Oscar Pettiford was born September 30, 1922 in Okmulgee, Oklahoma to a Choctaw mother and Cherokee/African American father. Growing up playing in the family band in which he sang and danced, he switched to piano at the age of 12 then to double bass when he was at the age of 14. Despite being admired by the likes of Milt Hinton, he stopped playing in 1941, feeling he couldn’t make a living. Five months later, he once again met Milt, who persuaded him to return to music.
In 1942 he joined the Charlie Barnet band and 1943 saw him gaining wider public attention after recording with Coleman Hawkins on his “The Man I Love.” He also recorded with Earl Hines, Ben Webster, led a group with Dizzy Gillespie and went to California with Hawkins to play in the film The Crimson Canary and on the soundtrack.
Following this he joined Duke Ellington, then Woody Herman but by the 50s mainly became a leader. It was in this role he inadvertently discovered Cannonball Adderley after one of his musicians tricked him into letting Adderley, an unknown music teacher, onto the stand, he had Adderley solo on a demanding piece, on which Adderley performed impressively.
Pettiford is considered the pioneer of the cello as a solo instrument in jazz music, first played the cello as a practical joke on Woody Herman. However, in 1949, after breaking his arm and finding it impossible to play his bass, he started playing the cello allowing him to perform during his rehabilitation. He made his first recordings with the instrument in 1950. The cello thus became his secondary instrument, and he continued to perform and record with it throughout the remainder of his career.
He recorded extensively during the 1950s for the Debut, Bethlehem and ABC Paramount labels among others, and for European companies after his move to Copenhagen, Denmark in 1958. Oscar Pettiford passed away from a virus associated with polio on September 8, 1960 in Copenhagen and along with his contemporary, Charles Mingus, he stands out as one of the most-recorded bassist and bandleader/composers in jazz
Nefertari Bey was born on September 29, 1980 in Oakland, California, but had the privileged of growing up in places such as Detroit, Chicago, South Carolina & North Carolina. Having such strong musical influence at home she naturally gravitated toward music and began singing at the age of 5. By 16, Nefertari was embarking on her first European tour.
With a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance/Music Engineering Technology from Hampton University, and a Masters in Music from Georgia State University, Nefertari has used her musical education and talent to master the powerful art of musical storytelling and become a profound advocate of music education for all ages.
Bey, who is also a pianist, composer and arranger draws her musical style from influences such as Dinah Washington, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, John Coltrane and Liz Macomb. She has lent her rhythmic skill, style and sound to performances with notable artist such as Kenny Barron, Curtis Lundy and Louis Hayes.
Nefertari Bey unparalleled talent and sultry voice continues to perform.
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Lammar Wright, Jr. was born September 28, 1927 in Kansas City, Missouri to a big band trumpeter father. He began playing with local bands and by 16 the young trumpeter performing professionally with the Lionel Hampton band. Stints with Dizzy Gillespie and as principal soloist with the Charlie Barnet big band followed.
Often substituting for one another on recordings, Sr. or Jr. were never put in the credits on discographies, leaving the two to become ambiguous. However it was only the younger that hired out as a session player in the genres of R&B, rock and roll, doo-wop and others forms of music backing such artists as Wynonie Harris, Esther Phillips, The Coasters and Otis Redding during the ‘50s and ‘60s.
He later even had a brief association with Stan Kenton, whose modernistic charts were obviously influenced by some of the Hampton band’s more eccentric traits. Lammar Wright Jr. eventually settled on the West Coast, where he passed away on July 8, 1983 in Los Angeles.
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Watch What Happens and I Will Wait For You The film score established composer Michel Legrand’s reputation in Hollywood, where he later scored other films, winning three Oscars . In North America, two of the film’s songs, the main theme “I Will Wait For You” and “Watch What Happens” originally titled Recit de Cassard or Cassard’s Song. They became hits and were recorded by many artists. Both were given new English lyrics by lyricist Norman Gimbel and Tony Bennett’s classic performance of the theme song was added to one version of the soundtrack CD.
The Story: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg or the French translation Les Parapluies de Cherbourg is a 1964 French musical film directed by Jacques Demy, starring Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo. The film dialogue is all sung as recitative, even the most casual conversation.
Umbrellas is the middle film in an informal “romantic trilogy” of Demy films that share some of the same actors, characters and overall look; it comes after Lola (1961) and before The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)
Red Rodney was born Robert Roland Chudnick on September 27, 1927 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He became a professional musician at age 15 working in the mid-Forties Jerry Wald, Jimmy Dorsey, George Auld, Benny Goodman and Les Brown. Inspired by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker he turned to bebop and began playing with Claude Thornhill, Gene Krupa and Woody Herman.
Red joined Parker’s quintet in 1949 and was billed as Albino Red when playing in the racially segregated South. Leaving Parker he moved to join Charlie Ventura. Recording extensively over the next ten years he left jazz in 1958 due to diminishing opportunities, lack of acceptance as a white bebop trumpeter, and problems with the police about his drug addiction.
He continued to work in other musical fields and although he continued to be paid well, he supported his drug habit through theft and fraud, eventually spending 27 months in prison. In the early 1970s he was bankrupted by medical costs following a stroke and returned to jazz.
From 1980 to 1982, Rodney made five highly regarded albums with multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan, worked with The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, provided an early showcase for saxophonist Chris Potter, a member of his working group when Rodney recorded “Red Alert” in late 1990. Bebop and hard bop trumpeter Red Rodney passed away on May 27, 1994.
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