Philip Catherine was born on October 27, 1942 in London, England to English/Belgian parents and a grandfather who was first violinist in the London Symphony Orchestra. Having an ear for music early on, he picked up the guitar after hearing George Brassens and began listening to jazz.
He soon got the opportunity to play with some of those musicians when performing in Belgium, where he was residing at the time. In the 1960s he was a member of the Jean-Luc Ponty Quintet and during this period he was at the forefront on the European jazz scene performing and recording with Lou Bennett, Billy Brooks, Edgar Bateman, John Lee, Gerry Brown, Larry Coryell, Alphonse Mouzon, Charlie Mariano, Kenny Drew and Tom Harrell, among others.
Recording his debut solo album Stream in 1971 for Warner Bros. Records, the following year Philip collaborated with John Scofield, Ran Blake, George Benson and other musicians in Boston, Massachusetts. By early 1976 he replaced Jan Akkerman in the Dutch rock group Focus, recording on one album Focus con Proby, featuring American singer P. J. Proby.
The 1980s Catherine played extensively with the Chet Baker Trio and is featured on several of Baker’s albums. He went on to play with Charles Mingus, who dubbed him “Young Django”, as well as collaborations with Dexter Gordon, Richard Galliano, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Stéphane Grappelli, Toots Thielemans, Robert Wyatt, Klaus Doldinger, Buddy Guy, Karin Krog, Carla Bley, Mike Mantler and Joachim Kühn as well as others too numerous to list.
He won the first Belgian Golden Django in 1995 and is considered the grandfather of Belgian jazz for his approach, sound, emotional lyricism and expression that is both important and influential. Guitarist Philip Catherine continues to perform on the now very active Belgian jazz scene as well as record and tour worldwide.
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Red Richards was born Charles Coleridge Richards on October 19, 1912 in New York City. He began playing classical piano at age ten, and from the age of 16 concentrated on jazz after hearing Fats Waller. His first major professional gig was with Tab Smith at New York’s Savoy Ballroom from 1945 to 1949.
Following his stint with Smith, in the early Fifties Red played with Bob Wilber and Sidney Bechet. He toured Italy and France in 1953 with Mezz Mezzrow’s band alongside Buck Clayton and Big Chief Moore, and also accompanied Frank Sinatra during his time in Italy. He went on to work with Muggsy Spanier on and off from 1953 through the end of the decade, and then with Fletcher Henderson in 1957-58. During 1958 he did some time as a solo performer in Columbus, Ohio, then played with Wild Bill Davison in 1958-59 and again in 1962.
1960 saw Richards formed Saints & Sinners with Vic Dickenson, playing with this ensemble until 1970. He joined drummer Chuck Slate and his band in 1971 and stayed with him most of the year. He recorded an album with Chuck called Bix ‘N All That Jazz and following this he worked with Eddie Condon from 1975 to 1977. In 1977 he played with his own trio through the following year. He played and toured worldwide with Panama Francis’s group, the Savoy Sultans from 1979 through the 1980s and recorded with Bill Coleman in 1980.
Pianist Red Richards continued to tour almost up until the time of his death and passed away on March 12, 1998 in Scarsdale, New York.
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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.
Buddy Childers was born Marion Childers in Belleville, Illinois on February 12, 1926. He came to fame in 1942 at the age of 16 when he took over the first trumpet chair in the Stan Kenton Orchestra. For years he worked with Kenton as well as performing with Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Les Brown, Charlie Barnet, Dan Terry and other big bands.
He would go on to work with Gene Ammons, Elmer Bernstein, Maynard Ferguson, Clare Fischer, Milt Jackson, Carmen McRae, Oliver Nelson and Lalo Schifrin among others. No stranger to television programs and or films, Childers put together a big band that recorded for Candid Records in the 1980s and 1990s. He also recorded quintet and quartet sessions with Herbie Steward, Arnold Ross, Bob Harrington and Harry Babasin on the Jazz City label.
Trumpeter, composer and ensemble leader Buddy Childers passed away of cancer on May 24, 2007, at the age of 81.
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Samuel Most was born on December 16, 1930 in Atlantic City, New Jersey and learned to play the flute, saxophone and piano. He began his career in music at the age of 18 with the bands of Tommy Dorsey, Shep Fields, Boyd Raeburn and Don Redman. He also performed many times with his older brother Abe, a clarinetist.
His first recording was at age 23, a single called Undercurrent Blues and the following year he was awarded Down Beat magazine’s “Critic’s New Star Award”. Between 1953 and 1958 Sam led and recorded sessions for the Prestige, Debut, Vanguard and Bethlehem record labels. He also worked as a session player for Chris Connor, Paul Quinichette and Teddy Wilson and was a member of the Buddy Rich band from 1959 to 1961. He would go on to work as a sideman with Clare Fischer, Lalo Schifrin and Louie Bellson.
Most resurfaced in the late 1970s and recorded six albums on the Xanadu label, was given a gift of an expensively carved flute by Frank Sinatra who had used it for breath control, and in the late Eighties recorded four albums, including Solo Flute with producer Fernando Gelbard of Liquidjazz.com. He was the guest of and played for the King of Thailand three times and was the subject of Edmond Goff’s 2001 documentary film Sam Most, Jazz Flutist.
Flautist and tenor saxophonist Sam Most, who according to jazz historian Leonard Feather, was probably the first great jazz flutist, passed away on June 13, 2013 from cancer, at the age of 82.