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.
More Posts: guitar
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.
More Posts: piano
Bill Ware III was born William Anthony Ware III on January 28, 1959 in East Orange, New Jersey. He played bass and piano early in his career at Harlem’s Jazzmobile, prior to choosing vibraphone as his main instrument. After spending several years playing Latin jazz he formed his own Latin Jazz group, AM Sleep.
In 1987 Ware joined saxophonist Roy Nathanson and trombonist Curtis Fowlkes’ Jazz Passengers as a regular memberand by 1990 had put together a group of sidemen as the Club Bird All-Stars, who accompanied him on a tour of Japan. Stretching out to other genres he played with Groove Collective and Steely Dan during the first half Nineties.
Later in the decade Bill teamed up with fellow former Jazz Passengers, Brad Jones and E. J. Rodriguez forming the ensemble Vibes. His 2001 tribute to Duke Ellington was recorded with guitarist Marc Ribot, and Deborah Harry on his 2002 effort Four.
During the mid-2000s, he recorded several projects blending jazz with Western Classical music as well as composing five film scores with Nathanson. He recorded fourteen solo projects as a leader for AM Sleep, Knitting Factory, Cathexis, Wollenware, Random Chance and Pony Canyon record labels. Vibraphonist Bill Ware continues to compose, perform and record.
Michał Urbaniak was born on January 22, 1943 in Warsaw, Poland. He started his music education during high school and continued from 1961 in Warsaw in the violin class of Tadeusz Wronski. Learning to play the saxophone he first played in a Dixieland band, and later with Zbigniew Namyslowski and the Jazz Rockers, performing during the 1961 Jazz Jamboree festival.
The following year Michal played with Andrzej Trzaskowski band, The Wreckers, touring festivals and clubs in the USA in Newport, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington and New York City. A return to Poland saw him working with the Krzysztof Komeda Quintet from 1962 to 1964, touring Scandinavia and remaining to form his own band with Wojciech Karolak, that became starting point for the famous Michał Urbaniak Fusion.
Urbaniak returned to Poland and the violin, and created the self-named Michał Urbaniak Group, to which he invited, among others, vocalist Urszula Dudziak, pianist Adam Makowicz, bassist Pawel Jarzebski and on drums Czeslaw Bartowski. Their debut recording on the international scene was in 1970 with Parathyphus B, and during the Montreux ’71 festival, he was awarded “Grand Prix” for the Best Soloist and a scholarship to the Berklee Colege of Music, though he declined to attend.
He played his final concert in Poland in 1973 and emigrated with Urszula Dudziak to the United States, signed with Columbia Records, formed the band Fusion and released Super Constellation. His 1978 Urbanizer project fused rap, hip-hop and a R&B vocal quartet. By 1995 he was engaging a 60-piece full symphony with jazz group, rapper and Apple computer in concert and recorded both CD and DVD.
Over the course of his career he has performed and recorded with Steve Jordan, Marcus Miller, Kenny Kirkland, Tony Bun, Omar Hakim, Victor Bailey, Weather Report, Freddie Hubbard, Elvin Jones, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, George Benson, Billy Cobham, Joe Zawinul, Ron Carter, Kenny Barron, Buster Williams and Quincy Jones.
Violinist Michal Urbaniak played on the 1985 session of the Miles Davis Tutu album and in 2012 appeared in the Polish film My Father’s Bike. He hs recorded thirty-eight albums to date and continues to perform, record and compose.
Shigeharu Mukai was born on January 21, 1949 in Nagoya, Japan. While attending Doshisha University he played trombone in the big band and won the 1970 Yamaha Light Music Contest. A move to Tokyo in 1971 saw Shigeharu career taking off in the bands of Yoshio Otomo, Fumio Itabashi, Ryo Kawasaki, Terumasa Hino, Sadao Watanabe and Yosuke Yamashita and along with Hiroshi Fukamarau, he led a band with two trombones.
In 1972 he formed his own band with which he won the Shinjuki Jazz Festival prize. Dissolving the group in 1977/78 he lived in New York City, afterwards he returned to Japan, leading various bands and working with Kazumi Watanabe, Naoya Matsuoka, Akira Sakata and again with Yosuke Yamashita. He went on to play with Elvn Jone and Billy Hart.
In 1982, he performed along with Astrud Gilberto on the album So & So: Mukai Meets Gilberto on the Denon label. He later founded the quartet Hot Session with Ryojiro Furusawa, Fumio Itabashi and Mitsuaki Furuno, and toured Japan in 1991-92.
In 1992 he released his debut album as a leader Better Day Of Shigeharu Mukai on the Japanese subsidiary label of Columbia Records along with several others by 1997. In 2004 he made the album Super 4 Records sensation, in which he created the illusion of a big band with a “horn section” of alto and tenor saxophone, trombone and trumpet.
Designated by Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler as one of the most respected trombonist on the Japanese jazz scene, Shigeharu Mukai has won several critics’ prizes from 1975-1993 in reader surveys conducted by Japan’s Swing Journal. He continues to perform, record and tour also exhibiting his mastery of Latin, Brazilian and other ethnic rhythms.
More Posts: trombone