Marvin Stamm was born May 23, 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee and began playing trumpet at age 12. He attended Memphis State University and then went on to matriculate through North Texas State University where he was a member of the One O’Clock Lab Band.
After graduation he played with Stan Kenton’s Mellophonium Orchestra from 1961 to 1963, and then with Woody Herman from 1965 to 1966. For the next six years he performed as a member of the Thad Jones and Mel Lewis Orchestra from until 1972, and went with Benny Goodman from 1974 to 1975.
During the Seventies he began a decades-long career as a prolific studio and session musician, recording with Bill Evans, Quincy Jones, Donald Fagen, Oliver Nelson, Duke Pearson, Wes Montgomery, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Grover Washington, Jr., Patrick Williams, Michel Legrand, Lena Horne, Frank Foster, Average White Band, Paul Desmond, Frankie Valli, Deodato, Les DeMerle, and George Benson, and played the flugelhorn solo on Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey by Paul McCartney.
In the 1980s he played with John Lewis’ American Jazz Orchestra, the Bob Mintzer Band, the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, Louie Bellson’s Big Band, Maria Schneider’s band and since 2002 the trumpeter has been a member of the Westchester Jazz Orchestra.
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Edward Louis Smith was born May 20, 1931 in Memphis, Tennessee, and while studying at the University of Michigan, he played with visiting musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thad Jones and Billy Mitchell. He followed this array of musicians by going on to play with Sonny Stitt, Count Basie, Al McKibbon, Cannonball Adderley, Percy Heath, Philly Joe Jones, Lou Donaldson, Donald Byrd, Kenny Dorham and Zoot Sims.
He began his recording career with two albums for Blue Note, the first being Here Comes Louis Smith, originally recorded for the Boston-based Transition Records, featured Cannonball Adderley (then under contract to Mercury) playing under the pseudonym “Buckshot La Funke”, Tommy Flanagan, Duke Jordan, Art Taylor and Doug Watkins.
Smith’s initial music career was brief, opting to become a teacher at the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor’s public school system.He would later recorded for the SteepleChase label. in 2006 Louis suffered a stroke and was seen occasionally enjoying live jazz in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area, but he never returned to performing. He recorded fourteen albums as a leader and recorded Down Home Reunion with his cousin trumpeter Booker Little.
Trumpeter Louis Smith, who recorded both volumes of Blue Lights with Kenny Burrell and Live at Newport ‘58 with Horace Silver, passed away on August 20, 2016, at age 85 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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Mike Zwerin was born May 18, 1930 in New York on May 18, 1930. He studied at the High School of Music and Art and began leading bands in his teens, employing several up-and-coming musicians. At the age of 18, while on summer break from the University of Miami, he was the trombonist in Miles Davis’s nonet at the Royal Roost club in New York. This band was recorded performing the live sessions in 1948 and its music the following year culminated in the album that became immortalized as Birth of the Cool.
He abandoned his musical life for much of the 1950s but after a spell in France he returned to New York in 1958 and played the trombone in several big bands. However, in 1960 after his father’s death, he returned to the world of business and he took over as president of his dad’s company, the Capitol Steel Corporation. Over the next four years Mike kept a hand in jazz, working in John Lewis’s big band Orchestra USA, with whom he recorded and directed a small group. He also worked briefly with pianist Earl Hines but by the mid-1960s he withdrew from the business.
Zwerin moved to London in 1969 and then, in 1972, to Paris, which would be his home for the rest of his life. Nevertheless, he kept his hand in as a trombonist throughout the 1980s, working with his fellow expatriate Hal Singer and with the guitarist Christian Escoudé. In 1988 he toured with the Big Band Charles Mingus, played briefly with t Swiss bandleader George Gruntz and played with the French fusion band Telephone.
As a music critic and columnist he wrote for the Village Voice, Down Beat, Rolling Stone, Penthouse, the International Herald Tribune and Bloomberg News. He authored several books about his own life in the world of jazz, most notably The Silent Sound of Needles, about his struggles with drug addiction, Close Enough for Jazz and The Parisian Jazz Chronicles: An Improvisational Memoir, but his most ambitious book may be La Tristesse de Saint Louis: Swing Under the Nazis that included the story of the Kille Dillers and the Ghetto Swingers, two bands that played in concentration camps, and how jazz survived across Europe though banned by the Nazis and labeled degenerate music.
Throughout his career trombonist and bass trumpeter Mike Zwerin would perform and record with Miles Davis, Maynard Ferguson, John Lewis, Archie Shepp, Claude Thornhill and Bill Russo, arrange, direct and produce an album of Kurt Weill songs with the Sextet of Orchestra U.S.A., before passing away after a long illness on April 2, 2010 in Paris, France at the age of 79.
Wilbur Odell “Dud” Bascomb was born on May 16, 1916 in Birmingham, Alabama, the youngest of a family of ten children, and brother of tenor saxophonist Paul Bascomb. He played piano as a child but settled on trumpet, first playing with Erskine Hawkins at the Alabama State Teachers’ School, now Alabama State University in 1932. It was here that Hawkins led the Bama State Collegians band. Remaining with Hawkins until 1944, he soloed with him on many of his most well-known recordings.
Eventually he moved on to play in his brother’s septet, that became a big band later in the decade. He played briefly with Duke Ellington in 1947. During the 1950s Bascomb played for three years at Tyle’s Chicken Shack in New Jersey, leading a quintet which counted Lou Donaldson among its members.
He toured Japan three times with Sam Taylor and Europe with Buddy Tate in the 1960s, in addition to touring and recording with James Brown. He recorded sparingly as a leader and his Savoy Records sessions in 1959-60 were not issued until 1986.
Trumpeter Dud Bascomb passed away on December 25, 1972 in New York City. He was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1979.
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Eddie Preston was born in Dallas, Texas on May 9, 1925 and didn’t begin playing in the big bands until after World War II. From 1955 to 1972 he did stints with Lionel Hampton, Ray Charles, Louis Jordan, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie.
He played with Charles Mingus between 1963 and 1965 and again in 1969–72. During this period in between his working with Mingus, Eddie spent time freelancing with musicians such as Sonny Stitt and Frank Foster. He returned once more to work with Ellington in 1971 and then led a few groups, as well as working with Roland Kirk in 1977 and Archie Shepp in 1979.
Trumpeter Eddie Preston, who never released an album as a leader, passed away on June 22, 2009 in Palm Coast, Florida.
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