, composer, leader, and teacher, brother of Bill Barron. He learned piano from the age of 12 and with the help of his brother secured an engagement when he was 15 with a rhythm-and-blues orchestra led by Mel Melvin; while in high school he also played double bass and tuba. Having worked with Philly Joe Jones (1959) and Jimmy Heath, and in Detroit with Yusef Lateef (1960), in 1961 he moved to New York and began appearing regularly at the Five Spot with James Moody, on whose recommendation he was engaged by Dizzy Gillespie; from 1962 to 1966 he toured Europe and North America with Gillespie. Barron then played briefly with Stanley Turrentine and was a member of several groups led by Freddie Hubbard (1967–9); by 1970 his compositions had been recorded by Gillespie, Hubbard, and Moody. He was again with Lateef from ...
(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 (...
Lesley A. Wright
( b Bayonne, France, June 7, 1828; d Asnières-sur-Seine, France, Aug 13, 1898). French composer, pianist, and teacher . After studying with Leborne, he won the Prix de Rome in 1854. The music section of the Académie praised his envoi, the French opera Don Carlos (1857), for its craftsmanship, fine orchestration, and strong sense of the stage, and in 1858 they awarded him the Prix Édouard Rodrigues for his oratorio Judith, over the only other competitor, Bizet. That year Barthe married mezzo-soprano Anna Banderali.
The Théâtre-Lyrique opened a competition in 1864 on Jules Adenis’s libretto La fiancée d’Abydos, for Prix de Rome winners whose work had not yet reached the stage. Barthe was the unanimous choice of the jury, above Émile Paladilhe and three others. Extensive changes were made during rehearsal and the première took place on 30 December 1865. Critics were largely positive, though they noted resemblances to Meyerbeer, Félicien David, Gounod, and others, and found the libretto somewhat tedious. After a respectable 21 performances (in Paris and Bayonne) the work disappeared from the repertory....
(b St. Denis, France, Aug 22, 1956). French guitarist and composer. He took up guitar at the age of 14 and began playing contemporary music. After meeting Michel Portal in 1978 he joined several versions of Portal’s group Unit. The following year he played with Portal and Jean-François Jenny-Clark on Aldo Romano’s album Il piacere and made his first recordings as a leader. He played in a trio with Gérard Marais and Stu Martin (1979), was a member of Marais’ Big Band de Guitares (from 1982), formed a trio with the double bass player Jean-Luc Ponthieux and the drummer and singer Jacques Mahieux, and became the bass player and arranger in Jean-Marc Padovani’s quartet (1982) and the guitarist and bass player in the Nouvel Orchestra Philharmonique. In 1986 he created a work for brass quintet, musical sculptures, and jazz quartet, and in 1987...
(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 ...
(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 (...
(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 ...
Frederick A. Beck
(b Atlanta, Oct 3, 1907; d New York, Feb 6, 1977). American trumpeter, arranger, and composer. He began playing trumpet at the age of eight. While studying at Morris Brown College he formed the Dixie Serenaders, and later he led the Dixie Ramblers in Atlanta, as well as playing with other leaders. He worked with Andy Kirk (1930), Blanche Calloway (1931), his own band (1933), Sam Wooding and Benny Carter (1934), and Alex Hill (1934); with Willie Bryant (1935–6) he played trumpet, valve trombone, and alto saxophone. In 1936 Battle performed on radio broadcasts of the revue George White’s Scandals. He led his own band in 1937, but then stopped playing to devote his time to composition and writing arrangements. He wrote pieces for Cab Calloway, Paul Whiteman, Fats Waller, Earl Hines, Count Basie, Jack Teagarden, and Louis Prima, among others; his compositions include ...
(b Algiers, Feb 14, 1941). French pianist, arranger, leader, and musicologist. He discovered jazz following a period of classical piano studies. In 1962 he moved to Paris and performed in amateur bands, and in 1966 he became a professional musician. As house pianist at the Jazz O’Maniac he accompanied Albert Nicholas, Bill Coleman (1971–2), and Benny Waters (1971–3), as well as Benny Carter, Jo Jones, Illinois Jacquet, Buddy Tate, Slam Stewart, Stephane Grappelli, Vic Dickenson, Cat Anderson, and others. From 1976 to 1979 he was co-director, with Marc Richard, of the Anachronic Jazz Band, which aimed to present modern jazz themes with a traditional New Orleans jazz orchestration, as may be heard on Anachronic Jazz Band, i–ii (1976, 1978, Open 02, 09). From 1979 to 1983 he led the Happy Feet Quintet, with which he recorded the album Happy Feet and Friends (...
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, ...
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 ...
(b Cherolles, March 17, 1796; d Paris, Feb 19, 1853). French librettist and dramatist . An obscure but representative figure among the large number of librettists in Paris in the first half of the 19th century, he belonged to the group of writers around Scribe (sneeringly described by Wagner as ‘die Scribefabrik’). He began by writing one-act opéras comiques and in his last years wrote for the Opéra. Only one of the texts he participated in has survived, that for Donizetti’s La fille du régiment; the other eight opera and opéra comique texts that he may be securely identified with – all joint efforts – have receded into obscurity. His works for the spoken stage seem to have been equally ephemeral.La médecine sans médecin (oc, with E. Scribe), F. Hérold, 1832; Alda (oc, with P. Duport), A. Thys, 1835; Le remplaçant (oc, with Scribe), D.-A. Batton, 1837; La fille du régiment...
(b 1837; d at sea, Oct 4, 1900). English librettist and translator . He wrote the librettos for Isidore de Lara’s The Light of Asia (‘a sacred legend’) and Leonhard Emil Bach’s Irmengarda, both produced without success at Covent Garden in 1892, and was the author of the English version of ...