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The last of the triumvirate of guitar legends who played with The Yardbirds, Jimmy Page became an icon of rock guitarists in the 1970s with Led Zeppelin. Elements of his playing style have been copied to the point of cliché in the years since Led Zeppelin dominated the rock world, but as the originator, Page developed the heavy-metal ...

Source: Rock Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
839 Words Read More

(Trumpet, 1907–91) Part of the Chicago-based Austin High School Gang, along with Bud Freeman, Frank Teschemacher, Jim Lannigan and Dave Tough, McPartland was inspired by recordings of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and Bix Beiderbecke, who he replaced in the Wolverines in 1925. He joined Ben Pollack’s band in 1927 and recorded with the McKenzie-Condon ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
97 Words Read More

(Bandleader, alto saxophone, clarinet, 1904–57) Thoroughly educated in music as a child, Jimmy Dorsey freelanced in New York in the early 1930s, recording frequently with brother Tommy as the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra. They formed a working band in 1934 but split up in 1935. Jimmy carried on, backing Bing Crosby on radio and recording prolifically ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
107 Words Read More

(Trumpet, vocals, 1908–54) Oran Thaddeus Page surfaced in the Bennie Moten Band as a powerful blues player, often using a plunger mute. He was with the as-yet unknown Count Basie in 1936 and might soon have left Kansas City as one of that fabled band of brothers had he not been approached by Joe Glaser. Glaser was Louis ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
184 Words Read More

(Tuba, bass, 1900–57) By the end of the 1930s Walter Page had brought the usually subordinate roll of the bass to a position of critical importance without substantially expanding its time-keeping function. As a component of the unique Count Basie ‘all-American’ rhythm section from 1936–42, he produced a large, round but never percussive attack, whose ringing ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
112 Words Read More

(Vocals, 1899–1972) James Andrew Rushing was born in Oklahoma City into a musical family. He worked in California in the mid-1920s as a pianist and vocalist, joined Walter Page’s Blue Devils in Oklahoma City in 1927 and made his recording debut with the band in 1929. He played with the Bennie Moten Band in Kansas City from 1929, ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
106 Words Read More

(Piano, 1898–1951) James Edward Yancey was born in Chicago and toured the vaudeville circuit as a dancer in his childhood. He learned piano from his brother Alonzo in 1915 and was soon working rent parties and small clubs around Chicago. He made his recording debut in 1939 for Solo Art and continued to record intermittently, often in the company ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
103 Words Read More

(Vocals, 1922–97) Jimmy John Witherspoon was born in Gurdon, Arkansas. He joined the Jay McShann group in California in 1945. He recorded his own records in late 1947 and among them was ‘Ain’t Nobody’s Business Parts 1 & 2’, a huge Race Records hit. Witherspoon toured with his own group until 1952 and had another big hit with ‘No ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
104 Words Read More

(Clarinet, baritone, tenor and soprano saxophones, b. 1921) Jimmy Giuffre composed ‘Four Brothers’ for Woody Herman’s saxophone section in 1947 and later joined the Second Herd. He formed his important trio with Jim Hall (guitar) and Ralph Peña (bass) in 1957, then replaced bass with Bob Brookmeyer’s trombone in 1958. A subsequent trio with Paul Bley (piano) ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
104 Words Read More

(Tenor and soprano saxophone, flute, b. 1926) Jimmy Heath’s early devotion to Charlie Parker saw him nicknamed ‘Little Bird’, but he switched from alto to tenor saxophone and developed his own voice. He honed his writing skills with the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra throughout 1949–50. He spent 1955–59 in prison, but rebuilt his career with a series of recordings ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
103 Words Read More

(Guitar, harmonica, vocals, 1925–76) Mathis James Reed was born in Dunleith, Mississippi. His friend Eddie Taylor taught him guitar and harmonica, but he rarely played professionally until he moved to Gary, Indiana in 1948 and gradually worked himself into the Chicago blues scene. He recorded on harmonica with John Brim and, after failing an ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
189 Words Read More

(Organ, piano, 1925–2005) Jimmy Smith, a fluent and inventive jazz improviser, is regarded as the greatest of the soul jazz organists; he essentially defined the form in his performances and recordings for Blue Note in the 1950s. His adoption of the Hammond organ to soul jazz’s combination of jazz improvisation over blues-rooted grooves opened up a new ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
100 Words Read More

(Guitar, vocals, b. 1936) Guitarist Jimmy Dawkins came from Mississippi to the West Side of Chicago in 1955, formed a friendship with Luther Allison and slowly built a good reputation with his slow-burning expressiveness. He made his first recording, the award-winning Fast Fingers, in 1969 for Delmark Records and followed up with the equally serious All ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
102 Words Read More

(Fiddle, 1848–1931) The first man to play on the Nashville radio station that would house the Grand Ole Opry, Thompson was a Tennessee-born, Texas-raised fiddler with many contest rosettes to his name when he sat down at a WSM microphone in November 1925. Accompanied by his daughter Eva, who played piano or danced, he toured small-town ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
96 Words Read More

Even when he was sober, Jimmy Martin (vocals, guitar, 1927–2005) was willing to tell anyone who would listen why he was the ‘king of bluegrass’. After all, didn’t Bill Monroe’s sound change dramatically when Martin joined The Blue Grass Boys in 1949 ? Didn’t Martin create a brand new honky-tonk/bluegrass hybrid on his great Decca recordings of ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
806 Words Read More
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