Miles Jaye Davis was born on November 12, 1957 in Yonkers, New York and is known professionally as Miles Jaye. He studied music theory and classical violin for more than a decade at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Saratoga School of Orchestral Studies, Indian Hill and Brooklyn College.
While in the Air Force Jaye played flute, keyboards and bass and launched his singing career while stationed at Clarke Air Force Base in the Philippines. He toured Europe with jazz guitarist Eric Gale and singers Phyllis Hyman and Jon Lucien before taking over as “Cop” in the Village People in the mid 1980s. He stayed with the band for two years before launching his solo career and signing to Teddy Pendergrass’ production company Top Priority Records.
Releasing his debut album, Miles, on Island Records, he continued on the soul course with his music, contributing as musician, songwriter and co-producer on the Pendergrass 1988 hit album, Joy.
In 1991 he formed his own company, Black Tree Records, and recorded and released a string of increasingly jazz-influenced albums. Never straying completely from jazz he has also worked with George Duke, Roy Ayers, Grover Washington, Jr. and Branford Marsalis. Violinist, singer, producer and songwriter Miles Jaye continues to pursue new horizons in jazz.
Ray Biondi was born Remo Biondi on July 5, 1905 in Cicero, Illinois. As a child he started with violin and his early training was classical under the supervision of several teachers from the American Conservatory of Chicago. Mandolin followed at age 12 and it became his gateway into the world of string bands, and added guitar and then trumpet into his musical arsenal.
In 1926 he began playing professionally with the Blanche Jaros Orchestra, based out of Cicero, and the next year he started an eight-year period of heavy freelancing in Chicago, enjoying new contacts such as trumpeter Wingy Manone, reedman Bud Freeman, and Earl Burtnett put Biondi in his lineup as a violin and trumpet double. This band took him on a series of tours Kansas City, Cincinnati and New York. this led to a gig with clarinetist and saxophonist Joe Marsala and playing guitar whenever Eddie Condon double booked himself.
In 1938, Gene Krupa hired Ray solely as a guitarist except on an orchestra project where he double as a violinist. A year later he left the band and formed a series of small groups as a leader and one band had a long residency at Chicago’s 606 Club. He then opened a short-lived club himself, and Krupa took him back on the road in the early ’50s. He then began to get session guitar and mandolin work in some genres outside of straight jazz. With Pat Boone and the Crew Cuts as doo wop became a new musical style.
By 1961, he had begun a serious shift to teaching all of his instruments except the trumpet, but continued gigging with groups both large and small, including the orchestra of Dick Schory in the former case and stride pianist Art Hodes in the latter. Violinist Ray Biondi passed away on January 28, 1981 in Chicago, Illinois.
Melvin Moore was born on June 15, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois. In 1944 the trumpeter began his career playing with Lucky Millinder, then joined Duke Ellington’s Orchestra from 1948 to 1950. This he followed with performance in rhythm and blues bands. By 1951 he was recording with Dizzy Gillespie and singing on such titles as The Champ and Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac.
At the end of 1951 he was recording some vocal titles for King Records with Terry Gibbs, Billy Taylor, Mundell Lowe and Charles Mingus. In 1957 he was a member of Don Redman’s orchestra, the following year he recorded with John Pisano and with Billy Bean. Between 1964 and 1966 he worked with Gerald Wilson and he also accompanied Johnny Hartman. During the Sixties he performed on separate dates at the Monterey Jazz Festival with Mingus, Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie.
By 1967 he was playing in B.B. Kings band followed by the Seventies bands of Esther Phillips, T – Bone Walker, Don Sugarcane Harris, Johnny Otis, Jerry Garcia and Shuggie Otis and in the early 1980s with Ted Hawkins. Moore is not to be confused with the singer born in 1917, who sang with Jimmie Lunceford and Ernie Fields .
Trumpeter, violinist and singer of swing and bebop Mel Moore passed away on February 26, 1989 in New York City.
Henry Grimes was born November 3, 1935 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and took up the violin at the age of 12, then began playing tuba, English horn, percussion, and finally the double bass in high school. He went on to study at Juilliard, establishing a reputation as a versatile bassist by the mid-1950s.
At a time when bassist Charles Mingus was experimenting with a second bass player in his band, Grimes was the person he selected for the job. At twenty-two he was captured on film in the Bert Stern documentary of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival’s Jazz on a Summer’s Day and as word spread among the musicians about his extraordinary playing, he ended up playing with six different groups in the festival that weekend: those of Benny Goodman, Lee Konitz, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Sonny Rollins, and Tony Scott.
Gradually growing interested in the burgeoning free jazz movement, Henry performed with most of the music’s important names, including Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Steve Lacy, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, and Albert Ayler. He released one album, The Call, as a trio leader on the ESP-Disk label in 1965 with clarinetist Perry Robinson and drummer Tom Price. By the late 1960s, he moved to California, his career came to a halt and after more than a decade of activity and performance, notably as a leading bassist in free jazz, completely disappeared from the music scene by 1970 and was often presumed dead.it was commonly assumed Grimes had died, having been listed as such in several jazz reference works.
Fortunately Henry was discovered him in 2002 alive but nearly destitute by Marshall Marrotte, a social worker and jazz fan. He was without a bass to play, renting a tiny apartment in Los Angeles, California, writing poetry and doing odd jobs to support himself. He had fallen so out of touch with the jazz world that he was unaware Albert Ayler had died in 1970.
Since his return in 2003 to a hero’s welcome at the free jazz Vision Festival, he has been performing at festivals, teaching lessons and workshops for bassists. William Parker donated a bass nicknamed “Olive Oil” for its distinctive greenish color and with David Gage’s help had it shipped from New York to Los Angeles, and others assisted with travel expenses and arranging performances.
Grimes has made up for lost time and over the course of his career, old and new, he has recorded over 90 sessions and performed with Anita O’Day, Mose Allison, Roy Burns, Andrew Cyrille, Paul Dunmall – Profound Sound Trio, , Walt Dickerson, Shafi Hadi, Roy Haynes, Rolf Kühn, Carmen Leggio, William Parker, Marc Ribot, Pharoah Sanders, Shirley Scott, Marilyn Crispell, Ted Curson, Archie Shepp, Billy Taylor, Cecil Taylor, Marshall Allen, Fred Anderson, Lennie Tristano, McCoy Tyner, Rashied Ali, Bill Dixon, Dave Douglas, Andrew Lamb, Joe Lovano, Roscoe Mitchell, William Parker, High Priest, Wadada Leo Smith, Cecil Taylor John Tchicai, and numerous others.
In the past few years, Grimes has also held a number of residencies and offered workshops and master classes at City College of New York, Berklee College of Music, Hamilton College, New England Conservatory, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Gloucestershire at Cheltenham, Humber College, and more. He has released or played on a dozen new recordings, made his professional debut on a second instrument, the violin, at Cecil Taylor’s side at Lincoln Center at the age of 70, and has been creating illustrations to accompany his new recordings and publications. He has received many honors in recent years, including four Meet the Composer grants and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Arts for Art / Vision Festival.
Bassist, violinist, composer and poet Henry Grimes is now a resident of New York City and has a busy schedule of performances, clinics, and international tours.
Noël Chiboust was born on October 14, 1909 in Thorigny-sur-Marne , Département Seine-et-Marne, France. He began his career as a violinist with Ray Ventura and during the early Thirties played trumpet in the Michel Warlop Orchestra. By 1936 he was involved in the concert series la semaine à Paris, by the Hot Club de France. At this time in his career he also joined the André Ekyan Orchestra until 1938, then played in the Swing Band of Philippe Brun followed by an early 1940s stint with Alix Combelle.
Around the mid 1930s he recorded with Django Reinhardt , Stéphane Grappelli , Bill Coleman and Coleman Hawkins, joined Eddie Brunner in 1938 at Cabaret Bagatelle. The late 1930s saw him giving up the trumpet and joining the tenor saxophone and clarinet sections when he joined the Marcel Bianchi Orchestra.
From 1940 he recorded under his own name for the French label Swing releasing a few 78s. Starting in 1944 he performed with an orchestral cast including Hubert Rostaing, and with Jack Diéval and Lucien Simoen at Club Schubert. From 1947 to 1950 he had an engagement at Cabaret le Drap d’Or.
He turned his attention to popular music as well as the rock and roll to and by 1959 released several EPs and singles for Polydor Records with songs like Telstar, Dynamite Charleston and Yes Sir That’s My Baby.
Trumpeter, tenor saxophonist, clarinetist, arranger, composer and band leader in the field the swing and popular music era Noël Chiboust passed away on January 17, 1994.