Drums, b.1902 d.1958, New York, NY
Guitar, b.1932, Hockfeld, MTB, Canada
Edward Isaac “Ed” Bickert is a Canadian jazz guitarist. Youngest of his family, Bickert was born in Hochfield, Manitoba; his family (parents and 5 children) moved shortly after he was born to Vernon British Columbia. Although their primary ocuupation was in farming and orchards, where the children worked as well, his mother was a pianist, and father was a fiddler. Young Ed learned to play basic guitar chords from his sole older brother. On the weekends during the 1940s, he joined in with his parents playing at country dances. After high school, he worked briefly before driving across Canada to Toronto, Ontario with an aspiring writer friend, in 1952. He managed to establish himself in a few years, after a few non-playing jobs, and taking some formal guitar lessons, as guitar player for the leading jazz groups in Toronto.
By the sixties, he was a first-call studio musician, there, osmosis let him apply a respected musical sense and developing modern harmonic approaches from old fashioned sensibilities with pick and fingers.
Notable for his long association with the late Moe Koffman and Phil Nimmons’ recordings, Bickert became a charter member of Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass. Playing with the rare American musicians who employed Toronto rythym sections in local gigs, Bickert married, and eschewing the road, stayed at home and raised a family of his own.
A friendship with renowned guitarist Jim Hall merited a recommedation to Hall’s old acquaintance, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, who was looking for a band in the 1970s. Desmond quickly felt a rapport with Bickert , and bassist Don Thompson, who recorded some of their appearances in Toronto, with two different drummers. Desmond’s enthusiasm for the guitarist’s graceful choruses of chordal solos, and incomparable accompaniment gifts, forced him to record with Bickert state-side at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio with top musicians Connie Kay on drums, and bassist Ron Carter — the album Pure Desmond was the result.
The guitarist’s use of the solid-body Fender Telecaster especially sets him apart from his peers, as he attained a warm full tone, enriching the chords.
Bickert made a few LPs with Rosemary Clooney and other well-known artists through the 1980s and 1990s, as well as leading his own sessions. Unfortunately, in the mid 1990s, a fall caused some formidable injury to both of his arms. Bickert recovered, and continued to play and tour until his retirement in the early 21st century.
In 1996, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. For more info go to http://members.tripod.com/~sardine/bickertbio.html
Tenor Sax, b.1934, Canterbury, England
Anthony George Coe is a jazz musician who is trained on clarinet, bass clarinet, and tenor saxophone. He cites Paul Gonsalves as an influence and Coe is noted for his versatility.
His early experience in jazz was with Humphrey Lyttelton’s band from 1957-1962. Later he worked in the John Dankworth orchestra and the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland big band. In the 1980s and 1990s he began branching out beyond jazz as well as doing music which mixed jazz with classical and rock influences. In 1995 he won the Jazzpar Prize.
He is also known for film work as he played both tenor saxophone and clarinet for Leaving Las Vegas.
His son is radio broadcaster Gideon Coe.
Drums, b.1922 d.1971, Boston, MA
Cello, b.1917, Philadelphia, PA
Bass, b.1914, St. Andrew, Jamaica
Drums, b.1940, Washington, DC
William “Billy” Hart is a jazz drummer and educator who has performed with some of the most important jazz musicians in history.
Early on he performed in Washington, D.C. with Buck Hill and Shirley Horn, and was a sideman with the Montgomery Brothers (1961), Jimmy Smith (1964-1966), and Wes Montgomery (1966-1968). Following Montgomery’s death in 1968, Hart moved to New York, where he recorded with McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Zawinul, and played with Eddie Harris, Pharoah Sanders, and Marian McPartland.
Hart was a member of Herbie Hancock’s sextet (1969-1973), and played with McCoy Tyner (1973-1974) and Stan Getz (1974-1977), in addition to extensive freelance playing (including recording with Miles Davis on 1972’s On the Corner).
Currently Billy Hart is one of the most in-demand jazz drummers and teachers alive. He has taught at the New England Conservatory of Music. By the end of the 1990s, Hart has recorded on more than 400 albums.
His current group is a quartet with Mark Turner, Ethan Iverson, and Ben Street. An album of this band came out in August 2006 on the High Note label. For more info go to http://www.billyhartmusic.com/
Guitar, b.1962, London, England
Ronny Jordan (born Ronald Laurence Albert Simpson is a guitarist at the forefront of the acid jazz movement at the end of the twentieth century. He came to prominence after being featured on Guru’s tour de force, Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1, which saw release in 1993. He was also one of the artists whose recordings are featured on Stolen Moments — a compilation album released in 1994 to benefit the Red Hot Organization.
Ever since the release of 1992’s Antidote, recordings from Jordan have been a mainstay on a variety of Billboard charts. He has also been the recipient of a slew of awards, including The MOBO Best Jazz Act Award as well as Gibson Guitar Best Jazz Guitarist Award. His 2000 release, A Brighter Day, was nominated for a Grammy award in the Best Contemporary Jazz Album category.
His song “The Jackal” gained notoriety when C. J. Cregg lip-synched it in an episode of The West Wing. For more info go to http://www.ronnyjordan.com/
Trumpet, b.1940, Rochester, NY
Chuck Mangione is a flugelhorn player and composer who achieved international success with his jazz-pop single, “Feels So Good”, in 1977. He has released more than 30 albums from the early 1960s to today.
Born and raised in Rochester, New York, Mangione and his pianist brother Gap led the Jazz Brothers group which recorded three albums for Riverside Records. He attended the Eastman School of Music from 1958 to 1963, and afterwards joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, for which he filled the trumpet seat, previously been held by greats such as Clifford Brown, Kenny Dorham, Bill Hardman, and Lee Morgan. Mangione served as director of the Eastman jazz ensemble from 1968 until 1972 and in 1970 he returned to recording with the album Friends and Love, recorded in concert with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and numerous guest performers. His quartet with saxophonist Gerry Niewood was a popular concert and recording act during the early 1970s.
Mangione’s “Chase the Clouds Away” was used in the 1976 Olympic Games and “Give It All You Got” was the theme to the Winter Olympic Games of 1980, held in Lake Placid, New York. He performed live at the closing ceremonies, which were televised globally. A 1980 issue of Current Biography called “Feels So Good” the most recognized tune since “Michelle” by The Beatles. Recently, smooth jazz stations throughout the United States have recognized Mangione’s “Feels So Good” as their all-time number one song. He raised over $50,000 for St. John’s Nursing Home at his 60th Birthday Bash Concert, held at Eastman Theater in Rochester, New York.
He also has a recurring role on the animated television series on Fox called King of the Hill, portraying himself as a celebrity spokesman for Mega Lo Mart. The first episode of King of the Hill featuring Chuck Mangione originally aired on Valentine’s Day 1998. The episode featured an original score specifically recorded for the occasion. For more info go to http://www.chuckmangione.com/
Guitar, Vocal, b.1933, Macclesfield, England
John Mayall, OBE is a pioneering British blues singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and has been influential in the careers of many instrumentalists, including Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Don Harris, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor, Aynsley Dunbar, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser, Johnny Almond, Walter Trout, Coco Montoya and Jon Mark.
Mayall is the son of Murray Mayall, a guitarist and jazz music enthusiast. From an early age, he was drawn to the sounds of American blues players such as Leadbelly, Albert Ammons, Pinetop Smith, and Eddie Lang, and taught himself to play the piano, guitars, and harmonica.
Mayall attended art college and then had three years of national service with the British Army in Korea. In 1956, he started playing blues with semi-professional bands named “The Powerhouse Four” and, later, “The Blues Syndicate”. Under the influence of Alexis Korner, he moved to London and formed “John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers”.
The band was always something of a training ground for blues musicians, and went through several changes of personnel, before the arrival of Eric Clapton, with whom they achieved their first commercial success. After Clapton left to form Cream, the Bluesbreakers took on a succession of other notable musicians, including Peter Green, John McVie, Kal David, and Mick Taylor. Eric Clapton is quoted as saying, “John Mayall has actually run an incredibly great school for musicians.”
In the early 1970s, Mayall achieved commercial success in the United States and moved to Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles. There, he was influential in the developing careers of musicians such as Blue Mitchell, Red Holloway, Larry Taylor, and Harvey Mandel.
Mayall has continued to play and tour, ever since, including reforming the Bluesbreakers in 1982.
In 2005, he was awarded an OBE in the Honours List. For more info go to http://www.johnmayall.com/
Alto Sax-Leader, b.1914 d.1959, Cromwell, CT
Drums, b.1955, New York, NY
Adam Nussbaum is a jazz drummer who grew up in Norwalk, Connecticut. He studied at the Davis Center and the City College of New York before working professionally. In 1978 he joined Dave Liebman’s quintet and toured with John Scofield. More recently he works with John Abercrombie and also teaches He also did well-regarded work with Steve Swallow and Jerry Bergonzi. For more info go to http://www.adamnussbaum.net/
Jack van Poll
Pianist, Composer, Band Leader Arranger b.1934, Roosendaal, Holland.
Jack van Poll started playing piano at the age of four. After the liberation of the Second World War in 1945, he discovered the first Bebop tunes on V-discs and on the American Forces Network Channel.
With his teen age trio “The Rose Valley’s”, he took part in the Dutch Jazz Competition in Amsterdam in 1946. From the early Fifties on, he backed up single artists from the U.S.A., who performed in Holland and Belgium, like Don Byas, Ben Webster, Johnny Griffin, Clark Terry, Tony Scott, Ted Curson, Buddy DeFranco and many others. In the late seventies he opened the “September Jazz Club” in Antwerp, Belgium. In 1984 he founded the “September Jazz Records” label.
He joined the Lionel Hampton band on their East Coast Summer tour in 1985 and made his debut in Manhattan with Dee Dee Bridgewater that same year.
He performed at many International Jazz Festivals; Antibes, Pori, Prague, JVC Jazz Festival NYC, Cork, San Sebastian, Grahamstown, NSJF The Hague, Vienna, Comblain La Tour, Cracow, Berlin, Milano and Zurich. Apart from playing piano and tenor sax, he composes, writes lyrics, presents his weekly radio program, teaches music, is correspondent for a Flemish Jazz Magazine, writes Film Music and supports young musical talents.
In 1995 he and his wife Trudy moved to Cape Town, South Africa and he met a whole new world of interesting and hugely talented musicians.
Basil Moses is one of the best bass players around, he has a strong groove and is among the best upright bassists in the country. Next to Lulu Gontsana, Kevin Gibson is one of his favourite drummers. Winston ‘Ngosi’ Mankunku is his absolute all time favourite sax players, all time because he both plays mean in the Coltrane mode and the African Jazz Idiom. Singers are a pianist’s best friend. Jacks great friend is the versatile Tina Schouw and Judith Sepuma is by far one of the greatest jazz singers he has played with in South Africa. The young and talented Nontuthuzelo Puoane, although still standing in the wings, will be among the next generation of rising stars. The new generation looks very promising. Chantal Willy, who studies the bass at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, Belgium, pianist Mark Fransman and Andile Yenana, composer Paul Du Preez, tenor sax player Buddy Wells, trumpeter Feya Faku and bass player Herbie Tsoaeli are just a few that have caught Jacks attention. He could write a chapter just about singers, but for the time being you’ll have to do it with the names mentioned in his Discography.
Jack sadly has moved back to Belgium in 2003 but thankfully still pays regular visits to Cape Town. For more info go to http://www.jackvanpoll.com/
Clarinet, b.1954, New Orleans, LA
Michael White is a jazz clarinetist, bandleader, composer, and music educator.
In addition to his work as a musician, White teaches music and the Spanish language at Xavier University of Louisiana, where he holds the Rosa and Charles Keller Endowed Chair in the Humanities/New Orleans Music and Culture.
Dr. Michael White has been the guest director at several Jazz at Lincoln Center concerts relating to New Orleans jazz, often working with Wynton Marsalis.