John Hardee was born in Corsicana, Texas on December 20, 1918 and began touring with Don Albert from 1937 to 1938 while still in college. He graduated in 1941 and started directing a local Texas school band, then served in the Army during World War II.
In 1946 he played with Tiny Grimes, then recorded as a bandleader for the Blue Note label between 1946 and 1948, issuing eight releases. Later in the Forties and early 1950s John performed with Clyde Bernhardt, Cousin Joe, Russell Procope, Earl Bostic, Billy Kyle, Helen Humes, Billy Taylor, and Lucky Millinder.
Essentially retiring from music in the Fifties Hardee then became a schoolteacher. In 1959, what may well be known as his last recording dates was with the Dallas R&B group The Nightcaps’ Vandan Records album “Wine,Wine,Wine” where he was credited as “John Hardtimes” but was not actually a member of the group.
Tenor saxophonist John Hardee passed away on May 18, 1984 in Dallas, Texas.
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Esa Pietilä was born on December 9, 1964 in Finland and started learning the saxophone as a youth, taking his inspiration from Eric Dolphy, Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane. He studied saxophone and composition in the Sibelius- Academy jazz department in Helsinki and privately in United States with David Liebman.
Pietilä started his career as a jazz musician and later on expanded his expression to many different musical genres. Performing with his jazz groups Liberty Ship and Esa Pietilä 3, he also has duo collaborations with contemporary classical & new music chamber musicians, and has soloed with chamber orchestras and other larger ensembles. He performs totally free improvisations at his solo concerts.
He has worked with conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, with Avanti! Chamber Orchestra. Esa has premiered the saxophone concerto of Kalevi Aho, Eero Hämeenniemi and Pietilä´s concerto Graffiti Play for chamber orchestra & contemporary jazz trio.
His jazz collaborators have been Paal Nilssen-Love, Harvey Sorgen, Michael Jefry Stevens, Mathias Eick, Jeff Siegel, Karl Berger, Mark Helias, Brian Melvin, Heiri Kaenzig, Christoph Baumann, Baenz Öster, Franziska Baumann, Mike Nock, Ron McClure, Claudio Fasoli, Anders Begcrantz, Odean Pope, Hilmar Jensson, Raoul Björkenheim. Markku Ounaskari, Ulf Krokfors, Iro Haarla.
Saxophonist and composer Esa Pietilä, who in his home country, received the Yrjö Jazz award in 2016 for his original, genre-defying work in the field of avant-garde jazz, continues to work diversely in the field of contemporary music.
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Teddy Hill was was born on December 7, 1909 in Birmingham, Alabama. After moving to New York City, he had early gigs with the Whitman Sisters, George Howe and Luis Russell’s orchestra in the Twenties. He later put together his own band in 1934, which found steady work over the NBC radio network.
Over several years it featured such major young musicians as Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Coleman, Roy Eldridge, Bill Dillard, Dicky Wells, Russell Procope, Howard E. Johnson, Chu Berry, Sam Allen, John Smith, Richard Fullbright, Bill Beason, Shad Collins, Bill Dillard, Frank Newton, Kenneth Hollon, Cecil Scott, Beatrice Douglas and Robert Carroll.
They played at the Savoy Ballroom regularly, and toured England and France in the summer of 1937. In 1935, he recorded a four song session for the American Record Corporation. In 1936, he recorded two sessions for Vocalion, then signed with Bluebird the following year and recorded 18 songs over three sessions.
After leaving the band business, Hill began managing Minton’s Playhouse in 1940, which became a Harlem hub for the bebop style, featuring such major musicians as Thelonious Monk and Kenny Clarke. Leaving Minton’s in 1969, long after its musical significance had waned, he then became the manager of Baron’s Lounge.
Married twice, Teddy had two daughters, Gwendolyn and Beatrice, one by each wife. Beatrice would later emerge as the successful actress and singer known by her stage name, Melba Moore.
Drummer, clarinetist, soprano and tenor saxophonist Teddy Hill, who was also a big band leader and the manager of Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem, passed away on May 19, 1978 in Cleveland, Ohio.
P. J. Perry CM was born Paul John Guloien to saxophonist Paul Guloien, who performed under the name Paul Perry and Margaret Yeo, on December 2, 1941 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Early in life they moved around Canada between Medicine Hat, Regina, Sylvan Lake and Vancouver. He learned to play the clarinet and piano before becoming a saxophonist for his father’s band when he was 14.
Spending most of his time in Canada, as a young man, Perry played at Sylvan Lake and in various Vancouver night clubs. Her recorded and released his debut album My Ideal on the Unity label in 1989, following with his sophomore project Worth Waiting For on Jazz Alliance. He has gone on to record for Unity/Page, Cellar Live, Royalty record labels, and for Justin Time Records he has twice recorded with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
He has received several accolades and honors among others, two Juno awards, an honorary doctorate of law from the University of Alberta and is a member of the Order of Canada. Alto saxophonist P. J. Perry continues to perform, record and tour.
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Hal McIntyre was born Harold William McIntyre on November 29, 1914 in Cromwell, Connecticut. McIntyre played extensively as a teenager and led his own octet in 1935. Shortly thereafter, he was offered a temporary slot as an alto saxophonist behind Benny Goodman, but this lasted only ten days. However, Glenn Miller heard of his ability and drafted him as a founding member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, where he played from 1937 to 1941.
Miller encouraged him to start his own group again, and the McIntyre Orchestra first hit the stage in New Rochelle, New York in 1941. The group included vocalists Gloria Van, Ruth Gaylor, and Al Nobel, bassist Eddie Safranski, and saxophonist Allen Eager. Playing the major ballrooms throughout the United States, they also performed overseas for the troops during World War II.
At the beginning of 1945, Hal and his orchestra had a weekly broadcast on the Blue Network. One feature of the program was that on each program the orchestra would play the theme song of one of America’s college fraternities, saluting some member who had distinguished himself in the war.
Touring extensively with songstress Sunny Gale until the summer of ’51, he maintained the orchestra well into the decade, backing The Mills Brothers for their 1952 smash hit Glow Worm. Hal co-wrote the song Daisy Mae with Billy May which was recorded by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.
Critically injured in an apartment fire in 1959, saxophonist, clarinetist, and bandleader Hal McIntyre passed away at a hospital a few days later on May 5, 1959 in Los Angeles, California.