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Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Edward Soph was born on March 21, 1945, in Coronado, California and was raised in Houston, Texas. In 1963 he e enrolled at North Texas State University, now the University of North Texas, as a music major, but switched his concentration to English during his sophomore year. While at UNT, he performed with the One O’Clock Lab Band, as well as summer tenures with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Stan Kenton. Graduating in 1968 he joined Woody Herman upon a recommendation from Cannonball Adderley.

Moving to New York City in 1971, Ed began performing and recording freelance with the bands of Clark Terry, Bill Watrous and Woody Herman, Bill Evans, Marvin Stamm, Randy Brecker, Joe Henderson, Pat LaBarbera, Bill Mays, Cedar Walton, Dave Liebman, Chris Potter, Carl Fontana and Slide Hampton, among others.

As an educator Soph pursued a teaching career on the faculty at The Jamey Aebersold Jazz Workshops, The National Stage Band Camps and The University of Bridgeport. Returning to Texas in 1987 he is currently a Professor in the Jazz Studies and Performance divisions of the College of Music at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Some of his students have been Ari Hoenig, Keith Carlock, Joel Rosenblatt, Jason Sutter and Dave Weckl.

Drummer Ed Soph is currently an Artist Clinician for Yamaha Corporation, the Avedis Zildjian Company, Evans Drumheads and Innovative Percussion. He continues to perform and record.


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Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Allan Ganley was born on March 11, 1931 in Tolworth, Surrey, England and was a self-taught drummer. In the early 1950s Ganley played in the dance band led by Bert Ambrose. In 1953 he came to prominence as a member of Johnny Dankworth’s band, then the most popular modern jazz group in the UK. Throughout the 1950s, he worked with pianist Derek Smith, Dizzy Reece, clarinettist Vic Ash, Ronnie Scott and with visiting American musicians. Towards the end of the decade he was co-leader with Ronnie Ross of a small group known as the Jazzmakers.

By the early 1960s, Ganley was often performing with Tubby Hayes, with his small groups or occasionally assembling a big band. He was the house drummer at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and played with numerous Americans including Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Jim Hall, Freddie Hubbard and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. By the early 1970s he took time out to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, then returned to the UK to form and lead a big band, which he maintained sporadically for ten years.

Throughout the Seventies and ’80s and Nineties, Allan appeared on many broadcasts and recording dates, playing jazz and effortlessly slipping from traditional to post-bop to big band to mainstream, all the while swinging with great subtlety. He accompanied pianists as different as Teddy Wilson and Al Haig and for singers from Carol Kidd to Blossom Dearie.

As an arranger, he provided charts for many leading British jazzmen and for the BBC Radio Big Band, thus enhancing the enormous yet understated contribution he made to the British jazz scene over the years. Drummer and arranger Allan Ganley passed away on March 29, 2008.

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Joe LaBarbera was born into a musical family on February 22, 1948 in Mt. Morris, New York, younger brother to saxophonist Pat LaBarbera and trumpeter and arranger/composer John LaBarbera. Formally educated at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts after graduation he spent two years with the Army band at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

He began his professional career playing with Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd, followed by the Chuck Mangione Quartet. Moving to New York Joe spent two years freelancing with a number of notable musicians, including Jim Hall, Phil Woods, Art Farmer, Gary Burton, Art Pepper, John Scofield, Bob Brookmeyer and Toots Thielemans.

By 1978, Labarbera had joined the Bill Evans Trio with bassist Marc Johnson. After the death of Evans in 1980, he joined singer Tony Bennett, then went on to work with pianist Bill Cunliffe and has recorded with his brother Pat. Relocating to Los Angeles, California, he has been teaching at the California Institute of the Arts since 1993. He is on the faculty of the Bud Shank Jazz Workshop in Port Townsend, Washington and has also served on the National Endowment for the Arts council in Washington, DC.

Drummer and composer Joe LaBarbera, who is a guest lecturer at colleges and universities, continues to record and perform.

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Joseph Allen Farnsworth was born February 21, 1968 in Holyoke, Massachusetts, one of five sons born to trumpeter and bandleader Roger Farnsworth. He attended high school at the Jakarta International School in Jakarta, Indonesia, then studied at William Paterson College under Harold Mabern and Arthur Taylor.

After graduation Joe played with Junior Cook and Jon Hendricks in 1991, Jon Faddis in 1992, and between 1993 and 1995 with George Coleman, Cecil Payne, Annie Ross, and Benny Green. He has played in the group One for All with David Hazeltine and Jim Rotondi, and worked with Benny Golson, Steve Davis, and Eric Alexander.

In the second half of the Nineties he also played with Alex Graham, Michael Weiss, the Three Baritone Saxophone Band, and Diana Krall. He has released three albums as a leader, has also recorded with Steve Davis and the late Cedar Walton. Drummer Joe Farnsworth is now a member of Pharoah Sanders’ band.


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Walter Johnson was born on February 18, 1904 in New York City, New York. He was influenced by Kaiser Marshall and became one of the top big band drummers of the 1920’s and 30’s swing era. He worked with Freddy Johnson in 1924, Bobby Brown, Elmer Snowden between 1925 to 1928, and Te Roy Williams in 1927.

He became best-known for his playing with Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra off and on from 1929 to 1942. After his third stint with Henderson ended, Johnson freelanced for the remainder of his career,Through the Thirties, he performed with other swing era big bands including Sam Wooding, LeRoy Smith, Lucky Millinder, Claude Hopkins, Edgar Hayes and Coleman Hawkins.

Though Walter sometimes worked outside of music as a bank guard, he could often be heard playing with Tab Smith during a period spanning a decade from 1944 to 1954. He would also appear with a variety of swing and mainstream combos into the Sixties. Though Drummer Walter Johnson never led his own record date, he did record frequently during his prime years, passed away on April 26, 1977 in New York City.

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