101-120 of 142 results  for:

  • Instrumentalist x
  • Aerophones (Blown Instruments) x
Clear all

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(b Fort Worth, TX, May 17, 1931; d Brooklyn, NY, Sept 2, 2006). American jazz tenor saxophonist and musette player, father of joshua Redman . He studied clarinet from the age of 13, later turning to alto saxophone and finally changing to tenor at Prairie View (Texas) Agricultural and Mechanical University (BS 1953). From 1956 to 1960 he taught school while attending North Texas State University (MA, education) and playing professionally. From 1967 to late 1974 he was part of Ornette Coleman’s group in New York; he also played in Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra (1969) and Keith Jarrett’s combo (1971–6) and led his own groups. During these years Redman contributed to free jazz a startling manner of vocalizing through and together with his saxophone. He also adopted the musette as his second instrument. With former Coleman sidemen Don Cherry, Haden, and Ed Blackwell he formed the group Old and New Dreams in ...

Article

Daniel John Carroll

(b Berkeley, CA, Feb 1, 1969). American jazz tenor saxophonist and bandleader. He played clarinet and alto saxophone in his early years and was exposed to a variety of musical genres from Western classical to jazz to indigenous Eastern styles. Excelling academically as well as musically, he graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University in 1991, the same year he won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. He subsequently declined an offer to attend law school at Yale University so he could pursue a musical career in New York, where he started working with Peter Bernstein, Roy Hargrove, and Mark Turner. In 1993 he signed with Warner Bros. Records and recorded Joshua Redman (1993), Wish (1993), Spirit of the Moment: Live at the Village Vanguard (1995), Freedom in the Groove (1996), Timeless Tales (for Changing Times) (1998...

Article

(b El Reno, OK, Sept 25, 1923; d Orlando, FL, Dec 26, 2011). American jazz reed player and composer. Rivers’s parents were gospel musicians, and his grandfather was a music scholar. He grew up in Chicago and Little Rock, Arkansas, studying piano, reeds, and trombone. After attending Jarvis Christian College and serving in the Navy, he enrolled in the Boston Conservatory (1947–53). In Boston, Rivers played with Herb Pomeroy, Quincy Jones, Charlie Mariano, and Joe Gordon. From 1955–7 he toured with R&B bands in Florida and with Billie Holiday before returning to Boston in 1958, where he played with Hal Galper and Tony Williams.

Rivers moved to New York in 1964 and worked briefly with Miles Davis (Miles in Tokyo, 1964) before signing with Blue Note and releasing Fuchsia Swing Song (1964), Contours (1965), and A New Conception (1966...

Article

Yoko Suzuki

(b New York, NY, Feb 23, 1963). American jazz and classical tuba player. Growing up in a Puerto Rican family in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Rojas was familiar with the music of Eddie Palmieri and Willie Colón. Other early musical influences included uncles who performed on percussion and the trombone. He started to play the trombone in elementary school and switched to the tuba in junior high school. Strongly encouraged by a band director at his junior high school, he was accepted into New York’s High School of Music and Art. Subsequently, he continued his tuba training at the New England Conservatory, where he met trumpeter Frank London and joined his group, Les Miserables Brass Band. After graduation, he moved back to New York and started to work with a wide variety of musicians in different settings, including bassist Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, composer-saxophonist Henry Threadgill’s Very Very Circus, trumpeter Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, and the Metropolitan Opera. Working in Threadgill’s band, which included two tubas, allowed him the freedom to play melodies in the upper register. He has developed nontraditional techniques for tuba playing, such as using the instrument’s body as percussion. In recent years, as an instrumental part of the New York experimental jazz and creative music scene, he has performed with groups including saxophonist Tony Malaby’s Tuba Trio, saxophonist Michael Blake’s Hellbent, and trumpeter Dave Douglas’s Nomad. He has taught and given master classes at New York University, SUNY Purchase, and Brooklyn College....

Article

John Chilton

(b New York, NY, June 28, 1903; d Homestead, FL, May 15, 1956). American jazz bass saxophonist and vibraphonist. He was originally a pianist and xylophone player, and worked from 1922 to 1927 with the California Ramblers, with whom he made hundreds of recordings. While with this band he bought his first bass saxophone, and specialized on this instrument throughout the 1920s and early 1930s; he also provoked admiring astonishment among fellow musicians by playing jazz on novelty instruments such as the “hot fountain pen” and the “goofus” (an instrument resembling a toy saxophone and made by Couesnon in France during the 1920s). In these years he became one of the first outstanding white jazz musicians; his adept improvisations on the unusually cumbersome bass saxophone were melodically inventive and possessed rhythmic vitality and swing. He is best remembered for his series of recordings with Bix Beiderbecke, wherein he displays considerable adroitness, both in the improvised ensembles and in his solos. During the 1930s he began to concentrate on playing vibraphone; he never rose above competence on that instrument, however, whereas in his by then rare performances on bass saxophone he still showed mastery. The last years of his life were spent mainly playing commercial engagements in Florida. His brother Art Rollini was a tenor saxophonist with Benny Goodman’s band....

Article

David Wright

(Ariah )

(b Brooklyn, NY, March 15, 1933; d New York, NY, Feb 10, 2000). American oboist, teacher, and composer. He first studied recorder and flute, then switched to the oboe at the age of 12 to fill a school orchestra vacancy. His oboe teachers were Abe Klotzman at the High School of Music and Art, Lois Wann at the Henry Street Settlement, and harold Gomberg . He studied composition under Elliott Carter and karol Rathaus at Queens College, CUNY (BA 1950), and privately with ben Weber . In 1973 he began teaching oboe and chamber music at the Juilliard School; he was appointed adjunct professor at Yale University in 1975. Other teaching positions and residencies included SUNY, Stony Brook, the Aspen Music Festival, the Mannes College, and the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College. He appeared frequently as a solo recitalist or guest artist, but is best known as principal oboist of several highly regarded chamber ensembles, including the ...

Article

Michael Baumgartner

[Charles ]

(b Washington, DC, April 6, 1924; d Seattle, WA, Nov 30, 1988). American tenor saxophonist. He first studied clarinet and later alto saxophone in high school before devoting himself entirely to tenor saxophone. His professional career began in Billy Eckstine’s big band in June 1944. A year later he joined Dizzy Gillespie’s big band and participated in jam sessions with Thelonious Monk. Later in the 1940s he was associated with a rhythm-and-blues band in the Washington and New York areas, before he was a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra (June 1949 to spring 1950) and Count Basie’s octet (1950). In the 1950s he played and recorded with Clifford Brown (1953), Bennie Green (1955), Oscar Pettiford’s sextet (c1955), and Paul Quinichette (1958), before co-leading with Julius Watkins Les Modes (1956–9, later renamed the Jazz Modes). Having briefly worked with Buddy Rich and Gerry Mulligan, he began a long affiliation with Thelonious Monk in ...

Article

William Kirk Bares

(Hopkins )

(b Sharon, CT, Nov 17, 1935). American trombonist, ethnomusicologist, and composer. A well regarded jazz soloist, he is perhaps best known as a musical collaborator with ecumenical tastes. Strongly influenced by New Orleans jazz at a young age and seasoned by work in traditional jazz bands as a student at Yale, he transitioned easily to the collective free improvisation scenes of 1960s and 70s New York. Early partners included Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy, Sheila Jordan, Enrico Rava, Carla Bley, John Tchicai, and Milford Graves; he worked with the last two in the New York Art Quartet. The open spirit of his early work is preserved on Archie Shepp’s Four for Trane (1964, Imp.), to which he contributed adventurous arrangements, and his own eclectic Blown Bone (1976, Phillips), which features several of the above artists.

Rudd’s subsequent collaborations have extended his longtime interest in non-Western music. He has carried out research for Alan Lomax’s cantometrics project (from early 1980s) and taught ethnomusicology at Bard College (...

Article

Cathy Ragland

[Domingo ]

(b Marion, TX, May 29, 1936). American accordionist, singer, and songwriter. Texas-Mexican musician Domingo “Mingo” Saldívar is from a musical family and learned traditional ballads and folk songs from his mother. By age 11 he played guitar and accordion. In the 1950s and 60s he played in Los Guadalupanos and Los Caminantes during which time he wrote his first hit song, “Andan diciendo” (“People are talking”). He spent some years in the military and in Alaska where he worked for relatives who owned a restaurant, often playing and singing for customers. In 1975 he formed Los Tremendos Cuatro Espadas (“the four tremendous swordsmen”) and settled in San Antonio, Texas. Saldívar, a fan of the blues and country music, is known for his bilingual interpretation of the Johnny Cash classic “Ring of Fire” (“Rueda de fuego”), which appeared on his popular 1992 Rounder Records recording I love my freedom, I love my Texas...

Article

A. Scott Currie

[Farrell ]

(b Little Rock, AR, Oct 14, 1940). American jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist. He began working locally as a rhythm-and-blues saxophonist in high school and soon moved—first to Oakland, California, in 1959, then to New York in 1962—to pursue a professional career in jazz. In 1964 he made his debut with Sun Ra (who gave him the name “Pharoah”) then joined John Coltrane’s working group in 1965 and was featured on Coltrane’s landmark late-period recordings. His impassioned free playing—with extended improvised passages of harrowing altissimo cries and smears—and transcendental spirituality during this period helped define the “energy-music” aesthetic, and made him something of a lightning rod for critical acclaim and approbation in the era’s polarized journalistic polemics. After Coltrane’s death Sanders went on to make several important recordings with Don Cherry as well as with the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra. He released his first album as a leader in ...

Article

George Gelles

(b New York, NY, March 15, 1915; d Haverford, PA, Feb 25, 1999). American bassoonist. He began to study piano at the age of five and bassoon five years later. He was a student of Simon Kovar. After obtaining his degree at the Juilliard School at 17, he became staff bassoonist with the CBS orchestra. He joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as first bassoonist in ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

[Sciacca, Anthony ]

(b Morristown, NJ, June 17, 1921; d Rome, Italy, March 28, 2007). American jazz clarinetist. While studying at the Institute of Musical Art he performed in jam sessions at Minton’s Playhouse (from 1941) and became skilled in the emerging bop style, which, however, offered little work for clarinetists. After serving in the US Army from 1942 to 1945 he played his preferred instrument in numerous short-lived combos. Just as often he worked as a saxophonist in big bands (notably with Duke Ellington in early 1953), an arranger (for Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and others), a pianist, or music director (for Harry Belafonte in 1955)— activities that only further whetted his appetite for bop jam sessions. Following a successful tour of Europe and South Africa in 1957 he traveled extensively from 1959 to 1965 throughout the Far East, where he combined his impassioned playing with the sounds of Indonesian, East Asian, and Indian musics. He returned to the United States briefly to work in nightclubs, but in the late 1960s settled in Italy, after which he performed and recorded principally in Europe, either as a soloist or in small groups....

Article

John Chilton

[Charles James ]

(b New York, NY, Aug 3, 1917; d New York, NY, July 8, 1971). American jazz trumpeter and arranger. At the age of 19 he made a sensational impact on the New York jazz scene with his playing in the John Kirby Sextet (1937–44), for which he also provided many ingenious arrangements. For the next 11 years Shavers often worked in a big band led by Tommy Dorsey, where he was featured in spectacular arrangements that displayed both his jazz talents and his bravura approach; he also occasionally sang. He played in a wide variety of studio bands, but spent the last years of his life playing mainly in small groups, continuing to display an astonishing versatility. He was also a gifted pianist and banjo player.

Shavers was originally influenced by Roy Eldridge, but he soon developed a bold individualism that radiated confidence and good humor. He was a well schooled musician who displayed remarkable technical fluency and was able to harness this skill in his agile improvisations, which were particularly noteworthy for their wide dynamic range. He was one of the first jazz trumpeters to improvise long lines in the altissimo register with complete control; these high-note excursions did not diminish his flexibility or the warmth of his low notes. He wrote several deft jazz compositions, notably the enduring “Undecided,” popularized by Benny Goodman....

Article

Barry Kernfeld

(Herman )

(b Laurinburg, NC, Dec 24, 1944; d New York, NY, May 10, 1989). American jazz trumpeter. He grew up in Newark, New Jersey, and began to play trumpet at the age of 11. In 1963, after many local professional jobs, he worked for Willie Bobo (with Chick Corea and Joe Farrell); for the rest of the decade he performed in the United States and Europe as a sideman with Corea, Eric Dolphy, Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke, Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner, Jackie McLean, Andrew Hill, and others. In 1970 he formed a quintet with Joe Henderson. He joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (1971–2), then settled in San Francisco, where he was co-leader of a group with Bobby Hutcherson. He returned to New York and in 1975 joined the Louis Hayes–Junior Cook Quintet, which became, after Cook’s departure, the Woody Shaw–Louis Hayes Quintet. Dexter Gordon adopted the band (without the saxophonist René McLean) for his acclaimed homecoming performances in ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

[John Haley ]

(b Inglewood, CA, Oct 29, 1925; d New York, NY, March 23, 1985). American jazz tenor saxophonist. He toured professionally from the age of 15, and in 1943 began the first of many engagements with Benny Goodman which were to take him to the USSR in 1962, Australia in 1973, and Europe on numerous occasions. His final concert with Goodman was staged in 1979. From 1947 to 1949 he was a member of the famous saxophone section in Woody Herman’s big band known as the “Four Brothers,” then in 1953 joined Stan Kenton. He was a sideman in Gerry Mulligan’s combos (1954–6) before playing as a soloist in Mulligan’s Concert Jazz Band (1960). From 1957 he also regularly led quintets with Al Cohn, who had previously been a member of Herman’s band. Sims was traditional in outlook and tireless in his playing. He preferred to improvise with a conventional rhythm section of piano, double bass, and drums, a format he retained when working with local musicians in major cities from the late 1960s until his death. His exuberant, driving sense of swing may be heard on a series of excellent recordings made in the 1970s....

Article

Chris Albertson

[Cladys ]

(b Pembroke, GA, Dec 24, 1908; d New York, NY, Jan 16, 1991). American jazz trumpeter, valve trombonist, and singer. Sent by his mother to the Jenkins Orphanage in Charleston South Carolina at age six, he learned to play trombone at ten and made fund-raising tours with one of the orphanage’s brass bands. Around 1925 he was given nine dollars and sent home to his mother, but went to his sister in Philadelphia and on to Atlantic City, where bandleader Charlie Johnson hired him and eventually brought him to New York’s Small’s Paradise. He replaced Bubber Miley on a 1927 Duke Ellington recording session, declined an invitation to stay in the orchestra, and accepted a job with James P. Johnson’s and Fats Waller’s Broadway show Keep Shufflin’. When the show disbanded in Chicago at the end of 1928, Smith remained and found ample work. An imaginative trumpeter with a fiery style, he was often likened to Louis Armstrong, which prompted producer Mayo Williams to have him form a quintet that could be the Brunswick label’s answer to Armstrong’s popular Hot Five recordings. The Rhythm Aces recorded 20 selections and sales were disappointing, but these performances would, with time, establish his importance to the evolution of jazz trumpet style. Roy Eldridge, who cited Smith as a vital influence, would later serve as an inspiration to Dizzy Gillespie....

Article

Chris Albertson

[Joseph ]

(b Ripley, OH, June 28, 1902; d New York, NY, Dec 2, 1937). American jazz musician. His father led a Cincinnati brass band and taught his six sons to play trumpet. Joe Smith played with local bands, as well as his father’s, and left town with a traveling show while in his late teens. Around 1920, after being stranded in Pittsburgh, he made his way to New York where he worked briefly with drummer Kaiser Marshall at a midtown dancing school before returning to local club work in Pittsburgh. He joined Fletcher Henderson’s Black Swan Jazz Masters on an early 1922 tour accompanying Ethel Waters and went to California with Mamie Smith until early 1923, replacing Johnny Dunn, an early influence whose style he sometimes mimicked on stage. Between 1924 and 1927 Smith and Henderson accompanied several blues singers, most notably Bessie Smith, who rated him higher than Louis Armstrong. Smith toured as featured soloist in Sissle and Blake’s ...

Article

John L. Clark Jr.

(b Chattanooga, TN, 2 June ?1900; d New York, NY, May 30, 1956). American singer, trumpeter, and dancer. Daughter of a mixed-race couple who were both entertainers and musicians, she learned several instruments before deciding to concentrate on trumpet. By the 1920s she was touring the T.O.B.A. circuit with various revues, and in 1926 she visited Shanghai. In 1935, her performance in Blackbirds of 1934 brought her to England, where she began making records that showed her chief instrumental and vocal influence to be Louis Armstrong. After a brief return in 1936 to the United States, where she performed with Earl Hines in Chicago and made films in Hollywood, Snow moved to Europe, where she made more films and recordings. She was incarcerated in a Nazi concentration camp in Denmark in 1940 and was badly injured before being exchanged in 1943. After a recuperation period she continued touring and recording until her death during a comeback appearance at the Palace Theatre. Snow stands out from other women performers of her time in that she was known as much as an instrumentalist as a singer. Her extensive touring probably cost her the name recognition that professional stability might have brought, but her recordings show her to have been a fine, swing-influenced trumpeter and vocalist....

Article

J.R. Taylor

[Francis Joseph ]

(b Chicago, IL, Nov 9, 1901; d Sausalito, CA, Feb 12, 1967). American jazz cornetist. He played cornet from the age of 13, and began his professional career in 1920 with Elmer Schoebel’s band. He was first recorded in 1924, and performed with several Chicago dance bands until 1929, when he became an important member of Ted Lewis’s orchestra. In 1936 he joined Ben Pollack’s group, but serious illness, partly the effect of alcoholism, forced him to leave in 1938. On his recovery in 1939 he organized his Ragtime Band, an eight-instrument Dixieland group with Georg Brunis (trombone) and Rod Cless (clarinet); the band made a series of 16 recordings which contributed substantially to the New Orleans revival of the 1940s. The group performed in Chicago and New York but disbanded after failing to garner commercial success. Spanier briefly rejoined Lewis, and then played in Bob Crosby’s Dixieland-oriented big band (...

Article

Danilo Mezzadri

(b Niagara Falls, NY, June 28, 1943). American flutist. Spencer graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory (1965), where she studied with Robert Willoughby. She continued her studies in flute with Marcel Moyse, john Wummer , and josef Marx . A passionate flutist, she has demonstrated an especially strong commitment to new music, premiering pieces by Harvey Sollberger, Elliott Carter, Shulamit Ran, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, among others. As a member of the acclaimed Da Capo Chamber Music Players she has played on many first recordings of contemporary chamber works. Numerous composers have dedicated pieces to Spencer, including Joan Tower, Thea Musgrave, Judith Shatin, and Shirish Korde. Including her projects with the Da Capo Chamber Players, Spencer has commissioned more than 150 solo, duo, and chamber works for flute. In recognition of her dedicated work she has received awards from the NEA, Mary Flagler Cary Trust, and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. She has taught flute and chamber music at Bard College Conservatory of Music (New York) and at Hofstra University (New York)....