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Michael C. Heller

(Mitchell )

(b Brooklyn, NY, March 21, 1948). American jazz and film critic and historian. After studying English at Grinnell College (BA 1972), he returned to New York and began writing on film for the Hollywood Reporter (1972) and on jazz for Down Beat (1972–3). Citing influence from the writers Martin Williams and Dan Morgenstern, he decided to focus his efforts exclusively on jazz and in 1973 was hired as a music critic by the Village Voice. His regular column “Weather Bird” became highly influential during the next three decades. Unlike critics who concentrated primarily on recent performances, Giddins wrote on a range of topics, including the legacies of historical figures, contemporary developments, and issues relating to jazz advocacy and education. From the 1980s he began publishing collections of his essays as well as book-length monographs, including biographies of Charlie Parker (1987), Louis Armstrong (...

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Bill Dobbins and Barry Long

[Herbert Jeffrey]

(b Chicago, IL, 12 April 1940). Jazz pianist, keyboard player, and composer. He was born into a musical family and began studying piano at the age of seven. Four years later he performed the first movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto no.5 with the Chicago SO in a young people's concert. He formed his own jazz band while attending Hyde Park High School; his early influences were from Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, and the harmonies of Clare Fischer, Gil Evans, and Ravel. Hancock began studies at Grinnell College with a double major in music and engineering, the latter an early interest that later was manifested in his groundbreaking synthesizer work. He switched to composition in his junior year, and by the time he left Grinnell in 1960 he was already working in jazz clubs in Chicago with Coleman Hawkins. The trumpeter Donald Byrd invited him to join his quintet and move to New York, where during Hancock's first recording session with the group, Blue Note was sufficiently impressed to offer him his first date as a leader, in ...

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revised by Steven E. Gilbert

(Guyn)

(b Tucson, AZ, 20 Feb 1911; d Tuscon, AZ, 1 July 2007). Composer and instrumentalist. At an early age he learnt, mostly by himself, to play clarinet, oboe, saxophone, and piano and performed locally in jazz bands and school music groups. He studied composition with Otto Luening at the University of Arizona (BM 1933, MM 1935), where he later taught (1957–76). He also taught at Bennington College (1935–46) and in various summer music programs. He appeared as an oboe and clarinet soloist both live and on New Music Quarterly Recordings. In 1941 he toured South America as a member of the League of Composers Woodwind Quintet. During the years 1945–7 he was a composer and arranger for Triumph Films in New York, producing scores for Farewell to Yesterday, The Man with my Face, and a number of short subjects. In 1952, on commission by ...

Article

W. Anthony Sheppard

[Takeshi ]

(b Sacramento, CA, Nov 11, 1922; d San Dimas, CA, April 17, 2002). American Jazz and film music arranger, composer, and band leader. Shindo grew up in the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles where he heard traditional Japanese music. In his teens, he became interested in jazz but planned to pursue a career in electrical engineering. As a second generation (Nisei) Japanese American, Shindo was interned at the Manzanar Relocation Center in March 1942. He pursued musical studies in the camp and completed correspondence courses in orchestration. Shindo left Manzanar in November 1944 when he enlisted as a translator in the Military Intelligence Service. Discharged from the Army in 1947, he formed his own big band in Los Angeles.

Shindo continued musical studies at multiple institutions in Los Angeles, studying composition at the University of Southern California with miklós Rózsa and eventually completing a Masters in Asian Studies in ...