Al Fairweather was born Alastair Fairweather on June 12, 1927 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Following his education at the city’s Royal High School and Edinburgh College of Art, he served his National Service in Egypt.
In 1949 Fairweather started a band with his old schoolfriend Sandy Brown and in 1953 the pair went south to London along with Stan Greig. There they recorded a number of sides for Esquire Records as the Sandy Brown and later Fairweather-Brown All Stars.
When Brown went back to Scotland to complete his architecture studies, Al joined the Cy Laurie Jazz Band. His powerful, Louis Armstrong-inspired lead was a perfect foil for Laurie’s Johnny Dodds approach. From 1966 to 1968, he worked for clarinetist Acker Bilk.
Following a second career as an educator in Harrow, London, trumpeter Al Fairweather returned to Edinburgh in 1987, where he remained and played until his death on June 21, 1993 at the age of 66.
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João Gilberto Prado Pereira de Oliveira was born on June 10, 1931 in Juazeiro, Bahia, Brazil. From an early age, music was a part of his life with his grandfather buying him his first guitar at the age of 14. During high school he teamed up with some of his classmates to form a small band and was influenced by Brazilian popular songs, American jazz, and even some opera, among other genres. After trying his luck as a radio singer in Salvador, Bahia he was recruited in 1950 as lead singer of the vocal quintet Garotos da Lua (Moon Boys) and moved to Rio de Janeiro. A year and a half later, he was dismissed from the group for his lack of discipline, showing up late to rehearsals or not at all.
João Gilberto’s first recordings were released in Brazil as two-song 78-rpm singles between 1951 and 1959. In the 1960s, Brazilian singles evolved to the “double compact” format, and João would release some EPs in this new format, which carried 4 songs on a 45-rpm record. For seven years, Gilberto’s career was at a low ebb. He rarely had any work, was dependent on his friends for living quarters, and fell into chronic depression. Eventually, in 1955 he was rescued from this rut by Luiz Telles, leader of the vocal group Quitandinha Serenaders, where he blossomed musically. His first bossa nova song was Bim-Bom, written as Gilberto watched passing laundresses on the banks of the Sao Francisco River balance loads of clothes on their heads.
This style, which Gilberto introduced in 1957, created a sensation in the musical circles of Rio’s Zona Sul, and many young guitarists sought to imitate it. It was first heard on record in 1958 in a recording of Chega de Saudade, a song by Jobim and Vinicius de Morais. With this success launching his career and the bossa nova craze, João featured new songs by a younger generation of performer/composers such as Carlos Lyra and Roberto Menescal on two more albums. By 1962, bossa nova had been embraced by North American jazz musicians such as Herbie Mann, Charlie Byrd, and Stan Getz, who invited Gilberto and Jobim to collaborate on what became one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time, Getz/Gilberto. Through this album, Gilberto’s then wife Astrud—who had never sung professionally prior to this recording session became an international star, and the Jobim/de Moraes composition The Girl from Ipanema became a worldwide pop music standard.
Gilberto went on to work with Claus Ogerman, Clare Fischer, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Maria Bethânia among other collaborations. He won a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album in 2000 for his album João Voz E Violão. Singer, guitarist and composer João Gilberto continues to perform, record and composer.
Kenneth Clare was born on June 8, 1929 in Leytonstone, London, England and played with Oscar Rabin on English radio in his early 20s. Following this, he played with Jack Parnell and then with Johnny Dankworth for an extended period in the 1950s and early 1960s. In the latter decade he played with Ted Heath and Ronnie Stephenson as well as playing in the studios as a member of Sounds Orchestral.
Clare played drums for the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band in 1963 to 1966 when Clarke was unavailable. But from 1967 through 1971, when the band folded, he was a regular paired with Clarke in what became a two-drummer band for performances, concerts, and at least 15 recordings issued by various labels.
He accompanied singers including Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Cleo Laine. On December 5, 1971 he performed in concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall with fellow drummers Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson. Drummer Kenny Clare, who also did extensive work for radio, television, film, and commercials, passed away December 21, 1984.
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Theodore Curson was born on June 3, 1935 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He became interested in playing trumpet after watching a newspaper salesman play a silver trumpet, however, his father preferred he become an alto saxophonist like Louis Jordan. By the time he turned 10 years old he received his first trumpet.
Curson attended Granoff School of Music in Philadelphia and at the suggestion of Miles Davis, moved to New York City in 1956. He performed and recorded with Cecil Taylor in the late 1950s and early 1960s and his 1964 Eric Dolphy tribute composition Tears for Dolphy has been used in numerous films.
Ted is a familiar face in Finland performing annually at the Port Jazz Festival each year since its inception in 1966. In 2007 he played the Finland’s Independence Day Ball at the invitation of President Tarja Halonen.
Trumpeter Ted Curson recorded some twenty albums as a leader for Old Town, Prestige, Fontana, Atlantic, Freedom, EMI Columbia Interplay and Inner City record labels among many others. He has been a sideman on fifteen other albums with Andrew Hill, Nick Brignola, Charles Mingus, The NY Contemporary Five, Sal Nistico, Archie Shepp, Pepper Adams and a host of others until his death on November 4, 2012 in Montclair, New Jersey.
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Louis Hayes was born May 31, 1937 in Detroit, Michigan. His father played drums and piano and his mother the piano. His early jazz influence was big bands on the radio, drummer Philly Joe Jones and was mentored by Papa Jo Jones.
As a teenager Hayes led a band in Detroit and worked with Yusef Lateef and Curtis Fuller from 1955 to 1956. Louis often teamed up with Sam Jones, in freelance settings, led a group at clubs in Detroit before he was 16. He moved to New York in August 1956 to replace Art Taylor in Horace Silver’s Quintet from 1956–1959, then joined the Cannonball Adderley Quintet from 1959–1965 followed by succeeding Ed Thigpen in the Oscar Peterson Trio from 1965–1967.
Leaving Peterson he formed a series of groups, which he led alone or with others; among his sidemen were Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Kenny Barron and James Spaulding. He rejoined Peterson in 1971. Forming the Louis Hayes Sextet in 1972, it evolved into the Louis Hayes-Junior Cook Quintet and the Woody Shaw-Louis Hayes Quintet with Rene McLean. After Shaw left the group in 1977, Hayes continued to lead it as a hard-bop quintet.
From the 1970s onward Louis recorded and performed with John Coltrane, Kenny Burrell, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Zawinul, Nat Adderley, Gene Ammons, Bobby Timmons, Hank Mobley, Booker Little, Al Cohn, Kenny Drew, James Clay, Dexter Gordon, Terry Gibbs, Bennie Green, Grant Green, Barry Harris, Johnny Hodges, Sam Jones, Clifford Jordan, Johnny lytle, Phineas Newborn Jr., Tommy Flanagan, Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner, Ray Brown, Gary Bartz, Tony Williams and the list goes on.
He has led recording sessions for Vee-Jay, Timeless, Muse, Candid, Steeplechase and TCB record labels. Drummer Louis Hayes mentors young jazz artists, continues to perform with a variety of other musicians both old and young, leads his own band and since 1989 with Vincent Herring formed the Cannonball Legacy Band.
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