Arthur Edgehill was born July 21, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York and studied drumming during his youth. His first professional work came while touring with Mercer Ellington in 1948, and in 1953 he toured with Ben Webster. He went on to play with Kenny Dorham’s Jazz Prophets in 1956 and with Gigi Gryce and in 1957-58 toured with Dinah Washington.
He would go on to become a member of Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis’ quartet with George Duvivier and/or Wendell Marshall, and recorded with Shirley Scott, not only on her debut album, Great Scott! In 1958, but also on her Very Saxy album in 1959 with Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Buddy Tate, Coleman Hawkins, and Arnett Cobb on tenors.
Edgehill played in quartets led by Horace Silver, one featuring Cecil Payne, and at Minton’s with Hank Mobley and Doug Watkins, and jammed with Charlie Parker and Annie Laurie.
Hard bop jazz drummer Arthur Edgehill, originally spelt Edghill, not retired at the age of 90, was active from the 1950s through the 1970s. He appeared on several of the Prestige recordings from the Van Gelder Studios in Hackensack and Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. He recorded on Mal Waldron’s debut album Mal-1 in 1956 and continued recording with Little Jimmy Scott, Mildred Anderson and David Amram among others.
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Karel Krautgartner was born on July 20, 1922 in Mikulov, Moravia and began to play piano at the age of eight. In 1935, after moving to Brno, he found interest mainly in the radio broadcasting and especially in jazz. He began to study clarinet privately with Stanislav Krtička, acquiring necessary skills and inherited a fanatic passion for clarinet construction and its components.
In 1936 Krautgartner founded the student orchestra Quick Band and six years later signed his first professional contract as a saxophonist in the Gustav Brom Orchestra in the hotel Passage in Brno. In 1943 he gradually created Dixie Club and started to arrange in the Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller styles. During 1945 – 1955, the core of the Dixie Club moved gradually to Prague and became a part of Karel Vlach orchestra. Karel became leader of the saxophone section and started to contributing his own compositions.
1956 saw him founding the Karel Krautgartner Quintet along with Karel Velebný. The group played in various line-ups modern jazz, swing, dixieland and accompanied popular singers. From 1958 to 1960 he performed with the All star band, an orchestra playing in west-coast style, and dixieland with Studio 5. Between 1960 and 1968 he became the head of the Taneční Orchestr Československého Rozhlasu (Dance Orchestra of Czechoslovakia Radio), renamed to Karel Krautgartner Orchestra in 1967.
Following the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, he emigrated to Vienna, Austria in 1968 and became the chief conductor of the 0RF Bigband. Later he moved to Cologne, Germany. Clarinetist, saxophonist, arranger, composer, conductor and teacher Karel Krautgartner passed away on September 20, 1982 in Germany.
Bobby Lee Bradford was born July 19, 1934 in Cleveland, Mississippi and at age eleven his family moved to Dallas, Texas in 1946. He moved to Los Angeles, California in 1953 where he reunited with childhood friend from Texas, Ornette Coleman. He subsequently joined Coleman’s ensemble but was drafted into the U.S. Air Force and replaced by Don Cherry.
After playing in military bands from late 1954 to late 1958, Bradford reunited with Coleman’s quartet from 1961 to 1963, infrequently performing in public, but prolifically recorded under Coleman’s Atlantic contract. Unfortunately these tapes were among those many destroyed in the Great Atlantic Vault Fire. Returning to the West Coast to pursue further studies, he would eventually receive his B.M. degree from Huston-Tillotson College.
He soon began a long-running and relatively well-documented association with the clarinetist John Carter, a pairing that brought both increased exposure at international festivals. Following Carter’s death in 1991, Bobby fronted his own ensemble known as The Mo’tet.
Bradford has performed with Eric Dolphy, Leon “Ndugu” Chancler, Ingebrigt Håker-Flaten, Bob Stewart, Charlie Haden, George Lewis, James Newton, Frode Gjerstad, Vinny Golia, Nels Cline, William Parker, Paal Nilssen-Love, and David Murray, among others.
An educator, he is a professor at Pasadena City College in California and Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he teaches The History of Jazz. Trumpeter and cornetist Bobby Bradford is the father of drummer Dennis Bradford and jazz vocalist Carmen Bradford. He has recorded eight albums as a leader, ten as a co-leader, seventeen as a sideman and continues to perform with his group The Mo’tet.
René Urtreger was born July 16, 1934 in Paris, France and began his private piano studies at the age of four, and then at the Conservatory. He studied with an orientation toward jazz, playing in a small Parisian club, the Sully d’Auteil, conducted by Hubert Damisch. The Sully boasted an orchestra of talented students including Sacha Distel and Louis Viale.
In 1953, Urtreger won first prize in a piano contest for amateurs, and from that moment decided to be a professional musician. 1954 saw him accompanying saxophonist Don Byas and trumpeter Buck Clayton in a Parisian concert. Their collaboration in the “Salon du Jazz” became one of the most highly requested French performances by the American musicians that toured the French capital.
After serving in the military from 1955 to 1957, René would play in a club on the left bank of the Seine, the famous Club Saint-Germain and again he collaborated with Miles Davis and Lester Young. His work so impressed the latter that he accompanied Young for a short tour of Europe in 1956, however the following year in December, he was part of Davis’s group which recorded the soundtrack to the film Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows).
The late 1950s had him working with Lionel Hampton, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins and Ben Webster, among others. His canon of jazz work is still widely regarded as sensitive with a full, dense sound of swing. The Academie du Jazz of France formally recognized his accomplishments in 1961 with the Prix Django Reinhardt for outstanding jazz artist of the year. This win subsequently led to him providing soundtracks for films by Claude Berri and others.
Reappearing on the Paris jazz scene he resumed his career as a small-ensemble accompanist with Lee Konitz, Aldo Romano or Barney Wilen. He was featured at “Le Jazz Cool, Le Jazz Hot: A Celebration of Modern Jazz in Los Angeles and France” at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California in 2007. Pianist René Urtreger is currently 83 years of age and continues to perform.
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Kenneth Napper was born July 14, 1933 in London, England. He started out on learning to play the piano as a child, then picked up the bass as a student at Guildhall School of Music. Entering the British military in the early 1950s, he played and recorded with Mary Lou Williams in 1953 while on leave. After completing his term of duty, he went on to play with Jack Parnell, Malcolm Mitchell, Vic Ash, and Cab Calloway.
During the late Fifties and early 1960s Kenny was the house bassist at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club for several years and played with many British and American jazz musicians. These musicians include Alan Clare, Ronnie Scott, Stan Tracey, Tubby Hayes, Tony Kinsey, Tony Crombie, Jimmy Deuchar, John Dankworth, Pat Smythe, Phil Seamen, Zoot Sims, Carmen McRae, and Paul Gonsalves.
By the late Sixties he worked with Ted Heath, Tony Coe, John Picard and Barney Kessel, as well as with Gonsalves, Tracey, and Dankworth. In 1970 he played with Stephane Grappelli prior to a move to Germany where he played with Kurt Edelhagen from 1970 to 1972. While residing there, Napper focused more on composition and arrangement and then in the late Seventies he moved to the Netherlands.
Through the remainder of the decade and and the Eighties he put down his bass, arranged for radio ensembles, was the staff arranger and conductor for the 50 piece Metropole Orchestra, and then directed his attention to teaching at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. At 83 years of age, double-bassist arranger, composer, conductor and educator Kenny Napper, it is assumed he has retired and returned to the United Kingdom.
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