Lol Coxhill was born George Lowen Coxhill on September 19, 1932 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK. Growing up in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire he bought his first saxophone in 1947 at 15. After national service he became a busy semi-professional musician, touring US airbases with Denzil Bailey’s Afro-Cubists and the Graham Fleming Combo.
The 1960s saw Lol playing with Rufus Thomas, Mose Allison, Otis Spann, and Champion Jack Dupree. He also developed his practice of playing unaccompanied solo saxophone, often busking in informal performance situations. He performed mostly as a sideman or as an equal collaborator, rather than a conventional leader with a trio or quartet. Instead he had many intermittent but long-lasting collaborations with like-minded musicians.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was a member of the Canterbury scene bands Carol Grimes and Delivery and then Kevin Ayers and the Whole World. He became known for his solo playing and for duets with pianist Steve Miller and guitarist G. F. Fitzgerald. Coxhill collaborated with Mike Oldfield, Morgan Fisher, Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath and its musical descendant The Dedication Orchestra, Django Bates, the Damned, Hugh Metcalfe, Derek Bailey and performance art group Welfare State among numerous others.
He often worked in small collaborative groups with semi-humorous names Typically these bands performed a mix of free improvisation interspersed with ballroom dance tunes and popular songs. There was a humor in his music though the free playing was not intended as a joke. He performed at the Bracknell Jazz Festival, and following a performance at Bracknell he recorded the melodramatic monologue Murder in the Air.
Soprano saxophonist Lol Coxhill, who also played the sopranino saxophone and was a free improviser and raconteur, passed away on July 10, 2012.
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Frank Socolow wa born on September 18, 1923 in New York City and began his career in the early 40s playing in swing bands led by Georgie Auld, Ted Fio Rito, Roy Stevens, Van Alexander and Shep Fields. In 1944 he landed the first of three stints that spanned into the late Fifties with the Boyd Raeburn Orchestra and recording a number of records.
1945 saw Frank recording his first of two sessions as a leader with Freddie Webster and a young Bud Powell for Duke Records. He would go on to join Buddy Rich’s short-lived big band, toured Scandinavia 1947-48 with Chubby Jackson, then joined Artie Shaw’s big band 1949-50. Throughout the late 40s and the 50s he recorded with a wide variety of artists including Johnny Bothwell, Charlie Ventura, Gene Krupa, Sal Salvador, Maynard Ferguson, Terry Gibbs, Phil Woods, Cecil Payne, Manny Albam, Hal McKusick, Johnny Richards, Bill Russo, Joe Morello, and Bobby Scott.
His second record session as leader and only full album release, Sounds by Socolow, came in 1956 for Bethlehem Records, with arrangements by Bill Holman, Manny Albam, and Sal Salvador, the latter also contributing guitar. Tenor saxophonist and oboist Frank Socolow passed away on April 30, 1981 in New york City.
Curtis Peagler was born September 17, 1929 in Cincinnati, Ohio and in his childhood his playing on the alto saxophone was influenced by Charlie Parker, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson and Louis Jordan . At the age of 13 he started playing the C-Melody-Saxophone and played alto with the Sons of Rhythm as well as with Territory Bands.
Prior to being drafted into the Army in 1953 Curtis was a member of the backing band of the singer Big Maybelle. After his release from the army in 1955 he studied for two years at the Cincinnati Conservatory and played there with local bands.
In 1959/60 he recorded with Eddie Lockjaw Davis on his first recording for Prestige titled Disciples Blues. Peagler then recorded with Lem Winchester and performed and recorded with his band Modern Jazz Disciples, on the Columbia label. In 1962 he moved to Los Angeles, California where he worked as a freelance musician, and then played in 1966-1967. By 1969 he was accompanying Ray Charles and Big Black.
Between 1971 and 1978 he went on tour with the Count Basie Band and accompanied Ella Fitzgerald . Curtis then settled in Los Angeles and founded the label Sea Pea Records, recording with his own groups and playing on albums for Pablo Records with Harry Sweets Edison and Big Joe Turner. He played with Jeannie and Jimmy Cheatham’s Sweet Baby Blues Band in the mid-1980s, playing the Concord label’s swing band on several albums. In 1989, he worked with Jimmy Smith, in 1990 with Freddie Redd, and he recorded in 1999 on Frank Wess ‘s Concord album Entre Nous. Alto and tenor saxophonist Curtis Peagler passed away of heart trouble on December 19, 1992 in Los Angeles, California.
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Jay Cameron was born on September 14, 1928 in New York City and began as an alto saxophonist only to later record with bass and B-flat clarinet and baritone saxophone.
He began his career in the early 1940s in Hollywood with Ike Carpenter‘s band, with whom he played until 1947. He moved to Europe near the end of the decade and played with Rex Stewart, Bill Coleman, Roy Haynes and Henri Renaud in France and Italy. In the early 1950s Cameron gigged around Belgium, Germany, and Scandinavia and by 1955 he played steadily in Paris, France with a band that included Bobby Jaspar, Barney Wilen and Jean-Louis Chautemps.
Returning to the United States in 1956, Jay played in bands led by Woody Herman and Slide Hampton as well as collaborations with Chet Baker, Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson, Freddie Hubbard, Candido Camero, Bill Barron, André Hodeir, Hal McKusick, and Les and Larry Elgart.
He was the leader of the International Sax Band and the Third Herdsmen. And in the late 1960s he toured with Paul Winter. He continued to be an active musician and advocate for jazz programming and education throughout his life. Baritone saxophonist and reed player Jay Cameron passed away on March 20, 2001 in San Diego, California.
Jim Tomlinson was born September 9, 1966, in Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, England. He grew up in Northumberland and did not study music formally until well into his 20s. He played saxophone and ran a band as a hobby whilst studying for his degree he attended Oxford University where he studied philosophy, politics and economics while playing clarinet and saxophones, mostly the tenor, and developing his interest in jazz.
As a postgrad at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama he establish himself on the local jazz scene. With his reputation quickly spreading he was soon working with noted musicians Matt Wates, David Newton and Michael Garrick, recording with the latter on his 1997 session For Love Of Duke And Ronnie.
In the 90s he led his own quartet, touring the UK extensively in the UK and was often in the musical company of singer Stacey Kent. They married in 1991 and he appeared on her albums for Candid Records. Singed to Candid also, Jim released his debut album as leader, Only Trust Your Heart in 2000 giving him not only a UK but and international audience as well. This was followed by his sophomore project in 2003 titled Brazilian Sketches in 2003.
Tomlinson has gone on to work in a wide variety of groups, from Brian Ferry to experimental big band composer, Michael Garrick to leading and touring with his own quartet.
Tenor saxophonist Jim Tomlinson has released three albums, has been nominated for a Grammy and continues to compose, record and perform.
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