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Posts Tagged ‘Ella Fitzgerald’

Died On This Date (December 10, 2013) Jim Hall / Jazz Guitar Master

Posted by themusicsover on December 10, 2013

Jim Hall
December 4, 1930 – December 10, 2013

jim-hallJim Hall was an influential American jazz guitarist who counted no less than Bill Frissell and Pat Metheny as disciples.  Thanks in part to his skill as an improviser, he was considered one of the greatest guitarists on earth during his time here.  Born into a musical family, Hall began playing the guitar at 10 years old.  He began playing professionally as a teenager and went on to study music at the Cleveland Institute of Music.  He soon headed to Los Angeles to make his mark on the cool jazz scene which was in full swing but settled in New York City around 1960.  Throughout his career, Hall played worked with the best of the best in jazz history.  That list includes Chico Hamilton, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimmy Giuffre, Paul Desmond, and Art Farmer to name just a few.  As a leader, he released no fewer than 40 albums and remarkably, continued to perform regularly until just a few weeks before his death. He was even planning a tour of Japan for January, 2014.  Jim Hall was 83 when he passed away on December 10, 2013.

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Died On This Date (January 13, 2012) Phil Kraus / World Renonwed Percussionist

Posted by themusicsover on January 13, 2012

Phil Kraus
1918 – January 13, 2012

Living up to his motto, “Have Percussion, Will Travel,” Phil Kraus is one of the most recorded percussionists in history.  Kraus was just 8 years old when he began playing the xylophone, and upon graduation from high school, he was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Julliard School of Music.  After graduating, he was hired by WNEW to play in the studio band.  After serving during WWII, Kraus became one of the industry’s most in-demand session players, and he would continue to be as such through the 1970s.  He also played in the studio band for numerous television programs.  Over the years, he graced recordings by and/or shared the stage with such luminaries as Benny Goodman, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Buddy Holly, Quincy Jones, Billie Holiday and Ray Charles.  On May 19, 1962, he was playing in the orchestra at Madison Square Garden when Marilyn Monroe famously sang, “Happy Birthday To You,” to President John F. Kennedy.   In later years, Kraus worked with the Houston Symphony and Houston Pops.  He also taught percussion at Rice University.  Phil Kraus was 93 when he passed away on January 13, 2012.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin for the assist.



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Died On This Date (January 8, 2009) Irving Bush / Big Band Trumpeter

Posted by themusicsover on January 8, 2012

Irving Bush
April 7, 1930 – January 8, 2009

irving-bush1Irving Bush was a respected big band trumpeter who, over the course of his lengthy career played with the likes of Nelson Riddle, Harry James, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald, to name a few.  During those early days, he worked as part of the studio orchestras at Warner Bros., MGM, 20th Century Fox and others.  During the early ’60s, he successfully auditioned for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra where he stayed as either a performer or in management over the next three decades.  Irving Bush was 78 when he died of effects from myeloma on January 8, 2009.


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Died On This Date (January 6, 1993) Dizzy Gillespie / Jazz Great

Posted by themusicsover on January 6, 2012

John “Dizzy” Gillespie
October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993

Dizzy Gillespie was one of the biggest names in jazz, period.  Over a career that spanned nearly 60 years, Gillespie drew the blueprint for future jazz trumpeters to follow.  A gifted improviser, composer, and bandleader, Gillespie directly influenced the likes of such greats as Miles Davis, Arturo Sandoval and Fats Navarro.  When be-bop first began to rear its head, it was Gillespie that embraced it and brought it to the masses.  Songs like “A Night in Tunisia” and “Groovin'” were considered outlandish at the time but have since come to represent the greatness of jazz’s first modern style.  Over the course of his storied career, Gillespie collaborated with nearly every giant in jazz.  That list includes John Coltrane, Cab Calloway, Billy Eckstine, Charlie Parker, and Ella Fitzgerald.  Gillespie stayed very active right up to his final years.  In 1989, he performed an astonishing 300 shows all around the world.  On January 6, 1993, Dizzy Gillespie, age 75, died of pancreatic cancer.

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At Newport (Verve Live) - Dizzy Gillespie



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Died On This Date (August 8, 2010) Jack Parnell / Bandleader For The Muppets

Posted by themusicsover on August 8, 2010

Jack Parnell
August 6, 1923 – August 8, 2010

Jack Parnell was an English jazz drummer, pianist and bandleader who began playing is instruments at the age of five.  During WWII, he played in the RAF band.  He composed many television theme songs throughout his career, and in 1973, he became the first British musician to win an Emmy for his work on a Barbra Streisand special.   Over the course of his career, Parnell played with the likes of Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Sammy Davis Jr.  From 1976 to 1981, Parnell served as the off-camera bandleader for The Muppets program.  Jack Parnell was 87 when he passed away on August 8, 2010.


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