Lester Young

Lester Young

Born on August 27th 1909, Lester Young ( “Prez” )was one of the giants of the tenor saxophone.  In the swing era he staked his claim by being refreshingly different from his peers Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster.  Young’s sound was dancing, […]

Jimmy Smith

Jazz organ never received the seismic shift it did before Jimmy Smith entered the scene.  Born  on December 8, 1925 (some sources report 1928) in Norristown, Pennsylvania, he singlehandedly changed the way an instrument was approached forever.  Smith joined his […]

Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman is one of swing’s most famous exponents. The rise to mass popularity, and his racially integrated bands are among his milestones. Born on May 30, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois, Goodman excelled at music from an early age. He […]

Tony Williams

Tony Williams

Very seldom in Jazz history have come musicians that singlehandedly change the course of the way their instruments are approached forever.  Only a handful of players have done so, and even fewer are teenage prodigies. Born on December 12th 1945, […]

Roy Eldridge

Roy Eldridge

Explosive, boisterous, competitive,  words that describe trumpeter Roy Eldridge.  Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Eldridge was one of the most important trumpeters of his generation to emerge on the scene.  Part of the reason why he is so important is because […]

Count Basie

Count Basie

Through a six and half decade career William “Count” Basie exemplified the swing style in a powerful manner.  His bands would often play with the force of a Mack truck, and within a few measures quiet to a whisper.  Basie […]

Harry James

Harry James

Trumpeter Harry James was very popular with his mainstream sound.  James was born in Albany, Georgia and began his career by playing with the Ben Pollard group.  James then followed into Benny Goodman’s group and became a favorite for his […]

Art Tatum

Art Tatum

“God is in the house tonight” were the famous words uttered by pianist/composer extraordinaire Fats Waller on Art Tatum.  In Jazz history there have been few players with the imagination and more importantly technique, that astonished everyone who crossed his […]

Minority Arrangement

Marc Mommaas arrangement of Gigi Gryce’s Minority, written for the students of the theory and improvisation workshop. The arrangement includes parts for soprano saxophone, tenor1 and 2, and the rhythm section. Minority – Bariton Horn Minority – Soprano Sax Minority […]

John Coltrane

John Coltrane

John William Coltrane spent a career of searching and scaling new heights, with thrilling highs, and some things that leave many listeners puzzled.  Coltrane was born September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, South Carolina. His father passed while John was young, prompting […]

Coleman Hawkins

Coleman Hawkins

When discussing artists at the forefront of their fields and then embracing change, naturally adapting with their own voices names such as Coleman Hawkins immediately come to mind.  Born in 1904 and affectionately nicknamed Hawk or Bean, the young Hawkins […]

Louis Armstrong

louis-armstrong

Throughout the history of Jazz, perhaps it can be said there is no more influential figure than Louis Armstrong. From the music’s early history he was able to galvanize the African, and European roots creating the form that we most […]

Stanley Turrentine

Stanley Turrentine was one of the big toned tenors in the tradition of Illinois Jacquet and Gene Ammons. His sumptuous sound was perfectly suited to bebop, blues and ballads, and he gained widespread popularity through his recordings for both CTI […]