Eddy Louiss was born May 2, 1941 in Paris, France. Throughout his life his primary instrument was the Hammond organ, but as a vocalist, he was a member of Les Double Six of Paris from 1961 through 1963. He would worked with Kenny Clarke, Rene Thomas and Jean-Luc Ponty and was a member of the Stan Getz Quartet with Thomas and Bernard Lubat. This group recorded Getz’s album Dynasty in 1971.
In duet, Eddy recorded with pianist Michel Petrucciani in 1994 and with accordionist Richard Galliano in 2002. His later recordings, for example, Sentimental Feeling and Récit proche combined jazz with rock and world music.
Louiss spent most of his career leading his own group in France, but twice has made particularly notable recordings, both on organ. He played piano with Johnny Griffin in the mid-’60s, and in 1964, he was awarded the Prix Django Reinhardt.
Hammond organist Eddy Louiss, who left the world a catalogue of some twenty recordings as a leader, passed away on June 30, 2015.
Duke Ellington was born Edward Kennedy Ellington on April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C. to parents who were pianists with his mother primarily playing parlor songs and his father preferring operatic arias. At the age of seven, he began taking piano lessons from Marietta Clinkscales. Surrounded by dignified women who reinforced his manners and taught him to live elegantly, his childhood friends noticed that his casual, offhand manner, easy grace and dapper dress and began calling him “Duke”.
Though Ellington took piano lessons, he was more interested in baseball. Ellington went to Armstrong Technical High School in Washington, D.C. and his first job was selling peanuts at the Washington Senators baseball games. Sneaking into Frank Holiday’s Poolroom at the age of fourteen and hearing the poolroom pianists play ignited Duke’s love for the instrument, and he began to take his piano studies seriously. But in the summer of 1914, while working as a soda jerk at the Poodle Dog Cafe he wrote his first composition, Soda Fountain Rag, created by ear, as he had not yet learned to read and write music.
He took private lessons in harmony from Dunbar High School music teacher Henry Lee Grant and with guidance of pianist and bandleader Oliver “Doc” Perry, he learned to read sheet music, project a professional style, and improve his technique. He was equally inspired by his encounters with James P. Johnson, Lukey Roberts, Will Marion Cook, Fats Waller and Sidney Bechet.
Playing gigs in cafés and clubs around D.C. and working as a freelance sign-painter, in 1917 Ellington began assembling groups to play for dances beginning with The Duke Serenaders. His group ventured to Harlem joining Wilber Sweatman’s orchestra, becoming a part of the Renaissance. Striking out on their own they hit roadblocks and though Willie “The Lion” Smith introduced them to the scene and gave them some money, they ultimately returned to D.C. discouraged.
A 1923 gig in Atlantic City, New Jersey led to the prestigious Exclusive Club in Harlem, followed by the Hollywood Club and a four-year engagement, giving Ellington a solid artistic base. He would go on to lead The Washingtonians, record eight records, contribute four songs to the 1925 all-Black revue Chocolate Kiddies starring Lottie Gee and Adelaide Hall, and struck an agreement of 45% interest in his future with agent-publisher Irving Mills. He would record on nearly every label at the time giving him popular recognition.
In 1927 he began his engagement at the Cotton Club receiving national attention from weekly radio broadcasts from the club gave Ellington national exposure. He gained worldwide recognition with Adelaide Hall on Creole Love Call and Black and Tan composed by Bubber Miley. He would go on to play for Florenz Ziegfeld, compose music for film scores, hire Ivie Anderson and create hits It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing, Mood Indigo, Sophisticated Lady, Solitude and In A Sentimental Mood.
By the 1930s as the Depression worsened, Duke was still able to produce music and continue a high profile with his radio broadcasts. He had hits like Caravan and I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart. His short film Symphony In Black introduced Billie Holiday on A Rhapsody of Negro Life, winning an Academy Award for Best Musical Short Subject.
In 1939 he began his association with Billy Strayhorn and the stage turned up again with more great music collaborations, such as Take The “A” Train. Among the musicians in Duke’s orchestra at one time or another were Ben Webster, Cootie Williams, Ray Nance, Johnny Hodges, Jimmy Blanton, Herb Jeffries, Al Hibbler, Mary Lou Williams, Sonny Greer, Clark Terry, Louie Bellson, and many others to numerous to mention here.
Ellington’s appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival on July 7, 1956 returned him to wider prominence and introduced him to a new generation of fans with Paul Gonsalves’ 27-chorus marathon solo, culminating in an album release.
Over the next two decades Duke continued to tour, compose and record, have statues erected, schools , streets, parks, buildings and bridges named for him, and a coin and a stamp honoring him. He has an annual competition, The Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Competition and Festival at Jazz At Lincoln Center, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Stars, was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize, received a Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Legion Of Honor from France, won 12 Grammy Awards, and has nine songs inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame among too many to list.
Pianist, bandleader and composer Duke Ellington, who composed to the very last days of his life and never came off the road, passed away on May 24, 1974 of complications from lung cancer and pneumonia, a few weeks after his 75th birthday.
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Sal Mosca was born April 27, 1927 in Mount Vernon, New York and studied piano with Lennie Tristano. After playing in the United States Army Band during World War II, he studied at the New York College of Music under the G.I. Bill.
Mosca began working with Lee Konitz in 1949 and also worked with Warne Marsh. He spent much of his career teaching and was relatively inactive since 1992; however, new CDs were released in 2004, 2005, and 2008.
Pianist Sal Mosca, who predominately performed in the cool jazz and post-bop genres, passed away on July 28, 2007 in White Plains, New York.
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Alan Leonard Broadbent was born on April 23, 1947 in Auckland, New Zealand. He studied piano and music theory in his own country, but in 1966 came to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music.
Broadbent’s first professional gig was in a jazz trio with bassist Kevin Haines and drummer Tony Hopkins at Club 81 in Auckland in the mid-1960s. His first two albums as a leader in 1985, Song of Home and Further Down the Road, were recorded on the Tartar label with bassist Andy Brown and Frank Gibson, Jr. on drums. These two albums showcased his signature of reinterpretation of standards.
His first U.S. release in 1986, Everything I Love, recorded more standards on the Discovery label replaces Brown with bassist Putter Smith replaces Brown on bass; Frank Gibson, Jr. continues with the trio. By the early Nineties Alan was asked to be a part of Natalie Cole’s Unforgettable album, and toured as her pianist and conductor. At this time he wrote an orchestral arrangement for her second video with her father, When I Fall in Love, winning him his first Grammy for Best Orchestral Arrangement Accompanying a Vocal.
During the 1990s Broadbent he joined Charlie Haden’s Quartet West and it was during this period he won his second Grammy, an orchestral accompaniment written for Shirley Horn of Leonard Bernstein’s Lonely Town. As a soloist and with his jazz trio, Broadbent has been nominated for Grammys twice for best instrumental performance, in the company of such artists as Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins and Keith Jarrett.
Alan is Diana Krall’s conductor for her occasional orchestra concerts and conducted on her Live in Paris DVD. He has arranged for Glenn Frey, wrote six string arrangements for Paul McCartney with the London Symphony, worked with Warne Marsh, Woody Herman, Chet Baker, Irene Kral, Sheila Jordan, Bud Shank and numerous others and has toured the UK, Poland and France. In 2008 he was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to jazz.
Pianist, arranger and composer Alan Broadbent has two-dozen albums out as a leader in trio, duet nd solo performance and another seventeen as a sideman to date. He continues to perform, record and tour.
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Harold “Hal” Galper was born April 18, 1938 in Salem, Massachusetts. He studied classical piano as a boy, but switched to jazz while studying at Berklee College of Music from 1955 to 1958. He hung out at Herb Pomeroy’s club, the Stable, hearing local Boston musicians such as Jaki Byard, Alan Dawson and Sam Rivers.
He started sitting in and became the house pianist at the Stable and later on, at Connelly’s and Lenny’s on the Turnpike. Eventually, Galper went on to work in Pomeroy’s band.
As his career progressed he worked with Chet Baker, Stan Getz and Nat Adderley and accompanied vocalists Joe Williams, Anita O’Day and Chris Connor. Between 1973-1975, Galper played in the Cannonball Adderley Quintet replacing George Duke.
Performing in New York and Chicago jazz clubs in the late 1970s, around this time, Hal recorded several times with guitarist John Scofield on the Enja label. The decade of the Eighties saw him as a member of the Phil Woods Quintet but left to pursue touring and recording with his own trio with drummer Steve Ellington and bassist Jeff Johnson.
As an educator Galper is internationally known, having theoretical and practical articles appear in six editions of Down Beat magazine. His scholarly article on the psychology of stage fright, originally published in the Jazz Educators Journal, has subsequently been reprinted in four other publications.
Pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator and writer Hal Galper is currently on the faculty of Purchase College and the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.
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