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Jazz Music

Biographies


  • Count Basie

    Count Basie (Каунт Бейси)The story of Count Basie is very much the story of the great jazz band that he led for close to 50 years (1935-1984), an orchestra with a distinctive sound, anchored by a subtle but propulsive beat, buoyed by crisp ensemble work, and graced with superb soloists (indeed, a catalogue of featured players would read like a Who's Who of jazz). But perhaps the most startling aspect of the band's achievement was its 50-year survival in a culture that has experienced so many changes in musical fashion, and especially its survival after the mid-1960s when jazz lost much of its audience to rock music and disco.

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  • Wayne Shorter

    Wayne ShorterWayne Shorter is considered one of modern jazz's most influential saxophonists and among its most original composers. Shorter, a tenor and soprano saxophonist, rose to prominence in the early 1960s when, as Mark Gilbert stated in Jazz Journal International, he introduced innovations to jazz which "were not piecemeal additions or alterations to mainstream tradition, but rather embodied a wholesale shift in perspective." Len Lyons and Don Perlo in Jazz Portraits: The Lives and Music of the Jazz Masters described Shorter's distinct contributions: "His compositions, characterized by unusual chord sequences and economical, impressionistic melodies … portray images and sounds of his youth, foreign cultures, and films…. [While] as a saxophonist, Shorter developed a flexible, vocalized articulation and tone."

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  • Jimmy Rushing

    Jimmy Rushing, also known as Jimmy Rushing, also known as "Mr. Five by Five," possessed a joyous, booming voice that could be clearly heard over the swinging jazz orchestras of the big band era and beyond. He began his career as a piano player in the 1920s, but soon found his voice. He made his name with the Count Basie Orchestra in the 1940s, and enjoyed an active career singing solo and with jazz and big-band greats such as Humphrey Lyttleton, Buck Clayton, Benny Goodman, Eddie Condon, Al Cohn, and Zoot Sims, among others. He toured the United States and abroad, and his voice can be heard on countless recordings, including the most recent compilations The Essential Jimmy Rushing (1978), Mister Five by Five (1980), and The Classic Count (1982).

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  • Lester Young

    Lester YoungLester “Prez” Young was one of the giants of the tenor saxophone. He was the greatest improviser between Coleman Hawkins and Louis Armstrong of the 1920s and Charlie Parker in the 1940s. From the beginning, he set out to be different: He had his own lingo; In the Forties, he grew his hair out. The other tenor players held their saxophones upright in front of them, so Young held his out to the side, kind of like a flute (see picture above). Then, there was the way he played: Hawkins played around harmonic runs. He played flurries of notes and had a HUGE tone that the other tenor players of the day emulated. Young used a softer tone that resulted In a soft, light sound (if you didn't know better, you would think the two were playing different instruments). Young used less notes and slurred notes together, creating more melodic solos. He played the ordinary in an extraordinary way, using a lot of subtleties to produce music that Billie Holiday said flips you out of your seat with surprise.

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  • Horace Silver

    Horace SilverFrom the perspective of the early 2000s, it is clear that few jazz musicians have had a greater impact on the contemporary mainstream than Horace Silver. The hard bop style that Silver pioneered in the '50s is now dominant, played not only by holdovers from an earlier generation, but also by fuzzy-cheeked musicians who had yet to be born when the music fell out of critical favor in the '60s and '70s.

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  • Cannonball Adderley

    Julian Edwin 'Cannonball' AdderleyJulian Edwin "Cannonball" Adderley is remembered for his 1966 single "Mercy Mercy Mercy", a crossover hit on the pop charts, and for his work with trumpeter Miles Davis, including on the epochal album Kind of Blue (1959). He was the brother of jazz cornetist Nat Adderley, a longtime member of his band.

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  • Joe Venuti

    Joe VenutiJoe Venuti was the first great violinist of Jazz. The music he made with Eddie Lang would later be a major influence on Django Reinhardt and Stйphane Grappelli in France.

    Although renowned as one of the world's great practical jokers (he once called a couple dozen bass players with an alleged gig and asked them to show up with their instruments at a busy street corner just so he could view the resulting chaos), Joe Venuti's real importance to jazz is as improvised music's first great violinist. He was a boyhood friend of Eddie Lang (jazz's first great guitarist) and the duo teamed up in a countless number of settings during the second half of the 1920s, including recording influential duets.

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  • Red Mitchell

    Red MitchellA talented bassist who was always in great demand, Red Mitchell was originally a pianist and he doubled on piano on an occasional basis throughout his career.

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  • John Coltrane

    John (William) ColtraneJohn (William) Coltrane (b Hamlet nc, 23 Sept 1926; d New York, 17 July 1967). American jazz saxophonist, bandleader and composer. He first became known as a soloist with Miles Davis (1955-7, 1958-60) and led his own bands from 1960. His solos were marked by great technical facility, expressed in rapid delivery (as in Giant Steps, 1959), systematic variation of motifs (My Favorite Things, 1960, and A Love Supreme, 1964) and radical developments in timbre. He mostly played the tenor saxophone, but from the early 1960s he also used the soprano instrument. After Charlie Parker he was the most innovatory and widely imitated jazz saxophonist.

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  • Yusef Lateef

    Yusef Lateef Yusef Lateef is a Grammy Award-winning composer, performer, recording artist, author, visual artist, educator and philosopher who has been a major force on the international musical scene for more than six decades. In recognition of his many contributions to the world of music, he has been named an American Jazz Master for the year 2010 by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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