Al Hibbler (vocal) - 1915-2001 :: was a baritone vocalist, who sang with Duke Ellington’s orchestra before having several pop hits as a solo artist. Some of Hibbler’s singing is classified as rhythm and blues, but he is best classified as a bridge between R&B and traditional pop music. He stayed with Ellington for almost eight years, and featured on a range of Ellington standards, including “Do Nothin’ Til You Hear From Me”, the words for which were written specifically for him and which reached # 6 on the Billboardpop chart (and # 1 for eight weeks on the "Harlem Hit Parade") in 1944, “I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But the Blues,” and “I’m Just a Lucky So-and-So”. Although Hibbler’s style was described as “mannered”, “over-stated”, and “full of idiosyncrasies” and “bizarre vocal pyrotechnics”, he was also considered “undoubtedly the best” of Ellington’s male vocalists. While with Ellington, Hibbler won the Esquire New Star Award in 1947 and the Down Beat award for Best Band Vocalist in 1949. In the late 1950s and 1960s, Hibbler became a civil rights activist, marching with protestors and getting arrested in 1959 in New Jersey and in 1963 in Alabama. The notoriety of this activism discouraged major record labels from carrying his work, but Frank Sinatra supported him and signed him to a contract with his label, Reprise Records.
Alvin Queen (drums) - 1950 :: A very happy birthday to drummer Alvin Queen! A crisp, powerful, and swinging drummer, Alvin hasn’t recorded as often as his talents merit, but what he’s done is consistently engaging and demanding. Queen worked with George Benson and Stanley Turrentine, then traveled to Europe with Charles Tolliver's quartet. During the ’70s, he worked with the group Music Inc., co-led by Tolliver and Stanley Cowell. Queen departed America in 1979 for Switzerland, and established Nilva Records. He then toured France with Plas Johnson and Harry Edison, and recorded with John Collins and Junior Mance in the ’80s; while also working in Zurich with a trio led by Wild Bill Davis and recording with another led by Lonnie Smith. He also did his own dates.
Alvin Queen biography courtesy of Michael G Nastos @ AllMusic.com
Bill Evans (piano) - 1929-1980 :: Evans’s use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, block chords, and trademark rhythmically independent, “singing” melodic lines influenced a generation of pianists; being considered by some to be the most influential post-World War II jazz pianist.Unlike many other jazz musicians of his time, Evans did never embrace new movements like jazz fusion or free jazz. In 1958, Evans joined Miles Davis’s sextet, where he had a profound influence. In 1959, the band, then immersed in modal jazz, recorded Kind of Blue, the best-selling jazz album of all time. In late 1959, Evans left Davis and soon began his career as a trio leader with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian, now regarded as one of the best jazz bands. In 1961, ten days after recording the highly acclaimed Sunday at the Village Vanguard, and Waltz for Debby, LaFaro died in a car accident. After months of seclusion, Evans reprised his work, now with bassist Chuck Israels. In 1963, Evans recorded Conversations with Myself, an innovative solo album featuring overdubbing. In 1966, he met bassist Eddie Gomez, with whom he would work for eleven years. Several successful albums followed, like Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Alone and The Bill Evans Album, among others. Evans was honored with 31 Grammy nominations and seven Awards, and was inducted in the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.
Carl Perkins (piano) - 1928-1958 :: Carl worked mainly in Los Angeles. He is best known for his performances with the Curtis Counce Quintet, which also featured Harold Land, Jack Sheldon and drummer Frank Butler. He also performed with the Clifford Brown–Max Roach group in 1954, and recorded with Frank Morgan in 1955. Perkins composed the standard “Grooveline.”His playing was influenced by his polio-affected left arm, which he held sideways over the keyboard. He died of a drug overdose at age 29, having recorded one solo album, Introducing Carl Perkins, in 1955 and 1956. Authors Paul Tanner, Maurice Gerow, and David Megill cite Perkins as one of the best “funky,” or hard bop, piano players, but his early death prevented him from leaving a legacy.
Mal Waldron (piano) - 1926 -2002 :: Like his contemporaries, Waldron’s roots lie chiefly in the hard bop and post-bop genres of the New York club scene of the 1950s; but with time, he gravitated more towards free jazz and composition. He is known for his dissonant chord voicings and distinctive playing style, which was originally inspired by Thelonious Monk. After working on a film score in Europe he moved there permanently in 1965 initially living in Munich, Germany and in his last years he was based in Brussels, Belgium. He performed and recorded extensively throughout Europe and Japan in his later decades, regularly returning to the United States for bookings. His 1969 album, Free At Last, was the first ever release on the ECM label. Through the 1980s and 1990s he worked in various settings with Steve Lacy, notably in soprano-piano duets playing their own compositions as well as Monk’s.
Wow, Jazzlings, further evidence for my theory today! I mean three pianists in one day?!? Its like uncanny!
Anyway, if you are celebrating your birthday today best wishes to You! Make today as memorable as you can and fill the year ahead with all you want for yourself!
Thanks as ever are due to AAJ & JBC for the guidance
Respect to the YouTube Massive for the uploads
Hugs and cuddles to the blogs followers! Thanks you for being there.
Al Di Meola (guitar) - 1954 :: Many happy returns to the jazz fusion and Latin jazz guitarist, composer, and record producer, Al Di Meola. With a musical career that has spanned more than three decades, he has become respected as one of the most influential guitarists in jazz to date. Albums such as Friday Night in San Francisco have earned him both artistic and commercial success with a solid fan base throughout the world. In 1974 he joined Chick Corea’s band, Return to Forever, and played with the band until a major lineup shift in 1976. Di Meola went on to explore a variety of styles, but is most noted for his Latin-influenced jazz fusion works. He is a four-time winner as Best Jazz Guitarist in Guitar Player Magazine’s Reader Poll. Guitar historian Robert Lynch states: “In the history of the electric guitar, no one figure has done more to advance the instrument in a purely technical manner than Mr. Di Meola. His total command of the various styles and scales is simply mind-boggling. I feel privileged to have been able to study his work all these years.
Bill Perkins (saxophone) - 1924-2003 :: was a cool jazz saxophonist and flutist popular on the West Coast jazz scene, known primarily as a tenor saxophonist. Born in San Francisco, California, Perkins started out performing in the big bands of Woody Herman and Jerry Wald. He also worked for the Stan Kenton orchestra, which subsequently led to his entry into the cool jazz idiom. He began performing with musicians like Art Pepper and Bud Shank, to name just a few. He was also a member of The Tonight Show band from 1970–1992. He is probably most remembered, however, for playing tenor for The Lighthouse All-Stars.
Don Patterson (organ, Hammond B3) - 1936-1988 :: was an American jazz organist. Patterson played piano from childhood and was heavily influenced by Erroll Garner in his youth. In 1956, he switched to organ after hearing Jimmy Smith play the instrument. In the early 1960s, he began playing regularly with Sonny Stitt, and he began releasing material as a leader on Prestige Records from 1964 (with Pat Martino and Billy James as sidemen). His most commercially successful album was 1964’s Holiday Soul, which reached #85 on the Billboard 200 in 1967.Illness hobbled Patterson’s career in the 1970s, during which he occasionally recorded for Muse Records and lived in Gary, Indiana.In the 1980s he moved to Philadelphia and made a small comeback, but his health deteriorated over the course of the decade, and he died there in 1988.
Junior Cook (saxophone) - 1934-1992 :: Herman “Junior” Cook was a hard bop tenor saxophone player. After playing with Dizzy Gillespie in 1958, Cook gained some fame for his longtime membership in the Horace Silver Quintet (1958–1964); when he and Blue Mitchell left that band, Cook played in Mitchell’s quintet (1964–1969). Later associations included Freddie Hubbard, Elvin Jones, George Coleman, Louis Hayes (1975–1976), Bill Hardman (1979–1989), and the McCoy Tyner big band. In addition to many appearances as a sideman, Junior Cook recorded as a leader for Jazzland (1961), Catalyst (1977), Muse, and SteepleChase. In the early 1990s Cook was playing with Clifford Jordan and also leading his own group.
Mario Rivera (saxophone) - 1939 -2007 :: Mario Rivera endures among the most gifted saxophonists in Latin jazz — a virtuoso talent equally proficient on tenor, soprano, alto, and baritone, he remains best remembered for his two-decade association with the legendary Tito Puente. Born July 22, 1939, in the Dominican Republic, he relocated from his native Santo Domingo to New York City in 1961, first working behind Puerto Rican vocalist Joe Valle. From 1963 to 1965, Rivera tenured in support of bandleader Tito Rodriguez — in the years to follow, he gigged behind Latin giants including Machito, Eddie Palmieri, and Mongo Santamaria, and also recorded with artists including Stanley Turrentine (1967’s New Time Shuffle) and Dizzy Gillespie (1975’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Moods). Rivera nevertheless earned his greatest renown during his long affiliation with Puente, which spanned from the early ’70s well into the 1990s — the partnership even included appearances in a pair of feature films, The Mambo Kings and Calle 54. Although he was first and foremost recognized for his skill as a saxophonist, Rivera eventually mastered a host of instruments including trumpet, piano, flute, vibraphone, drums, and congas. In 1988, he rejoined Gillespie as a member of the trumpeter’s United Nations Orchestra, and later served in the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band. Despite his harried sideman schedule, Rivera found time to lead his own groups the Salsa Refugees and the Mario Rivera Sextet, and in 1996 issued El Commandante, his sole date as a leader.
Mario Rivera info courtesy of Jason Ankeny @ AllMusic!
Happy birthday to all July22 Jazzlings out there, make it an awesome day and create yourselves a spectacular year!
We here at Blewnote Towers are going off to play in the UK sunshine as it appears that today is Summer here in the UK!
Doc Severinsen (trumpet) - 1927 :: Many happy returns to Carl “Doc” Severinsen. A Grammy award winner, Doc has made more than 30 albums—from big band to jazz-fusion to classical. Two critically acclaimed Telarc CDs with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra showcase his multifaceted talents from Bach to ballads. The Very Best of Doc Severinsen reprises fifteen of Doc’s signature pieces. His other recordings include Unforgettably Doc with the Cincinnati Pops on Telarc, and the Grammy nominated Once More With Feeling on Amherst. He received a Grammy Award for “Best Jazz instrumental Performance - Big Band” for his recording of Doc Severinsen and The Tonight Show Band-Volume I. Doc Severinsen and His Big Band/Swingin’ the Blues is his latest release with Ed Shaughnessy and Ernie Watts. Starting in 1952 during Steve Allen’s tenure as host of NBC-TV’s Tonight, Doc Severinsen played first trumpet in the band directed by Skitch Henderson. He actually joined the “Tonight” Show Band several months before Johnny Carson became host in October of 1962. Severinsen took over as bandleader in 1967 and soon became noted for his flashy fashions. Under Severinsen’s direction, the The Tonight ShowNBC Orchestra became the most visible big band in America. The band played incidental music for sketch comedy, guest introductions, and intermission music during station breaks.
Frank Rehak (trombone) - 1926-1987 :: Frank Rehak was one of the finest bop players of the fifties and sixties. He first came to fame in 1949, when he joined Gene Krupa’s Orchestra along with fellow trombonist Frank Rosolino. He played with the Woody Herman Big Band in the mid 50s. His most famous job came when he became a trombonist with Gil Evans’ Band in the late 50s. During this time he was the lead trombonist on many of Miles Davis’ recordings with the Gil Evans Orchestra and also appeared on The Sounds of Miles Davis, a television program that showcased the music from Kind of Blue (1959), as well as original compositions and arrangements by Gil Evans. He was also a top call musician for many other studio sessions of the time playing with Michel Legrand and Art Blakey among others. Although a top call sideman, he only recorded one album as leader Jazzville Vol. 2. In 1958, he recorded with Melba Liston and other trombone ultimates on her classic, Melba Liston and Her ‘Bones. John Cage composed the Solo for Sliding Trombone part to his Concert for Piano and Orchestra specifically for Rehak. As a player, Rehak was noted for his highly developed sight reading ability, and the smoothness of his playing which few others could match. He was also noted for his control in the upper register, and for his ability to switch styles easily.
Hank Mobley (sax, tenor) - 1930-1986 :: Hank Mobley was described by Leonard Feather as the “middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone”, a metaphor used to describe his tone that was neither as aggressive as John Coltrane nor as mellow as Stan Getz. In addition, as his style was laid-back, subtle and melodic, especially in contrast with players like Sonny Rollins and Coltrane. The critic Stacia Proefrock claimed he is “one of the more underrated musicians of the bop era.” At 19, he started to play with local bands and, months later, worked for the first time with musicians like Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach. He took part in one of the earliest hard bop sessions, alongside Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Doug Watkins and trumpeter Kenny Dorham. The results of these sessions were released as Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers. During the 1960s, he worked chiefly as a leader, recording over 20 albums for Blue Note Records between 1955 and 1970, including Soul Station (1960), generally considered to be his finest recording, and Roll Call (1960). He performed with many of the other important hard bop players, such as Grant Green, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Clark, Wynton Kelly and Philly Joe Jones, and formed a particularly productive partnership with trumpeter Lee Morgan. Mobley is widely recognized as one of the great composers of originals in the hard-bop era, with interesting chord changes and room for soloists to stretch out.
Joe Zawinul (keyboard) - 1932-2007 :: Joe Zawinul first came to prominence with saxophonist Cannonball Adderley. In 1961, Zawinul joined the Quintet led by saxophonist Cannonball Adderley.During his nine-year stint with Adderley, he wrote the hit song “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.” He also composed “Walk Tall” and “Country Preacher”, the latter a tribute to U.S. Civil Rights Movement leader Jesse Jackson, from the 1969 album of the same name. Zawinul went on to play with trumpeter Miles Davis in the late 1960s. Zawinul recorded with Miles Davis’s studio band and helped create the sound of jazz fusion. He played on the album In a Silent Way, the title track of which he composed, and the landmark album Bitches Brew, for which he contributed the twenty-minute track, “Pharaoh’s Dance”, which occupied the whole of side one. In 1970, Zawinul co-founded Weather Report with saxophonist and Davis alumnus Wayne Shorter. Music critics generally agree that their 4th album, Mysterious Traveller, was their true breakthrough album, capturing the classic Weather Report “sound” for the first time. Additionally, he made pioneering use of electric piano and synthesizers. Zawinul was named “Best Electric Keyboardist” 28 times by the readers of Down Beat magazine.
Jorge Dalto (piano) - 1948 - 1987 :: Jorge Dalto moved to New York from his native Argentina in 1973, where he began playing with Latin jazz groups such as Tito Puente’s and the Machito Orchestra. He was the featured pianist on Dizzy Gillespie’s “Afro-Cuban Moods,” in 1975. He was the pianist arranger on guitarist George Benson’s mega album “Breezin.’” and his version of of ”This Masquerade” with Benson won a Grammy Award in 1976. He went on to became a member of his fellow countryman Gato Barbieri’s group, and got involved in the mid-1970’s fusion movement, which mixed jazz and rock. He appeared on albums of the period with artists as; Flora Purim, Spyro Gyra, Paquito D’ Rivera, Djaban, Eddie Daniels, Carmen McRae, Rubén Blades among others. During the ‘80’s he was the leader of the InterAmerican Band which featured his wife Adela on vocals. He was also the pianist/arranger for the Percussion Jazz Ensemble consisting of top tier Latin musicians including timbale player Tito Puente, conga player Carlos “Patato” Valdes and violinist Alfredo De La Fe.
Pinetop Perkins (piano) - 1913-2011 :: Pinetop Perkins was one of the last great Mississippi bluesmen still performing. He began playing blues around 1927 and is widely regarded as one of the best blues pianists. He created a style of playing that has influenced three generations of piano players and will continue to be the yardstick by which great blues pianists are measured. Perkins worked primarily in the Mississippi Delta throughout the thirties and forties, spending three years with Sonny Boy Williamson on the King Biscuit Time radio show on KFFA, Helena, Arkansas. Pinetop also toured extensively with slide guitar player Robert Nighthawk and backed him on an early Chess session. After briefly working with B.B. King in Memphis, Perkins barnstormed the South with Earl Hooker during the early fifties. The pair completed a session for Sam Phillips’ famous Sun Records in 1953. It was at this session that he recorded his version of Pinetop Smith’s Boogie Woogie. By this time, Pinetop had developed his own unmistakable sound. His right hand plays horn lines while his left kicks out bass lines and lots of bottom. It was Pinetop, along with Pete Johnson, Meade Lux Lewis, Albert Ammons, and Little Brother Montgomery, who provided the basic format and ideas from which countless swing bands derived their sound - whole horn sections playing out what Pinetop’s right hand was playing. Although Pinetop never played swing, it was his brand of boogie-woogie that came to structure swing and, eventually, rock ‘n’ roll. Pinetop is best known for holding down the piano chair in the great Muddy Waters Band for twelve years during the highest point of Muddy’s career. Replacing the late, great Otis Spann in 1969, Pinetop helped shape the Waters sound and anchored Muddy’s memorable combo throughout the seventies with his brilliant piano solos.In 2005 he was also presented with a lifetime achievement award at the Grammy’s. In 2000 he received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts. In addition, he continued to win the Blues Music Award for best blues piano every year until 2003 when he was retired from that award, which now bears his name—the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year.
Tiny Grimes (guitar) - 1916-1989 :: Tiny Grimes began his musical career playing drums and piano. In 1938 he took up the guitar choosing the unusual electric 4-string tenor guitar. In 1940 he joined the Cats And A Fiddle as guitarist and singer. In 1943 he joined the Art Tatum Trio as guitarist and made a number of recordings with Tatum. The early Tatum Trio recordings made for the Asch and Comet recording labels are some of the more interesting early examples of Tiny Grimes’ guitar work. After leaving Tatum, Grimes recorded with his own groups in New York and he recorded with a long list of leading musicians; Ike Quebec, Cozy Cole, Leonard Feather and Buck Clayton, among others. He was also selected to record with the famous Metronome All Star Band and appears on the recording “Look Out,” on which he shared the guitar duties with Billy Bauer. During this time he made four recordings with Charlie Parker that are considered excellent examples of early bebop jazz; “Tiny’s Tempo,” “Red Cross,” “Romance Without Finance,” and “I’ll Always Love You.”
Michael Henderson (bass, vocals)- 1951 :: Many happy returns to bass player and vocalist Michael Henderson. Micheal Henderson was one of the first notable bass guitarists of the fusion era as well as being one of the most influential jazz and soul musicians of the past 40 years. In addition to Davis, he has played and recorded with Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, the Dramatics, Doctor John and many other famous artists. He is considered to be one of the three greatest Motown bass guitarists, along with Bob Babbitt and his primary influence, James Jamerson. Before working with Davis, Henderson had been touring with Stevie Wonder, whom he met at the Regal Theater in Chicago while warming up for a gig. Davis saw the young Henderson performing at the Copacabana in New York City in early 1970 and allegedly said to Wonder simply “I’m takin’ your bass player.” After almost seven years with Davis, Henderson focused on songwriting and singing in a solo career that produced many hit songs and albums for Arista Records until his retirement in 1986. Although known primarily for ballads, he was an influential funk player whose riffs and songs have been widely covered.
Saturday’s here people! Kick back and relax and go spend all that hard earned you been saving.
If you’re working today thanks for making the weekend happen for us! We just take for granted you’re gonna be in the shop/bar/club whatever, so nice one!
All you celebrating July 7th people what an amazing array of musicians you get to share your day with! Truly stellar.
So here’s wishing you all a truly stellar day and hoping you have an outasite year ahead!
As usual thanks to AAJ & JBC for the guidance
Thanks to the YouTube Massive
Love to the blog followers and welcome to the new ones!