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AL COHN

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Alvin Gilbert Cohn was born on November 24, 1925 in Brooklyn, New York. He was initially known in the 1940s for playing in Woody Herman’s Second Herd as one of the Four Brothers, along with Zoot Sims, Stan Getz and Serge Chaloff. He contributed arrangements to the band until he left and formed a long association co-leading a quintet with Zoot while also playing with a variety of other musicians.

The partnership that began in 1956 lasted until Sims’ death and yielded one of their best albums on Mercury Records called You ‘n’ Me in 1960 and also backed Jack Kerouac on a few of his recordings. An accomplished arranger, Cohn worked Broadway arranging for such shows as Raisin’ and Sophisticated Ladies, worked with Linda Rondstadt, and appeared with Elvis Presley at Madison Square Garden.

Al Cohn, a tenor saxophonist, who had a reputation as a lyrical flowing soloist, passed away in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania on February 15, 1988.

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RAY DRUMMOND

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Ray Drummond was born on November 23, 1946 in Brookline, Massachusetts to an Army colonel and through his childhood attended 14 schools around the world. He played trumpet and French horn from the age of eight, then a high-school music teacher encouraged him to switch to the bass.

Briefly settling in northern California he matriculated through Claremont Men’s College and went on to Stanford Business School where he got his Masters in business administration. During those San Francisco years he played with Bobby Hutcherson, Michael White, Ed Kelly, Tom Harrell and Lester Young’s niece, Martha Young.

Moving to New York in 1977, Drummond worked as a session bass player for Betty Carter, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Woody Shaw, Hank Jones, Jon Faddis, Milt Jackson, Johnny Griffin, Kenny Barron, Pharoah Sanders and George Coleman.

In addition to working as a sideman and leading his own bands, Ray is an educator and has taught at the Monterey Peninsula College of Music and the California State University and has conducted master classes at Berklee College of Music, Purdue University, the University of Massachusetts and the Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki, Finland.

Bassist Ray Drummond continues to co-lead The Drummonds with Renee Rosnes while recording as a sideman and can be heard on more than three hundred albums with the likes of Kevin Mahogany, Toots Thielemans, David Murray and Benny Golson to name a few.

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CHARADE

Hollywood On 52nd Street

Charade is a sad, lonely Parisian waltz composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer for the 1963 film of the same name starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. Now a classic song getting perpetual jazz encores song and is the theme to this romantic comedy, thriller, mystery film. The supporting cast included Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy, Dominique Minot, Ned Glass and Jacques Marin.

The Story: When husband Charles is murdered leaving town, Regina “Reggie” Lampert (Hepburn) is tasked by the CIA administrator Matthau) to deliver the $250,000 in gold that five men stole from the U.S. that was to be delivered to the French Resistance and that her husband double-crossed and took for himself. Insistent that she knows where it is even though she may not know it. In walks Peter Joshua (Grant) to help her move into her apartment and the hunt for the money begins. Reggie falls for Peter, names constantly change, there’s murder and chases through the streets of Paris. They realize the money is in a priceless stamp and this lead up to the discovery of the identity of Carson Dyle and who the government agent is.

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CECIL SCOTT

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Cecil Scott was born in Springfield, Ohio on November 22, 1905 and played clarinet and tenor saxophone as a teenager with his brother, drummer Lloyd Scott. They played together as co-leaders through the end of the 1920s, holding residencies in Ohio, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and in New York City at the Savoy Ballroom. Among the members of this ensemble were Dicky Wells, Frankie Newton, Bill Coleman, Roy Eldridge, Johnny Hodges and Chu Berry.

By 1929 Cecil took full music control over the group in 1929, though Lloyd continued to manage the group. However, he was seriously injured in an accident in the early 1930s that temporarily sidelined his career. After recovery, he would play in different groups through the Thirties with Ellsworth Reynolds, Teddy Hill, Clarence Williams and Teddy Wilson accompanying Billie Holiday.

The early 1940s saw Scott playing with Albert Socarras, Red Allen, and Willie “The Lion” Smith prior to reassembling his band that hired at times Hot Lips Page and Art Hodes and towards the end of the decade worked with Slim Gaillard.

In 1950 Cecil disbanded the group, worked with Jimmy McPartland as a sideman, occasionally led groups and continued to play as a sideman up until the time of his death on January 5, 1964 in New York City. The clarinetist, tenor saxophonist and bandleader is credited on some 75 albums.

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C. JOHNSON

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Charlie “Fess” Johnson was born on November 21, 1891 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He led an ensemble called the Paradise Ten and played in Harlem clubs like Small’s Paradise between 1925 and 1935.

Though Charlie was an accomplished pianist very rarely did he eve solo on his recording sessions and as a unit never achieved the reputation is so deserved. It was noted later that the band rivaled Duke Ellington and anyone else and employed a number of notables like Sidney DeParis, Charlie Irvis, Dicky Wells, Benny Waters and Benny Carter, who also wrote arrangements for the band.

He led the ensemble until 1938 then his musical endeavors freelancing in various ensembles around New York City until he retired in the 1950s due to health issues. Pianist and bandleader Charlie Johnson, who nickname “Fess” it is assumed was shortened from Professor, passed away in Harlem Hospital on December 13, 1959 in New York City.

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