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ALBY CULLAZ

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Albert “Alby” Cullaz was born on June 25, 1941 in Paris, France, the son of jazz music critic Maurice Cullaz and brother of guitarist Pierre Cullaz. He made his professional debut in 1963 as a member of the Johnny Griffin Quartet.

For many years Alby led a trio with Michel Graillier and Simon Goubert before becoming a sought after sideman. He worked with Joe Albany, Jean-Luc Ponty, Aldo Romano, Michel Graillier, Hank Mobley , René Thomas, Dizzy Gillespie, Slide Hampton, Lee Konitaz, Eddy Louiss, Art Taylor, Dexter Gordon, Kenny Clarke, Guy Lafitte, François Chassagnite, André Condouant, Raymond Fol, Steve Grossman, Rene Urtreger, Jacques & Micheline Pelzer, Sonny Grey, Philly Joe Jones and Chet Baker among others.

He was awarded the prize in 1972 Django Reinhardt Academy award and in 1973 he was received the Prix Django Reinhardt. Contra-bassist Alby Cullaz passed away at the age of 56 on February 8, 1998 after a long illness.


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CHUCK BERGHOFER

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Chuck Berghofer was born Charles Curtis Berghofer on June 14, 1937 in Denver, Colorado. His interest in music began early coming from his grandfather who played with John Philip Sousa and his uncle who played tuba with the St. Louis Symphony. At eight he played trum and tuba in grade school until settling on the bass at the age of eighteen.

As a young adult he began venturing out to jazz clubs, gained an admiration to Ralph Peña and convinced him to take him on as a student. Berghofer played in high school trumpet and tuba and moved at eighteen to the double bass. Heavily influenced by Leroy Vinnegar, Paul Chambers and Ray Brown, he also admired the work of Scott LaFaro.

He went on to play with the Skinnay Ennis Orchestra, then joined Bobby Troup, Pete Jolly, Nick Martinis, Shelly Manne, Jack Sheldon, Conte Candoli, Frank Rosolino, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Philly Joe Jones and was a member of the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra.

He had a lengthy career in film, Berghofer, was also quite accomplished as a house jazz musician forming a semi-regular house band at Donte’s in Los Angeles with pianist Frank Strazzeri and drummer Nick Ceroli. They played with Roger Kellaway, Larry Bunker, Zoot Sims, Ray Charles, Bob Cooper, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Peggy Lee, Shelly Manne, Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper, Frank Rosolino, Carmen McRae, Seth MacFarlane, Barbra Streisand, Glen Campbell, Mel Torme and Frank Sinatra. Double bassist Chuck Berghofer continues to perform and record.


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MAX BENNETT

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Max Bennett was born May 24, 1928 in Des Moines, Iowa and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and Oskaloosa, Iowa. Attending college in Iowa and studying guitar, his first professional gig was with Herbie Fields in 1949, then played with Georgie Auld, Terry Gibbs and Charlie Ventura.  

After serving in the Army during the Korean War from 1951 to 1953, Max played with Stan Kenton before moving to Los Angeles, California where he played regularly at the Lighthouse Cafe with his own ensemble. During this period played behind Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez through the Seventies and recorded with Charlie Mariano, Conte Candoli, Bob cooper, Bill Holman, Stan Levey, Lou Levy, Coleman Hawkins and Jack Montrose.

Bennett recorded under his own name from the late 1950s, and did extensive work as a composer and studio musician in addition to playing jazz. His session works is a who’s who list playing bass on sessions with The Monkees,The Partridge Family, Frank Zappa, With Lalo Schifrin on the soundtrack of Bullitt, Marvin Gaye, Barbra Streisand, Anthony Newley, Paul Anka, Elvis Presley, Four Tops, Nelson Riddle, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Cleo Laine, Joe Williams, Quincy Jones, Kenny Rogers, The Beach Boys, Carol King, The Temptations, The Crusaders, Henry Mancini, Johnny Mandel and the list goes on.

Bennett continued with his own band, L.A. Express, which included the late Joe Sample, Larry Carlton and John Guerin under the leadership of Tom Scott. After this band, Bennett formed his own group Freeway, and currently heads his most recent band, Private Reserve.


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BONNIE WETZEL

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Bonnie Wetzel was born Bonnie Jean Addleman on May 15, 1926 in Vancouver, Washington. She learned violin as a child and was an autodidact on bass.

She played with Ada Leonard in an all-female ensemble and soon after worked in a trio with Marian Grange. Bonnie married trumpeter Ray Wetzel in 1949 and the pair worked in the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1951.

Wetzel played in the Beryl Booker Trio with Elaine Leighton in 1953. They toured Europe in 1953-54 and recorded for Discovery Records. She also played with Herb Ellis, Charlie Shavers, Roy Eldridge and Don Byas. During the 1950s she freelanced in New York City. Double-bassist Bonnie Wetzel, who never led a recording session in her short career, passed away on February 12, 1965, at the age of 38.


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GARY PEACOCK

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Gary Peacock was born May 12, 1935, in Burley, Idaho and studied the bass as a youth. After military service in Germany, during the early Sixties he worked on the West Coast with Barney Kessel, Bud Shank, Paul Bley and Art Pepper. Moving to New York he continued working with Bley as well as with Paul Motian in the Bill Evans Trio, and with Sunny Murray in the Albert Ayler trio. He also played some live dates with Miles Davis as a temporary substitute for Ron Carter.

In the late 1960s Peacock spent time in Japan, abandoning music temporarily to study Zen philosophy. After returning to the U. S. in 1972, he studied biology at the University of Washington, Seattle and taught music theory at Cornish College of the Arts from 1976 to 1983.

In 1983 Gary joined Keith Jarrett’s Standard Trio with Jack DeJohnette and the trio releaseded Standards Vol. 1 & 2 and Standards Live. Under Peacock’s leadership the trio recorded earlier in 1977 Tales of Another on the ECM label.

Peacock has recorded a dozen albums under his leadership, six releases as part of the group Tethered Moon and another sixty-two albums as a sideman with Bill Connors, Don Elis, Clare Fischer, Marc Copland, Marilyn Crispell, Barney Kessel, Prince Lasha, Sonny Simmons, Don Pullen, Bud Shank, Ravi Shankar, Ralph Towner, Mal Waldron, Tony Williams and Jimmy Woods to name a few.

Double bassist Gary Peacock has composed for two film shorts, performed on three documentaries, performed as the Keith Jarrett Trio on the Most Martha soundtrack, and has appeared on television. He continues to perform, tour and record.


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