Calvin Keys was born on February 6, 1943 in Omaha, Nebraska. Getting caught teaching himself how to play on his uncle’s Gibson got him the gift of the instrument. By 16 he was playing pop and blues gigs professionally
In 1961 he teamed with organist Frank Edwards and after hearing Calvin play with Ahmad Jamal, Charles Earland invited him to play a special New York City performance.
By 1969 he was in Los Angeles, California gigging in the Persia Room with Red Holloway, co-led a band with Blue Mitchell and played the Doug/Jean Carn project Adam’s Apple. He went on to play with Oscar Brown Jr. at the Memory Lane club and began his association with Ray Charles.
In 1974 he began his musical relationship with Ahmad Jamal the lasted twenty years. He would go on to perform and record with Donald Byrd, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Eddie Marshall, Sonny Stitt, Pharoah Sanders, Leon Williams, Jimmy Witherspoon, Stanley Turrentine, George Coleman, Hadley Caliman, M.C. Hammer, Carmen McRae, Gloria Lynne, Woody Shaw, Jackie Ivory, Luther Vandross, Jackie Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Denise Perrier, James Van Buren, and many others.
As a leader and composer he has released a dozen albums for Black Jazz, Silverado, Wide Hive, Olive Branch, Life Force Jazz and Ovation Records, been a sideman on another nineteen and appears on three compilations. Guitarist Calvin Keys continues to compose, record and tour.
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Keith Ingham was born February 5, 1942 in London, England. His first professional gigs occurred in 1964 playing with Sandy Brown, Bruce Turner, and Wally Fawkes throughout the decade.
Ingham played with Bob Wilber and Bud Freeman in 1974 and moved to New York City in 1978. During the 1980s he played with Benny Goodman, the World’s Greatest Jazz Band and Susannah McCorkle. He also worked with Maxine Sullivan, Marty Grsz, Harry Allen and Eddie Condon.
During the 1930s he record a series of albums for Jump Records, and in the 90s recorded a baker’s dozen sessions for Sackville, Stomp Off and Spotlight record labels. He continues to perform and record.
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Manny Klein was born Emmanuel Klein on February 4, 1908. Not much is known about his youth and trumpet education but he began with Paul Whiteman in 1928. Active throughout the 1930s, he played with several major bands of the era including the Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman.
By 1937 Klein had moved to California and worked with Frank Trumbauer’s orchestra and in early 1940 he appears on Artie Shaw And His Orchestra recordings. During this period he also did soundtracks and though received no credit, played trumpet for the film From Here To Eternity, and worked with musicians associated with West Coast cool jazz in the 1950s.
A versatile player who could play in almost any setting, including first trumpet in an orchestra, classical and pop, appearing on several Dean Martin recordings during the 1960s, and played piccolo trumpet on Hugh Montenegro’s hit version of the main theme to the film, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Regarded as one of the most proficient players of his, or any generation, he possessed an uncanny ability to mimic the styles of many other prominent trumpeters, namely Bunny Berigan and Ziggy Elman. Trumpeter Manny Klein, most associated with swing, passed away at the age of 86 in Los Angeles, California on May 31, 1994.
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Lil Hardin Armstrong was born Lillian Hardin on February 3, 1898 in Memphis, Tennessee and grew up with her grandmother learning hymns, spirituals and classics on the piano, but she was drawn to pop music and later blues. Her initial piano instruction came from her third grade teacher, Miss Violet White, followed by enrollment in Mrs. Hook’s School of Music, but it was while attending Fisk University that she was taught a more acceptable approach to the instrument.
In 1918, Lil moved to Chicago and landed a job as a sheet music demonstrator at Jones Music Store for $3 a week. Shortly afterward bandleader Lawrence Duhé offered her $22.50 she joined him. From cabaret to the De Luxe Café to Dreamland playing behind Alberta Hunter and Ollie Powers. Replace by King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, he asked her to stay, which led to an engagement in San Francisco, back to Chicago playing eventually with Oliver again.
Hardin met Louis Armstrong when Oliver sent for him and subsequently were married in 1924. She took him shopping and taught him how to dress more fashionably, and finally convinced him to strike out on his own. Moving to New York City he joined Fletcher Henderson, while she stayed in Chicago with Oliver and then leading her own band.
Hardin, Armstrong, Kid Ory, Johnny St. Cyr and Johnny Dodds comprised the Hot Five recordings for Okeh Records. She would go on to record sessions with the same group as a leader for Vocalion, Columbia Records and New Orleans Wanderers. In the late 1920s Hardin and Louis parted ways and she formed a band with a cornet player she considered Louis equal, Freddie Keppard. In the 1930s, she sometimes billed herself as Mrs. Louis Armstrong, led an All Girl Orchestra, then a mixed-sex big band, which broadcasted nationally over the NBC radio network.
The same decade she recorded a series of sides for Decca Records as a swing vocalist, recorded with Red Allen, and back in Chicago collaborated with Joe Williams, Oscar Brown Jr., Red Saunders and Little Brother Montgomery. Throughout the rest of her career she continued to perform and record, and began writing an autobiography that she never completed. A month after attending Louis’ funeral in New York City, she was performing at a televised memorial concert for Louis, Lil Hardin Armstrong collapsed at the piano and died on the way to the hospital.
Pianist, composer, arranger, singer and bandleader Lil Hardin Armstrong, second wife and recording collaborator of Louis Armstrong in the 1920s, passed away on August 27, 1971. Her compositions have been sampled and revived by many and was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2014.
Stanley Getz was born on February 2, 1927 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but moved to New York City with his parents during The Depression. In school he was a straight A student finishing 6th grade close to the top of his class but his major interest was in musical instruments, and he felt a need to play every instrument in sight.
He played a number of them before his father bought him his first saxophone at the age of 13 and began practicing eight hours a day. Attending James Monroe High School, got accepted in the All City High School Orchestra of New York City, giving him a chance to receive private, free tutoring from the New York Philharmonic’s bassoonist, Simon Kovar.
By 1943 at age 16, he was accepted into Jack Teagarden’s band, becoming his ward because of his age. Getz also played along with Nat King Cole and Lionel Hampton, and after playing for Stan Kenton, Jimmy Dorsey, and Benny Goodman he became the Woody Herman’s soloist for two years in The Second Herd. Known as The Four Brothers alongside Serge Chaloff, Zoot Sims and Herbie Steward, he gained notoriety. Leaving Herman to strike out on his solo career, he led almost all of his recording sessions after 1950. However, it was during this period that having become involved with drugs and alcohol while a teenager, he was arrested in 1954 while attempting to rob a pharmacy to get a morphine fix.
Stan’s reputation was greatly enhanced by his featured status on Johnny Smith’s album Moonlight In Vermont and the single became a hit, staying on the charts for months. He went on to further popularity playing cool jazz with Horace Silver, Smith, Oscar Peterson and others. In his various bands were Roy Haynes, Al Haig, Tommy Potter, Dizzy Gillespie, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown and Max Roach.
In 1961 Getz became a central figure in introducing bossa nova to the American audience, teaming with guitarist Charlie Byrd who had just returned from Brazil. His album Jazz Samba with Charlie Byrd and Antonio Carlos Jobim became a hit, winning him a Grammy for Best Jazz Performance for Desifinado in 1963 that became his first million-copy seller. He would record Big Band Bossa Nova and Jazz Samba Encore! with Luiz Bonfa and get his second gold disc.
He recorded the album Getz/Gilberto with Jobim, Joao Gilberto and Astrud Gilberto winning two more Grammys for The Girl From Ipanema. What could have been a long partnership with his love affair with Astrud Gilberto, moving him away from bossa nova and back to cool jazz. By 1972, he recorded in the fusion idiom with Chick Corea, Tony Williams and Stanley Clarke.
In the mid-1980s he worked regularly in the San Francisco Bay area and taught at Stanford University as an artist-in-residence at the Stanford Jazz Workshop. In 1986, he was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame. Tenor saxophonist Stan Getz died of liver cancer on June 6, 1991.
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