Profiles In Jazz

Billie Holiday Profiles in Jazz

Billie Holiday: Profiles in Jazz

She had a small voice that could not compare to that of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. She never scatted and her improvising tended to

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Clarence Williams: Profiles in Jazz

Jazz history books often leave his name out, but Clarence Williams was a major force in the 1920s and ’30s and had quite a career;

Frank Sinatra and Harry James

Harry James: Profiles in Jazz

Next to Louis Armstrong, Harry James was not only the most famous trumpeter of the 1940s but remains a household name decades after his death.

Bessie Smith in 1924

Bessie Smith: Profiles in Jazz

Accurately billed as “The Empress of the Blues” during her prime years, Bessie Smith was not only the top female jazz and blues singer to

Three Books About Buddy Bolden

Buddy Bolden: Profiles in Jazz

Cornetist Buddy Bolden’s life is shrouded in mystery. He was the George Washington of jazz- first at nearly everything. And as with Washington, many legends

Bunny Berigan: Profiles in Jazz

Bunny Berigan: Profiles in Jazz

Bunny Berigan was arguably the top jazz trumpeter of the 1930s (not counting Louis Armstrong), with his main competition being Henry “Red” Allen, Roy Eldridge,

Eddie Condon: Profiles in Jazz

Eddie Condon: Profiles in Jazz

Eddie Condon took extremely few guitar solos in his career (all very early), did not sing after the 1920s, and only wrote a couple of

Tommy Dorsey: Profiles in Jazz

Tommy Dorsey: Profiles in Jazz

He was the “Sentimental Gentleman of Swing,” a trombonist with perfect breath control, a pretty sound, and a melodic swinging style. Tommy Dorsey led one

John Kirby: Profiles in Jazz

John Kirby: Profiles in Jazz

He was probably the only bassist during the Swing era to lead a successful band. John Kirby was not a major soloist on the level

Bobby Hackett: Profiles in Jazz

Bobby Hackett: Profiles in Jazz

Bobby Hackett was a cool-toned cornetist who always sounded relaxed no matter what the setting or the tempo. Once, when he was trying to sell

Fletcher Henderson: Profiles in Jazz

Fletcher Henderson: Profiles in Jazz

In November 1934, Benny Goodman was in a bind. His new orchestra had just won an important time slot on the Let’s Dance radio show.

Chris Barber Announces Retirement after 70 Years in Music

Chris Barber: Profiles in Jazz

Strange as it seems, there was a time when it was not unusual for trad jazz recordings to be on the pop charts in Great

Bob Crosby: Profiles in Jazz

Bob Crosby: Profiles in Jazz

Bob Crosby definitely had an unusual career. Being the younger brother of Bing Crosby, the most famous singer in the world for quite a few

Jabbo Smith: Profiles in Jazz

Jabbo Smith: Profiles in Jazz

Jazz history is full of bright flames, artists who come out of nowhere, make a very strong impression, and then burn out, often having a

Profiles in Jazz: Earl "Fatha" Hines

Profiles in Jazz: Earl “Fatha” Hines

Earl “Fatha” Hines was one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. Frequently he would play ringing octaves with his right hand (called “trumpet

Profiles in Jazz: Red Nichols

Profiles in Jazz: Red Nichols

Red Nichols was one of the finest cornet players to emerge during the 1920s—yet, for various reasons, he was underrated throughout much of his career

Gene Krupa: Profiles in Jazz

Gene Krupa: Profiles in Jazz

Star Drummer He was the first drummer to be considered a superstar and a matinee idol. Before Gene Krupa hit it big with Benny Goodman’s

Coleman Hawkins: Profiles in Jazz

Coleman Hawkins: Profiles in Jazz

How many jazz musicians from the 1920s were involved in playing modern jazz of the 1960s? I can only think of three: Duke Ellington (who,

Kid Ory: Profiles in Jazz

Kid Ory: Profiles in Jazz

Before the rise of Miff Mole, Jimmy Harrison, and especially Jack Teagarden in the late 1920s, Edward “Kid” Ory was the most important influence on

Profiles in Jazz: Artie Shaw

Profiles in Jazz: Artie Shaw

Success at Every Turn Artie Shaw was a unique figure in jazz history. A competitor of Benny Goodman both as a clarinetist and a bandleader,

Django Reinhardt: Profiles in Jazz

Django Reinhardt: Profiles in Jazz

He was one of the most extraordinary individuals in jazz history, a largely illiterate gypsy who also happened to be one of the greatest jazz

Profiles in Jazz: Henry “Red” Allen

Profiles in Jazz: Henry “Red” Allen

Jazz history is full of innovators, interpreters, and individualists. The innovators change the way that the music is played and influence both their contemporaries and

Sidney Bechet: Profiles in Jazz

Sidney Bechet: Profiles in Jazz

Sidney Bechet was a unique figure in jazz history. A masterful soprano-saxophonist and clarinetist, he recorded the first significant jazz solos (other than pianists). Bechet,

Fats Waller: Profiles in Jazz

Fats Waller: Profiles in Jazz

Most of the major jazz musicians excelled in one or two areas. For example Jack Teagarden, the subject of last month’s Profiles In Jazz, was

Jack Teagarden: Profiles in Jazz

Jack Teagarden: Profiles in Jazz

The Double-Threat One of the most beloved figures in jazz history, Jack Teagarden was a double-threat as a trombonist and a singer. Before he arrived

Ella Fizgerald: Profiles in Jazz

Ella Fizgerald: Profiles in Jazz

She Could Swing When confronted with the recordings and performances of Ella Fitzgerald, several questions come to mind. Could anyone outswing her? Was anyone a