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Gary Carner

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(Marcelo)

(bResistencia, Argentina, Feb 20, 1909; dBuenos Aires, Oct 10, 1980). Argentineguitarist. He first danced in the folk troupe of his father, the guitarist Jorge Alemán Moreira, but when he was ten his father died. Self-taught, he took up cavaquinho (a four-stringed Brazilian ukulele) and guitar, and in 1924 formed a guitar duo with Gastón Bueno Lobo. In 1929 the dancer Harry Flemming engaged the duo (known as Les Loups) to play in Spain. By 1931 Alemán was in Paris leading the Baker Boys, who accompanied the popular singer Josephine Baker; he then played regularly with Freddy Taylor’s Swing Men from Harlem (1933–5) and led a band with Frank “Big Boy” Goudie at Le Chantilly. Late in 1940 Alemán returned to Buenos Aires, where he formed his Quinteto de Swing (with violin, rhythm guitar, bass, and drums; 1940s) and Orcuesta (with clarinet, three violins, and rhythm section; 1950s). Little is known of his work during the 1960s. In his final decade he experienced somewhat of a rediscovery and worked steadily until his death....

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[Alessandrini, Anthony Victor]

(bGarfield, NJ, Aug 28, 1921; dNew York, Sept 1985). Americanpianist and leader. The first edition of this dictionary gave his birthdate as 22 August (as in Feather’s The Encyclopedia of Jazz), but his social security application gives 28 August. He played with Bunny Berigan (c1938) and performed and recorded with the bandleader Teddy Powell (1941–2). After serving in the army he appeared briefly with Charlie Spivak and played and recorded with Woody Herman (1945 – March 1946). He taught jazz at the short-lived New York Conservatory of Modern Music (1946–9) and played in Chubby Jackson's small groups (1946–7); he also spent a brief period with Jackson in a small group under Charlie Ventura’s leadership (1947). Aless recorded with Georgie Auld (1945), Flip Phillips (1945), Jackson (1945, 1947...

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Howard Rye

[Charles Wesley]

(bCincinnati, May 29, 1890; dLos Angeles, Feb 4, 1970). Americanpianist. The year of his birth had been estimated as 1904, but the combination of a birthplace of Cincinnati (given by zur Heide, 1977) and the middle initial W. (in a musicians’ union report of 1932) suggests that he is almost certainly the Charles Wesley Alexander whose social security application gives 29 May 1890. He studied music and played in theater orchestras in Cincinnati. After moving to Chicago he was house pianist at Kelly’s Stables at least from 1924 to 1928. He worked there with Johnny and Baby Dodds and Freddie Keppard, among others, and in 1927–8 made a number of recordings under Johnny Dodds’s leadership, including Blue Piano Stomp (1928, Vic. 21554). In spring 1931 he joined Louis Armstrong’s big band, with which he may be seen and heard in the short films ...

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Gary W. Kennedy

(Wells )

(b Galesburg, IL, Aug 4, 1968). American tenor saxophonist. His family moved to Olympia, Washington, when he was 14, and he began studying classical saxophone shortly afterwards. He attended Indiana University (1986–7), then transferred to the jazz studies program at William Paterson College, Wayne, New Jersey, under Rufus Reid and Harold Mabern (1987–90). After graduating he spent six months in New York before moving to Chicago, where he performed locally and worked with Von Freeman and Mabern (1990–92). In 1991 he was placed second, behind Joshua Redman, at the Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition and began working regularly with Charles Earland. The following year he recorded in Chicago and moved back to New York, where he studied with George Coleman. In 1993 he began playing with Ralph Lalama and Tad Shull in the recording group Tenor Triangle (on the Criss Cross label), and also worked with Cecil Payne and as a freelance. In ...

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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 ...

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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 (...

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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 ...

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Marty Hatch

[Nelson [née Turner], Dolorez Alexandria]

(bChicago, Aug 14, 1929; dGardena, CA, May 22, 2001). Americansinger. She grew up in a musical family, and sang gospel music at churches during the 1940s and early 1950s; she was also a member of a choral group that performed spirituals, jubilee music, comedy numbers, and other secular songs, which influenced her subsequent choice of repertory as a soloist. Later she sang at clubs in Chicago with the pianist King Fleming and others, and recorded four albums (1957–9). She performed with Ramsey Lewis in 1958 during an engagement at the Cloister which lasted seven months. Thereafter Alexandria began to concentrate on mainstream jazz and popular music; she recorded six albums in the early 1960s, using such sidemen as Lewis’s trio and members of Count Basie’s orchestra (1960), Howard McGhee (1962), and Wynton Kelly’s trio (1964). After moving to Los Angeles in ...

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Michael Ullman, Barry Kernfeld, Gary W. Kennedy and Steve Smith

Family of musicians.

(b Philadelphia, July 1, 1935; d New York, Aug 12, 2009). Drummer, brother of (2) Muhammad Ali and father of (3) Amin Ali. Together with his brother, he followed his father, when the latter became a Muslim, in changing his surname from Patterson to Ali. Earlier his family was active in a Baptist church choir; several of them studied piano, and his mother sang with Jimmie Lunceford’s orchestra. Somewhat unwillingly, he had lessons in voice and piano before taking up conga drum at the age of nine. He enlisted in the army, where he received training as a percussionist (1952–5) and began playing on a drum set, then studied in Philadelphia at the Granoff School. After working with various rhythm-and-blues bands, and occasionally with jazz musicians, including the Heath brothers, McCoy Tyner, Lee Morgan, Don Patterson, and Jimmy Smith, in 1963 he moved to New York, where he performed with Pharoah Sanders and Don Cherry, Paul Bley, Bill Dixon, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler (as second drummer to Sunny Murray, briefly in ...

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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 ...

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[Liza Mae]

(bChicago, Aug 31, 1904). Americansinger. Based in Chicago, she worked as a cabaret artist with Jimmie Noone (c1922), Carroll Dickerson (at the Sunset Cafe), and in a duo with Ollie Powers. She recorded two titles with Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five – Big Butter and Egg Man...

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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 ...

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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, ...

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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 (...

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(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 ...

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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....

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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 ...