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Jazz Music

Biographies


  • Nancy Wilson

    Nancy WilsonNancy Wilson has been a world-renowned jazz, rhythm and blues, and pop singer for more than 35 years. Fashionable and poised, with a voice that both soothes and seduces an audience, Wilson prefers to call herself a "song stylist" who ranges freely through several musical idioms. Rather than reading music, Wilson learns each song by listening to the melody, enabling her to decide which songs best complement her rich, supple voice. An Essence magazine contributor noted that the entertainer has always defied easy labels or glib categorizations: "She is a jazz singer. A balladeer. She does cabaret, sophisticated pop, rhythm and blues. To say she is any one of these, or even all of these, is to miss who she really is--an artist of such enduring talent, class, and elegance that she doesn't just defy the labels, she transcends them."

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  • Randy Brecker

    Рэнди БреккерJazz trumpeter and composer Randy Brecker has helped shape the sound of jazz, R&B and rock for more than four decades. His trumpet and flugelhorn performances have graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Parliament/Funkadelic to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, Jaco Pastorius and Frank Zappa.

    Randy Brecker's history is as varied as it is distinguished. Born (1945) in Philadelphia to a piano-playing father, Randy spent summers in stage-band camps where he got his earliest experience in ensemble playing. He began playing RandB and funk in local bar bands while in his teens, but at the same time he had an ear for hard bop. “I'd listen to Sonny Rollins, Lee Morgan, Miles' Quintets, Art Blakey, Horace Silver, the Clifford Brown/Max Roach group.”

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  • Tadd Dameron

    Tadd DameronDameron was born Tadley Ewing Peake on February 21, 1917, in Cleveland, Ohio. "Everybody in my family played music," he was quoted as saying in the Jazzed in Cleveland survey written by historian Joe Mosbrook. "My mother played piano. My father played piano and sang. My brother plays alto [sax]. My cousins and my aunts, they all play. My uncle plays guitar and bass." The jazz enthusiast in the family was his brother Caesar, who brought home records by Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington, key figures from the first golden age of the jazz arranger's art.

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  • Herbert Hancock

    Herbie HancockHerbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer. As part of Miles Davis's Second Great Quintet, Hancock helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the "post-bop" sound. He was one of the first jazz musicians to embrace music synthesizers and funk music (characterized by syncopated drum beats). Hancock's music is often melodic and accessible; he has had many songs "cross over" and achieved success among pop audiences. His music embraces elements of funk and soul while adopting freer stylistic elements from jazz. In his jazz improvisation, he possesses a unique creative blend of jazz, blues, and modern classical music, with harmonic stylings much like the styles of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.

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  • Coleman Hawkins

    Коулмен Хоукинс Coleman HawkinsColeman Hawkins, despite the snappy nicknames "Hawk" and "Bean, " was a private, taciturn man, and an attentive listener to all kinds of music: among his favorite recordings were those of opera singers, whose rhapsodic quality he captured in his own fiercely passionate playing. A married man with three children, Hawkins' consumption of alcohol seemed to be his only vice.

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  • Tommy Dorsey

    Tommy DorseyTommy Dorsey was born the second son of Irishman Thomas Francis Dorsey, Sr., a music teacher and band director in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania 21 months after his, also famous, brother Jimmy. After receiving music instruction from his father, Tommy played both trumpet and trombone in his early years. While still in his teens he played in local bands along with his brother Jimmy.

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  • Svend Asmussen

    Свенд Асмуссен Svend AsmussenAsmussen's early influence was Joe Venuti, but it was a visit to Denmark by Stuff Smith that rekindled his interest in jazz.  He certainly had the opportunity to be better known abroad.  On more than one occasion, he turned down invitations from Benny Goodman to join the clarinetist's famous group.  Apparently, he was comfortable to remain a big frog in a little pond.  This is too bad, as it makes one's mouth water to imagine what the fabulous Goodman "small groups" might have produced if Asmussen had been added to the likes of Gene Krupa, Teddy Wilson, and Lionel Hampton.  A suggestion of the possibilities can be heard on an elusive 1978 album featuring a collaboration with Hampton.

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  • Robert Glasper

    Robert GlasperRobert Glasper's albums are centered around his work as a solo artist, and two bands: The Robert Glasper Trio (on piano Robert Glasper, drummer Chris Dave, and bassist Vicente Archer) as an acoustic jazz trio, and The Robert Glasper Experiment (Glasper, Dave, saxophonist/vocalist Casey Benjamin and bassist Derrick Hodge) as an electronic act that defies genre norms from any single discipline. “That’s what makes this band unique... We can go anywhere, literally anywhere, we want to go. We all have musical ADD and we love it.” With primary influences in neo-soul, hip-hop, jazz, gospel, and R&B, Glasper also has reinterpreted songs from rock acts Nirvana, Radiohead, Soundgarden, and David Bowie.[3] As a jazz artist, Rashod D. Ollison reviewed him after the release of Canvas as "a gifted jazz musician with a brilliant, energetic technique and a fresh, mesmerizing sense of melody and composition.".

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  • Ben van den Dungen

    Ben van den DungenBen van den Dungen has been in the jazz scene for some years. He made so far around 70 albums and played around 5000 concerts.

    His quartet contains a special combination of musical personality’s. Nothing pretentious, just swinging, right up to date and with a “happy feel”. These characteristics makes this band so undeniably 100% pure Jazz.

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  • Tete Montoliu

    Tete MontoliuTete Montoliu personified the atypical jazz pianist, being from a diverse culture, he was capable to not only express musically his own heritage, but became proficient in playing his individual interpretations of American jazz in its swing to bop variations.

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