Ann Richards was born Margaret Ann Borden on October 1, 1935 in San Diego,California. She began taking singing lessons at ten and was self-taught on the piano. Appearing on the West Coast music scene in 1954, she had a short stint with Charlie Barnet’s band only to be later brought to the attention of Stan Kenton by songwriter Eddie Beal.
Richards was only with Kenton’s band for a few months in 1955 before the two were married. Kenton helped her secure a contract with Capitol Records and she was paired with conductor Brian Farnon and arranger Warren Baker for her 1958 debut album, I’m Shooting High. A duet album with Kenton, Two Much, was released in 1961.
The two separated in 1961 after she created scandal posed for the June 1961 issue of Playboy. She subsequently signed a contract with the Atco Records division of Atlantic Records. She released seven albums as a leader, two of them with Kenton. The cover of her 1961 album Ann, Man! was taken from the shoot. Vocalist Ann Richards committed suicide from a gunshot on April 1, 1982 in Hollywood, California, passing away at age 46.
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Carmen Leggio was born on September 30, 1927 in Tarrytown, New York. His last name literally translates to “music stand” and he taught himself to play at the age of nine. He began on clarinet, imitating Artie Shaw on the radio. At 14, he switched to tenor sax and began playing in clubs in his hometown of Tarrytown, a suburb just north of New York City.
He quit high school because he knew he was destined to be a musician and after playing the local scene, he moved to New York City in 1950. There he first worked with Terry Gibbs and became a studio musician.
His notable associations from the Fifties through the Seventies were with Marty Napoleon, Sol Yaged, Benny Goodman, the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra, Woody Herman and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra.
He went on to play with Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie, and Doc Severinsen. Carmen has appeared on television, in movies, at the Newport Jazz Festival, Birdland and Carnegie Hall. Since 1961 and for the rest of his career Leggio played the same instrument, a Gold Medal SML made in France by Strasser, Marigaux & Lemaire with a Selmer D mouthpiece. He continued to perform Stardust, Nightmare and Begin the Beguine on an old King metal clarinet.
In his final years, he performed in various clubs and restaurants throughout Westchester. Tenor saxophonist Carmen Leggio passed away in Tarrytown on April 17, 2009.
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Dennis Sandole was born Dionigi Sandoli on September 29, 1913 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He played guitar as a child was John Coltrane’s mentor from 1946 until the early 1950s, introducing him to theory beyond chords and scales and exposing him to the music of other cultures.
Sandole taught advanced harmonic techniques that were applicable to any instrument, using exotic scales and creating his own. His students over half a century included saxophonists James Moody, Michael Brecker, Rob Brown, and Bobby Zankel; pianists Matthew Shipp and Sumi Tonooka; guitarists Jim Hall, Joe Diorio, Pat Martino, Joe Federico, Tony DeCaprio, Jon Herington, Larry Hoffman, and Harry Leahey, Rufus Harley, Bob deVos and Frank Gerrard.
He recorded with his brother Adolph, Modern Music From Philadelphia, released by Fantasy in 1956. Guitarist, composer and music educator Dennis Sandole, who taught privately until the end of his life, passed away on September 30, 2000.
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Raymond Kenneth Warleigh was born on September 28, 1938 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. He migrated to England in 1960, where he quickly established himself as an in-demand session player.
He played and recorded with many major figures and bands of the UK jazz and blues scene, including Alexis Korner, Tubby Hayes, Humphrey Lyttelton, Terry Smith, Ronnie Scott, Long John Baldry, John Mayall, Allan Holdsworth, Soft Machine, Georgie Fame, Mike Westbrook, Dick Morrissey and Kenny Wheeler, as well as Mike Oldfield, Nick Drake, and Charlie Watts. He accompanied visiting artists such as Champion Jack Dupree and his successful 30-year career partnered him with Dusty Springfield, Marianne Faithfull, Scott Walker and Stevie Wonder, among others.
Warleigh’s First Album was released in 1968 and in 1971 he played saxophone and clarinet with the loosely connected UK folk group P. C. Kent. In 1973 he joined Latin fusion band Paz, led by vibist and composer Dick Crouch. He featured with the band for 8 years playing a weekly Sunday residency at the Kensington, a pub in Holland Park.
He recorded seven albums as a leader as well as his sideman sessions with for Spotlite, Magnus and Paladin Record labels producing Kandeen Love Song, Paz Are Back , Paz Live at Chichester Festival and Look Inside. Members of the band were Dick Crouch leader and vibes, guitarist Ed Speight, Geoff Castle on keyboards, bass guitarist Ron Mathewson, drummer Dave Sheen and percussionist Chris Fletcher. His critically acclaimed last album Rue Victor Massé was issued in 2009 and is an improvisation with free-jazz drummer Tony Marsh.
In his leisure time he was an accomplished yachtsman before serious illness struck in 2011. Alto saxophonist and flautist Ray Warleigh passed away of cancer on September 21, 2015.
Teddy Brannon was born Humphrey Brannon on September 27, 1916 in Moultrie, Georgia. He began learning piano at age nine and played in dance bands in high school while working locally in Newark, New Jersey nightclubs from 1937 – 1942.
Between 1942 to 1945 he was a member of Benny Carter’s ensemble, after which he freelanced on 52nd Street in New York City. The 1950s and 1960s saw Brannon working in the studios with doo wop groups and though he never recorded as a leader, he recorded as a leader with his orchestra in the late Forties and played extensively in the jazz idiom with but not limited to Don Byas, Roy Eldridge, Buddy Rich, Bennie Green, Johnny Hodges, Jonah Jones, Don Newcomb and Illinois Jacquet.
An accomplished accompanied he performed and recorded with such singers as Dinah Washington, Ruth Brown, Billie Holiday, and Babs Gonzales, who was Brannon’s cousin. Pianist Teddy Brannon passed away on February 24, 1989 in Newark, New Jersey.
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