Composer-French Horn, b.1930, Philadelphia, PA
An American composer, musician, and writer. His eclectic use of jazz, ethnic and folk music has led him to work with the likes of Thelonious Monk, Willie Nelson, Charles Mingus, Leonard Bernstein, and Jack Kerouac throughout the course of his career. He was appointed composer-in-residence to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in the 1966–1967 season.
Amram was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Shortly before his seventh birthday, he and his family moved to a farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His grandfather, who had been active in early American Zionist circles and had spent considerable time in Palestine, taught him basic Hebrew. His father introduced him to cantorial music and classical music. Amram’s uncle loved jazz, introducing him to recordings of great jazz artists, and took him to see many of them in person.
At the age of seven, Amram began piano lessons, experimenting with trumpet and tuba before settling on the French horn. In 1948 he spent a year at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, but earned a bachelor’s degree in European history from George Washington University in 1952. During those years, Amram was an extra horn player with the National Symphony Orchestra.
Amram spent 1952 to 1954 with the United States Army in Europe, playing with the Seventh Army Symphony. While stationed in Paris for a year, Amram devoted himself to composition, and played with Lionel Hampton’s band and other jazz groups.
Amram returned to the United States in 1955, attending the Manhattan School of Music. During that time he supported himself by playing with Charles Mingus at Café Bohemia, and Oscar Pettiford at Birdland. He also led his own jazz group at the Five Spot Café on the Bowery.
In 1959 Amram wrote music for and acted in Pull My Daisy, a film created and narrated by Jack Kerouac. The film featured other Beat Generation writers, including Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso. During the same year, he met director John Frankenheimer, and he was impressed enough by the composer that he asked him to compose the score for his television adaptation of Turn of the Screw.
His best-known work as a film composer, however, came with Frankenheimer’s 1962 film adaptation of The Manchurian Candidate. Amram’s score was a blend of post-war jazz, Latin music, and atonal classical composition. The orchestral passages in particular are scored a programmatic, highly rhythmic style that almost sounds like a bridge between the work of Anton Webern and Frank Zappa. The score is also notable for its unusual orchestrations, including such instruments as the harpsichord, and for the usage of jazz musicians such as Paul Horn for the recording, as most soundtracks from that time were generally recorded using orchestral musicians. However, the film was not a popular success when it was released (partially due to the fact that, soon after the film’s release, John F. Kennedy was assassinated), though it is now regarded highly, as is Amram’s score. The original soundtrack recording was briefly released on CD in 1997.
His website is at http://www.davidamram.com/
Trombone, b.1931, Manchester, CT
Bass, b.1928 d.1997, Holyoke, MA
Flute, b.1927, Charleston, WV
Trombone, b.1926, Cranston, RI
Vocal, b.1934 d.2004, Natchez, MS
Roswell Rudd (born Roswell Hopkins Rudd, Jr.)
Trombone, b.1935, Sharon, CT
An American jazz trombonist although skilled in all styles of jazz (including dixieland, which he performed while in college), he is known primarily for his work in free and avant-garde jazz. Since 1962 Rudd has worked extensively with Archie Shepp, a close friend.
Rudd participated in key free jazz recordings, notably with the New York Art Quartet, on the soundtrack recording for Michael Snow’s 1964 film New York Eye and Ear Control, and Mike Mantler & Carla Bley’s 1968 “Jazz Composer’s OrchestrA- Communications” featuring Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Larry Coryell and Gato Barbieri.
Rudd graduated from Yale University, and later taught at Bard College and the University of Maine.
Rudd has been a frequent visitor to the African nation of Mali, performing and recording with Malian musicians. His 2001 CD MALIcool, a cross-cultural collaboration with kora player Toumani Diabaté and other Malian musicians represented the first time the trombone had been featured in a recording of Malian traditional music.
In 2004 he brought his TROMBONE SHOUT BAND to perform at the 4th Festival au Désert in Essakane, Tombouctou Region, Mali.
In 2005 he extended his reach even further, recording a CD with a traditional music group from Mongolia, entitled Blue Mongol.
New York avant-garde trombonist Josh Roseman cites Rudd as one of his major influences.
On and off for a period of three decades, Roswell Rudd assisted Alan Lomax with his world song style project and the wealth of information on the music of this planet inspired him to collaborate beyond the periphery of western music.
Rudd conducts master classes and workshops both in the United States and around the world.
He co-leads an ensemble with Archie Shepp, as well as touring with MALIcool, the Mongolian Buryat Band, as well as being a featured guest.
A major factor in Rudd’s career has been his lifelong friendship with Steve Lacy and their numerous recordings and performances of the music of Thelonious Monk.
Drums, Composer, b.1928, Melbourne, Australia
Trumpet, b.1915 d.1980, Minneapolis, MN