Eddie Shu was born Edward Shulman on March18, 1918 in New York City and learned violin and guitar as a child before picking up the saxophone as a teenager. He began his professional career in 1935 in Brooklyn and for the seven years leading up to his service in the U.S. Army, he performed in vaudeville and night clubs as a ventriloquist and played harmonica with the Cappy Barra harmonica Band.
While serving in the Army from 1942 to 1945 with Stan Harper, the two were assigned to a special unit to entertain the troops. He also played in various bans including with Maurice Evans in the Pacific. After the war and through the 1950s Eddie performed with Tadd Dameron, George Shearing, Johnny Bothwell, Buddy Rich, Les Elgart, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Barnet, Chubby Jackson, and Gene Krupa.
By the 1960s Shu moved to Florida, playing locally as well as with the Louis Armstrong All-Stars, Lionel Hampton and Gene Krupa once again. He was a member of the vocal jazz group Rare Silk in 1980. During this period, he performed with this group in and around Boulder, Colorado and also performed a 6-week Department of Defense tour. He would record his final date on the Island Jazz Label “Shu-Swings” With The Joe Delaney Trio, playing tenor and alto saxophones, clarinet, trumpet and also revisit’s his 1954 78 single “Ruby” on chromatic harmonica.
Eddie Shu died on July 4, 1986 in St. Petersburg, Florida while living in Tampa. The swing and jazz multi-instrumentalist also had a high proficiency on the accordion and was a popular comedic ventriloquist.
Jim Galloway was born James Braidie Galloway in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland on July 28, 1936. Since emigrating from Scotland in the mid-1960s he had based his career in Canada.
Galloway recorded several albums as a leader and in the late 1970s formed an ensemble, the Wee Big Band. One of his many albums, Walking On Air, was nominated for Best Jazz Album at the 1980 Juno Awards.
He was the artistic director of the Toronto Jazz Festival from 1987 to 2009. In 2002 Jim was honored when made a Chevalier of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. His musical performances continue to be listed on the Toronto Jazz Festival website.
Bandleader, songwriter, clarinet and saxophone player Jim Galloway died in palliative care in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on December 30, 2014.
William C. “Buster” Bailey was born July 19, 1902 in Memphis, Tennessee and was educated on the instrument by classical teacher Franz Schoepp, the man who taught Benny Goodman. He got his start with the W.C. Handy Orchestra in 1917 when he was just fifteen years old. After two years of touring with Handy, he quit while the band was in Chicago and in 1919 Bailey joined Erskine Tate’s Vendome Orchestra.
1923 saw Buster joining up with Joe “King” Oliver as part of his King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band. It was here that he met and became friends with fellow band mate Louis Armstrong. In 1924, when Armstrong left King Oliver’s Jazz Band to join the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra in New York. It was less than a month that Armstrong extended an invitation for Bailey to join the band and accepting, he moved to New York City.
During the late 1920s Bailey became a highly respected sideman with Perry Bradford, Clarence Williams and others, Recording both clarinet and soprano saxophone. He toured Europe with Noble Sissle’s orchestra in 1927, returned and performed with Edgar Hayes and Dave Nelson, rejoined Sissle in 1931. By 1934 he was back with Henderson and then settled in with the John Kirby Band. Off and on he would perform with the mills Blue Rhythm Band, Midge Williams and Her Jazz Jesters and record as a leader as Buster Bailey and His Rhythm Busters.
In 1947 he joined Wilbur de Paris and performed with him until 1949. During the early 1950s Bailey was with Big Chief Russell Moore but for most of the decade he played with Henry “Red” Allen. From 1961 to 1963 he performed with Wild Bill Davison, the Saints And Sinners, and rejoined his old friend Armstrong and became a member of Louis Armstrong and His All-Stars.
Buster appeared on film three times during his career in That’s The Spirit in 1933, Sepia Cinderella in 1947 as part of John Kirby’s band and in When The Boys Meet The Girls in 1965 with Louis Armstrong. He also appeared in 1958 in the DuMont TV series Jazz Party and in 1961 on the TV program The Dupont Show of the Week in an episode titled “America’s Music – Chicago and All That Jazz”.
Clarinetist Buster Bailey, who was also well versed on saxophone and one of the most respected session players of his era, passed away in Brooklyn, New York on April 12, 1967 of a heart attack.
Reedman Dexter Payne was born on July 5, 1951 in Denver, Colorado. The clarinet was his first instrument and went on to master the alto and baritone saxophones adding them to his arsenal. His early influences were Artie Shaw, Buddy DeFranco, Benny Goodman, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Gerry Mulligan,Benny Carter, Johnny Hodges and Lester Young.
A very lyrical and melodic player, Dexter plays swing, bop, cool jazz, and Brazilian jazz as well as other forms of music including Latin. In 2000 he played with Brazilian musician Thiago de Mello, recorded the album Inspiration in 2003, with Brazilian guitarist Antonio Mello,
He followed with his sophomore release in 2005 release Another Feeling with producer Arnaldo De Souteiro on his Jazz Station label. He recorded again in 3006 and 2007 which de Mello produced and released Our Time to Remember. Clarinetist and saxophonist Dexter Payne continues to perform, record and tour.
Ian Christie was born on June 24, 1927 in Blackpool, Lancashire, England to a father who was a piano tuner and banjoist. He took lessons from Charlie Farrell but opted to join the Royal Air Force, taking up photography as his primary interest. After his brother Keith joined Humphrey Lyttleton’s band, he soon followed, finishing his photography studies with financial help from Humphrey.
During the 1950s and 1960s Ian worked extensively with Mick Mulligan and George Melly as well as playing in a number of trad jazz ensembles, and forming a group with his brother Keith, Ken Coyle and Dicky Hawdon called the Christie Brothers’ Stompers.
Throughout his career he continued to work in trad jazz ensembles into the 2000s, with the Wyre Levee Stompers, the Merseysippi & Parade Jazz Band, and the Tony Davis Band, among others. In his later years he played with Graham Tayar in his Crouch End All Stars. Aside from playing music clarinetist Ian Christie worked as a film critic for The Daily Express for over 25 years and as a photographer until his passed away on January 19, 2010.
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