Lorenzo Tio Jr. was born on April 21, 1893 in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Following in the footsteps of his father Lorenzo Sr. and his uncle Louis “Papa”, he also became a master clarinetist. Their method of playing the instrument, which involved the Albert system, a double-lip embouchure and soft reeds, was seminal in the development of the jazz solo.
Tio Jr.was instrumental in bringing classical music theory to the ragtime, blues and jazz musicians of New Orleans and he eventually played jazz himself. His main instrument was clarinet also played the oboe and joined Manuel Perez’s band in Chicago, Illinois in 1916 and Armand J. Piron’s from 1918 to 1928, recording with Piron, Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton and Clarence Williams.
As an educator among the reed players to impact early jazz who studied under Lorenzo’s direction were Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard, Johnny Dodds, Omer Simeon, Louis Cottrell Jr., Jimmie Noone and Albert Nicholas. He taught Bigard what would become the main theme to the famous Ellington tune Mood Indigo.
Tio gigged in legendary New Orleans large ensembles such as the Lyre Club Symphony Orchestra during the late 19th century. He played in smaller combos, traditional brass bands, had a standing collaboration with Papa Celestin whenever he was in the Big Easy, and performed with the Tuxedo Brass Band.
Despite his strong ties to New Orleans, he regularly played the New York jazz scene on steamboats running between the state capitol in Albany and the Big Apple. During the late ’20s and early ’30s, He had a regular stint at The Nest Club in New York City. Clarinetist and educator Lorenzo Tio Jr., who also played oboe and tenor saxophone, passed away on December 24, 1933.
Johnny Dodds (pronounced dots) was born April 12,1892 in Waveland, Mississippi and moved to New Orleans in his youth, and studied clarinet with Loranzo Tio. He played with the bands of Frankie Duson, Kid Ory and Joe “King” Oliver.
Dodds went to Chicago, Illinois to play with Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, with whom he first recorded in 1923. He also worked frequently with his good friend Natty Dominique during this period, a professional relationship that would last a lifetime.
After the breakup of Oliver’s band in 1924, he replaced Alcide Nunez as the house clarinetist and bandleader of Kelly’s Stable. He recorded with numerous small groups in Chicago, most notably Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Fot Seven, Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers and Lovie Austin.
Noted for his professionalism and virtuosity as a musician, and his heartfelt, heavily blues-laden style, Dodds was an important influence on later clarinetists, notably Benny Goodman.
Along with his younger brother drummer Warren “Baby” Dodds, they worked together in the New Orleans Bootblacks in 1926. As a leader he recorded prolifically between 1927 and 1929, recording for Paramount, Brunswick/Vocalion, and Victor. Affected by ill he recorded two more sessions in 1938 and 1940 both for Decca before passing away of a heart attack in Chicgo, Illinois on August 8, 1940. In 1987, clarinetist and alto saxophonist Johnny Dodds was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.
Eiji Kitamura 北村 英治 was born on April 8, 1929 in Tokyo, Japan. Devoting himself to clarinet, he was playing while still an undergrad at Keio University at in Tokyo. He made his debut at the age of 22.
Kitamura built a following in his country performing regularly on his television program. He first came to prominence in the United States at the 20th Anniversary Jam Session of the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1977. His following in Japan was built previous to this on his regular television program.
An interpreter of traditional jazz, the clarinetist prefers this genre over modern jazz. Much of his influence in his playing came from the swing of Benny Goodman and Woody Herman. He has recorded some two-dozen albums or more albums including a series of albums with Teddy Wilson as well as for CBS Sony, Concord and various Japanese labels over the course of his career.
More Posts: clarinet
Kathy Stobart was born Florence Kathleen Stobart in the coastal town of South Shields, England on April 1, 1925. She first learned piano and alto saxophone as a child. After picking up her brother’s tenor saxophone and a month’s trial, she first played in Don Rico’s all-girl band at the age of 14 and then locally in Newcastle.
It wasn’t until her joining the Peter Fielding ballroom orchestra that her interest in jazz peaked. She met saxophonists Keith Bird and Derek Neville, who were then stationed at a local RAF camp. They bought her ten jazz records for my 17th birthday and Bird painstakingly took her through various harmonic exercises and saw to it that she succeeded him when he vacated a quartet job in London in late 1942.
Moving to London in the 1940s she began playing with Denis Rose, Ted Heath and Jimmy Skidmore. Later in the decade Stobart played with Art Pepper and Peanuts Hucko. Before the end of the Forties she played with and had a brief marriage with Art Thompson.
She toured with Vic Lewis in 1949 and led her own group in early 1950s, among its members was Derek Humble, Dill Jones and Bert Courtley, whom she married in 1951 until his death in 1969. Throughout the 1950s and 60s Kathy went into semiretirement to raise her family.
Returning to performing, from 1969 to 1977 she played with Humphrey Lyttelton. Following this she led her own groups, with Harry Beckett, John Burch and Lennie Best among others. Aside from this she played with Johnny Griffin, Al Haig, Earl Hines, Buddy Tate, Zoot Sims, Marian McPartland and Dick Hyman.
From 1992 she was paying with Lyttelton again adding flute, clarinet and baritone saxophone to her arsenal of instruments. Tenor saxophonist Kathy Stobart, who held lengthy teaching assignments at City Literature Institute in London, passed away on July 5, 2014.
Sidney Arodin was born in Westwego, Louisiana on March 29, 1901. He went by Sidney Arnandan, Arnondrin or Arnondin. He began playing clarinet at age 15 and played local New Orleans gatherings and on the riverboats. He made his way to New York City in the early Twenties and played with Johnny Stein’s New Orleans Jazz Band from 1922.
He performed with Jimmy Durante in the middle of the decade, then returned to Louisiana to play with Wingy Manone and Sharkey Bonano. During the 1930s he worked with Louis Prima and with a reconstituted version of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, featuring Manone.
By 1941, Arodin’s poor health prevented him from playing frequently live, but before this time he recorded with Johnnie Miller, Albert Brunies, Monk Hazel and the Jones-Collins Astoria Hot Eight. Many of his performances are mistakenly credited on original recordings to Charlie Cordella.
Clarinetist and composer Sidney Arodin, who co-wrote the standard Lazy River with Hoagy Carmichael, passed away in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 6, 1948.
More Posts: clarinet