- Brian Locke
(b Tábor, Bohemia, March 12, 1912; d Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Aug 7, 2011). Czech-Canadian composer, lyricist, pianist, arranger, and translator. He was one of the leading Czech swing musicians of the 1940s. As a youth, he acquired knowledge of jazz from BBC broadcasts, which he emulated in his local amateur band. Emanuel Uggé, a Czech proponent of ‘hot’ jazz, invited Traxler to Prague in 1935 as composer and pianist for the Gramoklub Orchestra. Early performances and recordings attracted the attention of r.a. dvorský and jaroslav ježek; in 1938, the latter approached Traxler as a possible assistant at the Liberated Theatre (plans truncated by Ježek’s sudden prewar emigration).
In 1939 Traxler signed a five-year contract with R.A. Dvorský, whose company included recording, sheet-music publishing, and multiple touring orchestras. His arrangements for the swing band of karel vlach reveal a keen ear for the latest American trends, despite his seclusion in Nazi-occupied Bohemia. Three of his songs, including ...