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Barry Long

[Walker, William Vincent]

(b Mobile, AL, Sept 20, 1947; d Harlem, NY, April 11, 2011). American jazz violinist and composer. He moved with his mother to the Bronx as a young child and attended school in Harlem where he played the conga. Bang took up violin at the age of 12 and played it in his school orchestra. After studying with a scholarship at the Stockbridge School, MA (1961–3), he served a tour of combat duty in the Vietnam War and subsequently joined the anti-war movement. Bang was inspired to take up violin again by the records of Ornette Coleman and Leroy Jenkins. He purchased an instrument at a pawnshop in 1968 and was playing professionally by 1972 after studying with Jenkins and practicing with Eric Dolphy records. He was active in the New York avant-garde loft scene, leading the Survival Ensemble and playing with Sam Rivers and Frank Lowe, and in ...

Article

Jayson Greene

[Conway ]

(b Escondido, CA, Dec 13, 1948; d New York, NY, April 30, 1982). American rock critic. Bangs’s parents were devout Jehovah’s Witnesses; he was raised mostly by his mother after his father died in a house fire in 1955. Bangs began writing freelance reviews for Rolling Stone magazine in 1969, and would go on to write for Creem, The Village Voice, Penthouse, Playboy, New Musical Express, and many others. He wrote a 1980 book on the new-wave act Blondie and co-authored, with Paul Nelson, a biography of Rod Stewart, but the published works for which he is best known remain the two posthumous anthologies of his rock criticism: Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung (New York, 1987), edited by Greil Marcus; and Mainlines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste (New York, 2003), edited by John Morthland.

Bangs was inspired by the drug-fueled stream- of-consciousness style of Beat poets like William S. Burroughs and the confrontational, subjective New Journalism of Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe. Alongside John Mendelssohn, Nick Tosches, and Richard Meltzer, Bangs was grouped into the subset of early rock critics dubbed “the Noise Boys,” whose wild, digressive, slang-filled style contrasted with the more sober, academic approach of Greil Marcus and Robert Christgau. Bangs was an advocate of what would come to be called “punk rock,” celebrating its return to the raw, amateur spirit that defined the earliest rock ’n’ roll. He wrote critical pieces on many of the scene’s seminal acts, including The Ramones, Iggy and the Stooges, and the Velvet Underground. “I finally realized that grossness was the truest criterion for rock ’n’ roll, the cruder the clang and grind the more fun and longer listened-to the album would be,” Bangs wrote, and his prose aspired towards the same energy. Bangs died from respiratory and pulmonary complications related to the ingestion of Darvon....

Article

Charles Fox and Digby Fairweather

(b Welwyn Garden City, April 17, 1930). English jazz trombonist, arranger and bandleader. He studied the trombone and the double bass at the GSM in London, and formed his first traditional jazz band in 1949. In 1953 he helped to organize a band that was led by Ken Colyer, at that time the most ardent British propagandist for traditional New Orleans music. The following year Barber took over the band; Colyer was replaced by Pat Halcox, and the ensemble soon became one of the most popular and technically accomplished groups of its kind. From the mid-1950s Barber helped foster British interest in blues by bringing over such American musicians as Muddy Waters, the harmonica player Sonny Terry and the guitarist and singer Brownie McGhee. He made several tours of the USA beginning in 1959, and also recorded two albums with his American Jazz Band, which included Sidney De Paris, Edmond Hall and Hank Duncan. Barber expanded his interests, recording classic rags (scored for his band) long before the popular rediscovery of Scott Joplin, and working with musicians from other areas of jazz (notably the Jamaican saxophonists Bertie King and Joe Harriott). Renewed interest in traditional jazz in the early 1960s brought wide success to Barber and his group, which included as its singer his wife, Ottilie Patterson. After rhythm-and-blues achieved general popularity in the early 1960s he re-formed his group as Chris Barber’s Jazz and Blues Band, and, while retaining his roots in New Orleans jazz, engaged rock and blues musicians guitarist John Slaughter and the drummer Pete York. During the 1970s the band toured frequently in Europe. In ...

Article

Chadwick Jenkins

(b Lisle, IL, Nov 8, 1955). American singer, pianist, composer, and bandleader. Her father played with the Glenn Miller band and her mother was a professional blues singer. After studying psychology and classical piano at the University of Iowa, Barber returned to Chicago and began playing five nights a week at the Gold Star Sardine Bar, where she attracted varying critical attention for her husky voice and the inclusion of pop songs, including “Black Magic Woman” and “A Taste of Honey,” in her repertoire. She recorded her first album, Split (Floyd), in 1989 and her second album, A Distortion of Love (Antilles) in 1991. She subsequently moved to the independent label Premonition, which was bought by Blue Note in 1998. In 2003 Barber became the first songwriter to be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Under its aegis she composed a song cycle based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses. She is the subject of a documentary, ...

Article

John Stanislawski

(Robert Joseph)

(b Ironton, OH, April 7, 1935). American country music singer-songwriter. An eclectic artist known for his wit and storytelling abilities, he has blurred boundaries between country, pop, and folk, earning crossover success in each of these genres. In addition to his distinctive performing style, his associations and collaborations with and promotion of a diverse range of acclaimed songwriters have made him an icon of country music.

Raised on a farm in southern Ohio, Bare was performing with a local band in Springfield by his teenage years. After moving to Los Angeles in 1955, he signed with Capitol Records and later the small label Challenge. His first hit, “All American Boy” (Fraternity, 1958), was recorded under the name Bill Parsons who was credited as both the singer and writer. Although the song reached number two on the pop charts, Bare received neither credit nor royalties because of his previous contractual obligations....

Article

Chris McDonald

Canadian rock group. Steven Page (b Toronto, ON, 22 June 1970; vocals) and Ed Robertson (b Toronto, 25 Oct 1970; guitar) began performing as a duo in 1988, developing a folk-rock style based on satirical songs and droll stage banter. After adopting the name Barenaked Ladies, they performed on the college circuit and built up a fan base. They added further backup musicians in 1991, including Jim Creegan (b Toronto, 12 Feb 1970; bass guitar), Andy Creegan (b Toronto, 4 July 1971; keyboards), and Tyler Stewart (b 21 Sept 1967; drums). The group sold independently produced cassettes at live shows. As their notoriety grew, one of these, The Yellow Tape (1991), became a runaway hit, achieving platinum-level sales in Canada, leading to a deal with Reprise Records. The band’s first album, Gordon (Rep., 1992) achieved high sales and acclaim in Canada. “If I had $1,000,000” and “Be my Yoko Ono” became signature hits. Creegan was replaced by Kevin Hearn (b Grimsby, ON, ...

Article

Luca Cerchiari

[Daniel Moses]

(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 ...

Article

Originally a rural meeting for dancing held in a barn or similar large building. From the 1920s the term was used to designate variety radio programs of rural, folk-like entertainment, although artists frequently performed a wide range of musics from old-time fiddling and ballads to contemporary popular songs and blues. The first program so described was broadcast on the radio station WBAP in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1923, although many Southern radio stations had presented similar programs the previous year. The most important of the broadcast barn dances were the WLS Barn Dance (later National Barn Dance, Chicago, 1924–70) and the WSM Barn Dance (Nashville, from 1925), which as the Grand Ole Opry became the longest-running radio program in the United States; both were started by George D. Hay. Other programs included the Renfro Valley Barn Dance (WLW, Cincinnati, from 1937), the Tennessee Barn Dance (WNOX, Knoxville, TN, from ...

Article

Andrew Berish

[Charles Daly]

(b New York, NY, Oct 26, 1913; d San Diego, CA, Sept 4, 1991). American bandleader and tenor saxophonist. Born to a wealthy New York family, he began studying saxophone and immersing himself in New York’s jazz scene while in his early teens. He achieved commercial success as a bandleader, beginning in 1939 with the release of a hard-swinging version of Ray Noble’s “Cherokee” (1939, Bb). Subsequent recordings, including “Pompton Turnpike” (1940, Bb) and “Skyliner” (1944, Decca), confirmed his position as the leader of one of the era’s hottest swing bands.

At the height of its popularity, the Barnet Orchestra was frequently compared to the Duke Ellington band. Although the influence of Count Basie as well as Ellington is clear, Barnet’s group had a distinctive sound shaped by his easygoing direction, Andy Gibson’s and Billy May’s dynamic charts, and the band’s virtuosic soloists, notably guitarist Bus Etri, pianist Dodo Marmaroso, and trumpeter Peanuts Holland. Along with Benny Goodman, Barnet was an important force for interracial musical collaboration, and he invited such African American musicians as Benny Carter, Andy Gibson, Lena Horne, Holland, and Frankie Newton to play with and write for his band. Like Woody Herman and Stan Kenton, Barnet was open to the sounds of bebop and incorporated some of its musical practises into his orchestra’s performances. With the decline of the dance bands, however, Barnet was forced to disband his group in the late 1940s, although he reunited it several times during the next few decades. As well as tenor saxophone, he also occasionally played the soprano instrument....

Article

Gareth Dylan Smith

[Bernard Joseph]

(b Richmond, VA, June 26, 1955). American jazz drummer. He learned to play drums by listening to and imitating recordings and first worked professionally in Dixieland and rock-and-roll bands. He briefly attended the Berklee College of Music before moving to Los Angeles, where he worked as a studio musician and played with, among others, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Carmen McRae, and Helen Merrill. After moving to New York in 1982, he worked with Toshiko Akiyoshi, Fred Hersch, Red Rodney, and Toots Thielmans and began a ten-year working relationship with Bill Frisell, during which he recorded seven albums. In the late 1980s he performed as a soloist and with the band Miniature. Known for his ability to combine music from many traditions, including klezmer, jazz, and blues, Baron played a prominent part in the neo-bop movement of the early 1990s, leading a trio, Baron Down, from 1991...

Article

Paul Oliver

A style of piano playing that originated among black American blues musicians in the early 20th century. It was first practised in the makeshift saloons of lumber camps in the South and is related to Boogie-woogie, which it may have preceded as a blues piano style (see Blues, §4). Barrelhouse was played in regular 4/4 metre, whereas boogie developed as fast music largely of eight beats to the bar. Ragtime bass figures or the heavy left-hand vamp known as ‘stomping’ were often employed with occasional walking bass variations. Characteristic early recordings are Barrel House Man (1927, Para.) by the Texas pianist Will Ezell, The Dirty Dozen by Speckled Red (Rufus Perryman) (1929, Bruns.) and Soon This Morning by Charlie Spand (1929, Para.); Perryman and Spand worked in Detroit after leaving the South. Diggin’ My Potatoes (1939, Bb), by Washboard Sam with Joshua Altheimer on piano, and ...

Article

Roxanne R. Reed

[Delois Barrett and the Barrett Sisters]

Gospel trio. Its members were Delores [Delois] (soprano), Billie (alto), and Rhodessa (high soprano) Barrett. Hailing from the Southside of Chicago, they grew up with seven other siblings and were members of the Morning Star Baptist Church where they sang in a choir directed by their aunt. As the Barrett–Hudson Singers, Delores and Billie had performed in a group with a cousin, whom Rhodessa later replaced to form the Barrett Sisters. Delores, the eldest and the group’s leader, started singing at the age of six. Her professional career began in earnest after graduating from Englewood High School, when she became the first female to join the Roberta Martin Singers (1944; see martin, Roberta ). Billie and Rhodessa received some formal training, but it was through the Roberta Martin Singers that Delores learned technique and honed her individual style, along with the unique ensemble quality known as the Roberta Martin sound. Delores continued to sing with Martin from time to time, even as the Barrett Sisters took shape. Getting their start as an African American gospel trio, the Barrett Sisters first recorded with the label Savoy (...

Article

John L. Clark

(b New Orleans, LA, March 25, 1897; d New Orleans, Jan 28, 1983). American pianist, singer, and bandleader. The daughter of the Civil War veteran and Louisiana state senator W.B. Barrett, she learned piano by ear as a child and was playing professionally by her early teens. She never learned to read music and worked almost exclusively in New Orleans. During the 1920s Barrett played with many of the uptown New Orleans groups, including those led by Papa Celestin, Armand Piron, and John Robichaux. In the following decade she worked most often with Bebe Ridgley, with whom she developed a local following that subsequently brought her success at the Happy Landing from 1949 and the Paddock Lounge during the late 1950s. It was at this time that she became known as Sweet Emma the Bell Gal because of her habit of wearing garters with bells attached that created a tambourine-like effect as she played. In ...

Article

Jairo Moreno

(b Brooklyn, NY, April 29, 1929; d Hackensack, NJ, Feb 17, 2006). American conga player, bandleader, and producer of Puerto Rican descent. He began playing percussion informally during time in Germany as part of the US occupation army (1946–9). Returning to New York City in 1949, he participated in the lively jam-session scene in Harlem, playing bongos in sessions with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1957, he replaced Mongo Santamaría in Tito Puente’s band. By 1960, he became the house percussionist for various jazz labels (Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside), recording his first album as leader for Riverside in 1961. The Charanga La Moderna was his first full-fledged Latin dance band, beginning in 1962. In 1963, his song El Watusi became the first Latin tune to enter the Billboard Top 20. By 1990, his salsa career stagnant, he formed a small, jazz-influenced sextet, New World Spirit, recording a number of Grammy-nominated albums....

Article

Randolph Love

(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 ...

Article

Michael Fitzgerald

(Lee)

(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 (...

Article

Wolfram Knauer

[Bill; William]

(b Red Bank, NJ, Aug 21, 1904; d Hollywood, CA, April 26, 1984). American jazz pianist and bandleader. After taking piano lessons as a child, he was soon playing ragtime and show tunes at local dance events and performing for silent movies. In 1924 he worked with the singer and dancer Katy Krippen with whom he also toured. In the mid-1920s he met Fats Waller, who introduced him to the sound of the pipe organ, after which he was always fascinated by the instrument. He played in several bands in New York and in 1926 he embarked on a tour with Gonzelle White, during which he heard Walter Page’s band, the Blue Devils, in the Midwest. Basie left White’s group in Kansas City, worked as a silent movie organist, and was active on the city’s lively music scene. He heard many of the so-called territory bands, played for a while with Page’s Blue Devils, and then became a member of the Bennie Moten Orchestra, first as an arranger and then as a pianist....

Article

Dave Laing

(b Cardiff, Jan 8, 1937). Welsh pop singer. With a booming yet imperious contralto and an arresting stage presence, Shirley Bassey was one of Britain’s most popular singers of show tunes and pop ballads during the 1950s and 60s. Her forte was the melodramatic ballad, usually taken from a successful musical play or popular film. Thus, early in her career Bassey made hit recordings of ‘As long as he needs me’ (from Bart’s Oliver!) and ‘Climb ev’ry mountain’ (from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music). One of the songs most associated with her was a contrasting showstopper, the brassy, up-tempo ‘Big Spender’ from Coleman’s 1966 musical Sweet Charity. In the cinema, Bassey was chosen to perform three of John Barry’s themes from the James Bond film series: Goldfinger (1964; lyrics by L. Bricusse and A. Newley), Diamonds Are Forever (1972; lyrics by D. Black) and ...

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Luca Cerchiari

(b Havana, Cuba, April 28, 1911; d New York, July 11, 1993). Cuban trumpeter. He learned clarinet, oboe, and flute before studying trumpet with Lazaro Herrera and subsequently played with the groups of Antonio Maria Romeu, Domingo Corbacho, and Belisario Lopez, among others. In 1930 he moved to New York, where he performed from 1932 to 1939 with the orchestras of Noble Sissle, Chick Webb, Sam Wooding, and Don Redman. A meeting with John Bartee, Cab Calloway’s arranger, inspired him to develop a synthesis of the cuban clave and the latest jazz, which became known as Afro-Cuban jazz. Bauzá subsequently began working with the percussionist Frank Grillo (later known as Machito) to integrate jazz elements into Cuban dance music. After that collaboration finished, he joined the Cab Calloway orchestra in 1939, brought Dizzy Gillespie into the band, and encouraged him to explore Afro-Cuban music. From 1940 he was music director of Machito’s re-formed Afro-Cubans for nearly 35 years. In ...

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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 ...