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(bLaCrosse, WI, July 25, 1905). Americansaxophonist and clarinetist. In 1926 he went to New York with Lloyd Scott’s band and the following year he performed and recorded there with Scott and his brother Cecil. He then joined Leon Abbey, with whom he traveled to Europe and made recordings in England (1928), but these were not issued. Allen remained in Europe, toured with Louis Armstrong (making another visit to Britain, 1932), played and recorded in Paris with Freddy Taylor (1935), and worked in India with Abbey (1936); he also arranged music and led his own band for long periods. In 1938 he made recordings in Paris as a leader (including Fletcher’s Stomp, Swing 29) and with Benny Carter and Willie Lewis. After a trip to Egypt with the Harlem Rhythmakers late in 1938 he returned in 1940 to the USA. He took up baritone saxophone in the late 1940s and recorded on the instrument in ...

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[Sufana, Eugene]

(bEast Chicago, IN, Dec 5, 1928). Americanbaritone saxophonist and bass clarinetist. He studied piano and clarinet from the age of eight. He played with Louis Prima (1944–7) and Tex Beneke (1951–3), performed and recorded with Claude Thornhill (1949–50), the Sauter–Finegan Orchestra (at intervals from 1953 to 1961), and Tommy Dorsey’s last orchestra, and toured and recorded with Benny Goodman (performing in Europe in 1958 and the USSR in 1962) and Gerry Mulligan (1957, 1960–62). Allen worked principally as a baritone saxophonist in big bands, including one that accompanied Thelonious Monk in concert in 1963. He also recorded with Hal McKusick (1956), Manny Albam (1958, 1961–2), Bob Brookmeyer (1959, 1961), Woody Herman (1959, 1962), Urbie Green (1960), Mundell Lowe (1961), Rod Levitt (1963–6), and Rusty Dedrick (?...

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Mark Gilbert and Gary W. Kennedy

(Antoinette )

(b Pontiac, MI, June 12, 1957). Pianist. She was introduced to jazz by her father and began playing piano at the age of seven. Later she studied classical music and learned jazz from Marcus Belgrave, with whom she later worked; he recorded on her album The Nurturer in 1990. After reading jazz studies at Howard University (BA 1979), where she had piano lessons with John Malachi, Allen received private tuition in New York from Kenny Barron. She then undertook graduate work in ethnomusicology under Nathan Davis, among others, at the University of Pittsburgh (MA 1982) and played in Pittsburgh in a trio led by Cecil Brooks III (1982–3). She then returned to New York and began an extensive recording and performing career, first playing in Oliver Lake's group Jump Up (1982–c1987) and with James Newton (touring Europe, c1984) and touring with the pop singer Mary Wilson (of the Supremes) for about six months (...

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Gary W. Kennedy

(Adams )

(b Washington, DC, Oct 12, 1966). American tenor saxophonist. His father was a professional drummer during the swing era. He spent his childhood in Los Angeles and played the accordion from the age of seven; when he was 11 his family moved to Rhode Island, where he took up clarinet and a year later tenor saxophone. Around 1983 Allen began working professionally with Major Holley and Oliver Jackson, with whom he toured Europe, and the following year he replaced Zoot Sims in Bucky Pizzarelli’s quintet. He then attended Rutgers at Newark, New Jersey, but left in 1988 to pursue his career. In the 1990s he worked with Peanuts Hucko’s big band and Ranee Lee (both 1992) and in Bob Wilber’s group (1993), and recorded with, among others, John Pizzarelli (from 1993), Wilber, Johnny Varro, and Butch Miles (all 1994), and Jon-Erik Kellso (...

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Marcel Joly

(bNew Orleans, 1877; dNew Orleans, Jan 11, 1952). Americancornetist, father of Henry “Red” Allen. For more than 40 years he was the leader of the Allen Brass Band in New Orleans.

R. Goffin: La Nouvelle-Orléans: capitale du jazz (New York, 1946), 59J. L. Anderson...

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Howard Rye

(b Pittsburg, KS, July 2, 1926; d Hawthorne, CA, Oct 18, 1994). American tenor saxophonist. Some sources give his year of birth as 1927, but on balance the evidence of his career supports 1926. When he was only one year old his father died and his family moved to Denver; he learned saxophone in high school there. In 1943 he was offered a music and athletic scholarship to Francis Xavier University, New Orleans, where he played in campus bands and at local venues, notably the Dew Drop Inn. By October 1947 he had joined the band led by the singer and pianist Paul Gayten and the singer Annie Laurie at the Robin Hood Club on Jackson Avenue, and the following year he made his recording début with them. After 1950 he was involved in extensive studio work in New Orleans, and he took part in many sessions with Dave Bartholomew’s band, accompanying such singers as Fats Domino. In ...

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Howard Rye

(bMemphis, July 30, 1906; dNew York, Feb 2, 1983). Americandouble bass and tuba player and singer. His date of birth, previously unknown, is taken from the social security death index. At Le Moyne College, Memphis, he played in a band with Jimmy Crawford. Both men recorded two titles in 1927 with the Chickasaw Syncopators (Col. 14301D), and Chickasaw Stomp includes an example of Allen’s half-spoken, half-sung vocal “preaching.” In summer 1928 Allen joined Jimmie Lunceford’s orchestra, and four years later he changed from tuba to double bass. He may be heard on tuba on Sweet Rhythm (1930, Vic. 38141), while his double bass playing is prominent on such recordings by Lunceford as Avalon (1935, Decca 668), Organ Grinder’s Swing (1936, Decca 908), and Harlem Shout (1936, Decca 980), which reveal him as one of the major practitioners of the era; he also appears in the short film ...

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Howard Rye

(bMiddleport, OH, Jan 30, 1909; dCalifornia, Sept 1963). Americanpianist. At the age of ten he played for silent films. He joined Dave Nelson, with whom he recorded in 1931, then worked as second pianist in James P. Johnson’s orchestra. From 1932 to 1937 he performed and recorded with Teddy Hill. While on a tour of Europe in 1937 he recorded in Paris with Dicky Wells, and the following year he recorded in New York with Slim (Gaillard) and Slam (Stewart). Later he worked with Stuff Smith (c autumn 1938 – early 1940) and played as a soloist in Washington. After moving to California he led his own trio and worked as accompanist to the singer Billie Heywood.

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Daniel Zager

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(bNew York, Nov 2, 1920; dPoint Pleasant, NJ, Dec 23, 1974). Americanwriter. He studied geology at Columbia University (BS 1942), served as a navigator in the army air corps, and then returned to Columbia, where he gained a master's degree in mineralogy. Although an engineer by profession (PhD, Rutgers, 1964) and a teacher of ceramics engineering at Rutgers (1964-74), he was involved in jazz discography throughout his life, and with his scholarly training he recognized that this subject could be approached with the same rigorous concern for accuracy, weighing of evidence, and documentation of sources that would be expected in traditional fields. He prepared numerous brief discographies and wrote full-length bio-discographies of King Oliver and Fletcher Henderson, the latter being an exhaustive and definitive study. Allen published and distributed these books as part of his own Jazz Monograph series, which also included important works by Samuel B. Charters, Brian Rust, and others. As a further means of disseminating information he produced ...

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Barry Kernfeld

(Creede)

(bWinnemucca, NV, May 26, 1915; dSan Francisco, Oct 3, 2004). Americandouble bass player. He grew up in San Francisco, played clarinet through his primary and high-school years, and took up double bass while at Sacramento Junior College. At the beginning of the 1940s he performed and made recordings with Lionel Hampton on double bass and electric bass guitar (1940–42; including Attitude, 1940, Vic. 27316) and with Count Basie (September–November 1942), with whom he may be seen in the film Reveille with Beverly (1943); at some point he also briefly accompanied Fats Waller at Sweet’s Ballroom in Oakland, California. After serving in the navy from November 1942 to 1947 he returned to San Francisco, where he led small bands and hosted the program “Down Vernon’s Alley” on both radio and television. His most important position was as leader of the house rhythm section and music director at the Blackhawk during the 1950s, though he played briefly with Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington and recorded with a dixieland band led by the cornetist and trombonist Jack Sheedy (...

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Gary W. Kennedy

(Wyeth )

(b New Haven, CT, Nov 17, 1966). American double bass player and leader. He learned guitar from the age of nine and later took up double bass, which he studied at Yale University (1984–5) and New York University (BM performance, 1989). In 1992, with Frank Kimbrough, he established the Herbie Nichols Project and the Jazz Composers Collective, for which he works as artistic director and artist-in-residence. In the same year he joined Kimbrough’s small group and that of the saxophonist Michael Blake, and formed a quintet with Ron Horton, Ted Nash (ii), Kimbrough, and Tim Horner which recorded in 1995–6. He formed another quintet, Medicine Wheel, in 1996, with Nash, Blake, the cellist Thomas Ulrich, and the drummer Jeff Ballard as sidemen, although Kimbrough occasionally performed as a guest. From 1998 he has led the trio Medicine Wheel Lite, consisting of Blake and Ballard, and he performs weekly at Kush, a club in New York in which he is a partner. Allison also worked with Lee Konitz from ...

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Eric Thacker

(bHartford, CT, July 19, 1923). Singer. He first performed and recorded with Jack Teagarden’s big band (1940–42). From 1944 he worked with Boyd Raeburn, sometimes singing complicated arrangements by George Handy; his style is well represented by I only have eyes for you, which he recorded with Raeburn in 1946 (Jwl 10002). (By this time he was using both forms of his surname.) Also in 1946 he recorded as a leader, accompanied by a quintet that included Lucky Thompson. Later he was associated with Paul Smith (1949), Johnny Mandel, Stan Kenton, and Count Basie. He sang at clubs, among them those on the Playboy Club circuit (1960–64), then from 1968 was less active in music for a period during which he worked with drug addicts in New York and Los Angeles. In 1975, however, he resumed recording in New York, making the album ...

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Simon Adams

[Misha ]

(b Ukraine [then USSR], 1956). Moldavian pianist. Although he was born in Ukraine, he grew up in Bessarabia, in the eastern part of Moldavia, where he studied composition and piano while playing with local folk musicians. In 1980 he became a member of the Moldavian Jazz Ensemble, led by the saxophonist and violinist Semjon Shirman, and started to play jazz piano – listening for the first time to such pianists as Art Tatum and Keith Jarrett and transcribing, for the piano, solos by Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and other saxophone and brass players. In 1983 he moved to Moscow, where he formed a duo with the french horn and flugelhorn player Arkady Shilkloper, with whom he began to synthesize elements of Moldavian folk music with improvised jazz; the duo played regularly at Moscow's Blueberry Jazz Club and later recorded Wave over Sorrow (1989, ECM 1396). A member of the Moscow Art Trio, with Shilkloper and the singer and clarinetist Sergey Starostin, Alperin also performed with many Russian and foreign musicians; his first album as an unaccompanied soloist, ...

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[Herman ]

(b Indianapolis, Sept 3, 1916). American double bass player. He studied music at Indiana University (1938–9). In 1940 he performed with the bandleader Alvino Rey in New York and from 1940 to 1944 he toured and recorded with Glenn Miller, playing both in New York and with his forces band. After working briefly with Tex Beneke and taking part in a radio show with Benny Goodman he played with Frank Sinatra (1946–50) and Woody Herman’s quintet (1947). Alpert recorded with Bud Freeman, Ella Fitzgerald, Muggsy Spanier, and Roy Eldridge (all 1945), Louis Armstrong, Ray McKinley, and Bernie Leighton (all 1946), and Jerry Jerome (1947). Later he worked for CBS in New York (1950–62), during which time he recorded with Artie Shaw (1950, 1953), Coleman Hawkins (1952), the Sauter–Finegan Orchestra (1952–3, 1955...

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Val Wilmer

Jamaican orphanage school. One of two orphanage schools in Kingston to educate several generations of Jamaica’s leading musicians (the other was Stoney Hill), it was founded in 1880 by three Jamaican women. From 1890 they were supported by volunteers from a London branch of the Irish Sisters of Mercy, and the institution became an industrial school where music played a prominent part in the curriculum. Under Bandmaster Tulloch several graduates developed into accomplished military and dance-band musicians, notably Leslie Thompson, Bertie King, and the drummer Clinton Maxwell, all of whom moved to Britain before World War II. Public interest in the Alpha Cottage School as a training ground for jazz musicians was generated by Carlisle Henriques in the 1940s, when regular concerts were given at Kingston’s Carib Theater by a 20-piece band comprising boys from the school. Its graduates continued the teaching tradition under the overall supervision of Sister Ignatius. The school’s later students included the nucleus of the popular band the Skatalites and many established jazz and reggae musicians, among them the trumpeters Bobby Ellis, Raymond Harper, Johnny “Dizzy” Moore, and Eddie “Tan-Tan” Thornton, the trombonists Rupie Anderson, Don Drummond, Vin Gordon, and Emanuel “Rico” Rodriguez, and the saxophonists “Deadly” Headley Bennett, Wilton “Bogey” Gaynair, Joe Harriott, Tommy McCook, and Lester “Ska” Sterling....

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Val Wilmer

[Ringo ]

(b Havana, Cuba, Jan 12, 1931; d Los Angeles, Nov 20, 1998). Jamaican alto, tenor, and soprano saxophonist. The son of a Cuban father and a Jamaican mother, he went to Jamaica with his family at the age of two. Having played side drum and trumpet at Kingston’s Stoney Hill School, he took up jazz alto saxophone in Sonny Bradshaw’s Seven but changed to the tenor instrument in the orchestras of the saxophonists Eric Deans and Roy Colbourn (Cobourne, or Coburn; sources disagree). He teamed up with the stage comedians Bim and Bam on variety shows and was particularly active as a session musician. In the 1950s and 1960s, as a member of the Blues Blasters house band led by the producer Clement “Coxone” Dodd, his work encompassed cover versions of Bill Doggett’s recordings and the island’s characteristic rhythm-and-blues with a shuffle beat, heralding the arrival of the popular styles ska, rocksteady, and reggae. He often played with Ernest Ranglin until becoming a founding member of the ...

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[Overton ]

(b Washington, DC, Dec 14, 1905; d Washington, July 5, 1989). American trumpeter and singer. His birth and death dates, previously unknown, are taken from the social security death index. After working in New York with the trombonist Bill Brown (1928–30) he performed and recorded with Claude Hopkins (1931–6); a good example of his playing may be heard on I would do anything for you (1932, Col. 2665D), and he may be seen with Hopkins in the short films Barber Shop Blues (1933) and By Request (1935). He then formed his own big band, which made its début at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem in December 1936 and held residencies at various clubs in New York, including the Ubangi Club (1937), the Plantation Club (1937–8), the Roseland Ballroom (1939–41, 1942–7) and the Baby Grand Café (...