Profiles In Jazz

Eddie Lang

Eddie Lang: Profiles in Jazz

The finest jazz guitarist of his short lifetime, Eddie Lang was masterful as both a melodic soloist and a sophisticated accompanist, whether playing bluesy single-note

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

clarence-williams-orchestra-c-1925

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

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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 and Family

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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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,

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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

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Henry “Red” Allen: Profiles in Jazz

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

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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