Art Themen was born Arthur Edward George Themen on November 26, 1939 in Manchester, England. He originally played the clarinet but after hearing the Dankworth Seven when he was sixteen and saxophonist Danny Moss winked at his cousin, he knew his path was with the saxophone. Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins initially influenced his style of playing, and later by Coleman Hawkins, Evan Parker and John Coltrane.
In 1958 he began his medical studies at the University of Cambridge, completed studies at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London and in 1964 became a consultant specializing in orthopaedic medicine.
Themen started playing jazz with the Cambridge University Jazz Group alongside Lionel Grigson, Dave Gelly and Dick Heckstall-Smith. Around London he played with blues musicians Jack Bruce and Alex Korner, then with Peter Stuyvesant Jazz Orchestra in 1965 in Zurich, leading to his playing with Michael Garrick and Graham Collier’s Music.
1974 saw Themen entering on what was to be one of his central musical relationships when he started playing with Stan Tracey, touring with him worldwide and the United Kingdom. He also played and toured with musicians Nat Adderley, Ian Carr, George Coleman and Al Haig.
In 1995 he formed a quartet with pianist John Critchinson. Following his retirement as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, saxophonist Art Themen has been concentrating on his jazz career and has recorded three albums with Al Haig, Peter King, Howard Riley, Mornington Lockett and Don Weller.
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Mark Shim was born on November 21, 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica but raised in Canada from the age of eight months to five years. Then his family moved to Richmond, Virginia. He started playing tenor saxophonist in the seventh grade through high school. Graduating in 1991 he attended Virginia Commonwealth University and William Patterson College.
1994 saw Shim moving to Brooklyn, New York where he played and recorded with Hamiet Bluiett in Harlem. He then played with Elvin Jones, Mose Allison, Betty Carter, Greg Osby and the Mingus Big Band.
He recorded his debut album Mind Over Matter for Blue Note Records in 1998, with his sophomore project New Directions with Stefon Harris, Jason Moran and Greg Osby and Turbulent Flow released in 2000. Tenor saxophonist Mark Shim continues to perform, record and tour.
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Vincent Herring was born November 19, 1964 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. His formal musical education began at age 11, when he started playing saxophone in school bands and studying privately at Dean Frederick’s School Of Music in Vallejo, California. At age 16, he entered California State University at Chico on a music scholarship.
A year later, Vincent auditioned for a spot in the United States Military Academy Band Jazz Knights playing lead alto saxophone. He made the move to West Point, served one enlisted tour, which turned out to be a steppingstone to the New York jazz scene.
He first began touring Europe and the United States with Lionel Hampton’s big band. Since that turning point in his career Herring has recorded and performed over 200 sessions as a sideman working with Nat Adderley, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, the Horace Silver Quintet, Jack DeJohnette’s Special Edition, Larry Coryell, Cedar Walton, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, the Mingus Big Band, Nancy Wilson, the Roy Hargrove Big Band, Arthur Taylor, Dr. Billy Taylor, Carla Bley and the Phil Woods Sax Machine.
Vincent has been a special guest soloist with Wynton Marsalis and Lincoln Center as well as with Jon Faddis and the Carnegie Hall Big Band. As a leader he has recorded fifteen albums and taken bands to Japan and Europe, has appeared in nearly every major jazz festival in the world. Wearing his educator hat he gives clinics throughout Europe and the United States. He is currently performing with the Cannonball Legacy Band, which plays in jazz festivals, jazz clubs and occasionally small towns for benefit concerts.
Seldon Powell was born on November 15, 1928 in Lawrenceville, Virginia. A classically trained saxophonist and flautist who studied at Juilliard in New York City, he went on to work briefly with Tab Smith in 1949 before joining and recording with Lucky Millinder the following year. For the next two years he would spend in the military and upon discharge became a studio musician.
A solid musician with the ability to move between genres from big band to hard bop to soul jazz and R&B, over a forty year career he would record four albums as a leader between 1956 and 1973 and another 60 album sessions as a sideman with Clark Terry, Johnny Hammond Smith, Buddy Rich, Louis Bellson, Neal Hefti, Billy Ver Planck, Sy Oliver,, Erskine Hawkins, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Gato Barbieri, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan,Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, roland Hana, Osie Johnson, Freddie Green, Gus Johnson, Sonny Stitt, Friedrich Gulda, Art Farmer, Cal Tjader, Billy Taylor, Ernie Wilkins, Panama Francis, Teri Thornton, Jimmy Forrest, Charlie Byrd, Oliver Nelson and the list goes on.
He recorded for Epic, Roost, Savoy, RCA, United Artists, Lion, Riverside, EmArcy, Golden Crest, Candid, ABC, New Jazz, Impulse, Solid State, Verve, 20th Century, Atlantic, and Sesac record labels. Tenor saxophonist and flautist who concentrated in the swing, progressive and soul jazz, big band and rhythm & blues genres passed away on January 25, 1997 in Hempstead, New York.
Lynn Baker was born Malcolm Lynn Baker on November 9, 1955 in Salem, Oregon. When he was seven he started taking piano lessons and by the fifth grade was in band class and in sixth grade his mother bought him a tenor saxophone but didn’t practice much until he got in junior high. It was there that he soon took first chair and held it throughout his high school years.
By 1973 Baker was attending Oregon College of Education but in his sophomore year transferred to the University of Oregon seeking a better jazz program without success. However it offered him the opportunity to play with a young John Zorn, which would have a powerful impact on his music aesthetic. Eventually he would transfer to Western Oregon University, Mt. Hood Community College and finally transferring back to and graduating from Oregon College of Education.
He joined a local Top 40 band led by Ricky Santos for a while, then moved to Eugene, Oregon and joined the Experimental Jazz Ensemble followed by gigs playing with dance bands and a rock/Latin fusion band. An award winning composer, performer and educator Lynn released his debut album Azure Intention in 2010 on the Origin Records label. His sophomore project LectroCoustic followed three years later.
As an educator Baker has taught at Indian University and Carleton College and is currently the director of jazz studies and Commercial Music Program at the Lamont School of Music, University of Denver, directs the Lamont Jazz Orchestra, coaches combos and teaches jazz improvisation and composition, jazz history and jazz technique. Tenor saxophonist Lynn Baker continues to perform in between his teaching duties.
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