Gerald Joseph Gerry Mulligan was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist and arranger. Mulligans pianoless quartet of the early 1950s with trumpeter Chet Baker is still regarded as one of the more important cool jazz groups, Mulligan was a skilled pianist and played several other reed instruments. Several of his compositions, such as Walkin Shoes and Five Brothers, have become jazz standards, Gerry Mulligan was born in Queens Village, New York, the son of George and Louise Mulligan. His father was a Wilmington, Delaware native of Irish descent, his mother a Philadelphia native of half Irish, Gerry was the last of four sons, Phil and Gerry. George Mulligans career as an engineer necessitated frequent moves through numerous cities, when Gerry was less than a year old, the family moved to Marion, where his father accepted a job with the Marion Power Shovel Company. With the demands of a home and four young boys to raise, Mulligans mother hired an African-American nanny named Lily Rose. Black musicians sometimes came through town, and because many motels would not take them, the young Mulligan occasionally met such musicians staying at Roses home.
The familys moves continued with stops in southern New Jersey, Chicago and Kalamazoo, when the school moved into a new building and established music courses, Mulligan decided to play clarinet in the schools nascent orchestra. When Gerry Mulligan was 14, his family moved to Detroit and to Reading, while in Reading, Mulligan began studying clarinet with dance-band musician Sammy Correnti, who encouraged Mulligans interest in arranging. Mulligan began playing professionally in dance bands in Philadelphia, an hour. The Mulligan family next moved to Philadelphia, where Gerry attended the West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys and organized a big band. When Mulligan was sixteen, he approached Johnny Warrington at local radio station WCAU about writing arrangements for the house band. Warrington was impressed and began buying Mulligans arrangements, Mulligan dropped out of high school during his senior year to pursue work with a touring band. He contacted bandleader Tommy Tucker when Tucker was visiting Philadelphias Earle Theatre, while Tucker did not need an additional reedman, he was looking for an arranger and Mulligan was hired at $100 a week to do two or three arrangements a week.
At the conclusion of Mulligans three-month contract, Tucker told Mulligan that he should move on to another band that was a little less tame. Mulligan went back to Philadelphia and began writing for Elliot Lawrence, Mulligan moved to New York City in January 1946 and joined the arranging staff on Gene Krupas bebop-tinged band. Notable arrangements of Mulligans work with Krupa include Birdhouse, Disc Jockey Jump, Mulligan next began arranging for the Claude Thornhill Orchestra, occasionally sitting in as a member of the reed section. Thornhills arranging staff included Gil Evans, whom Mulligan had met while working with the Krupa band
As bebop was not intended for dancing, it enabled the musicians to play at faster tempos. Bebop musicians explored advanced harmonies, complex syncopation, altered chords, extended chords, chord substitutions, asymmetrical phrasing, Bebop groups used rhythm sections in a way that expanded their role. The term bebop is derived from nonsense syllables used in scat singing and it appears again in a 1936 recording of Ise a Muggin by Jack Teagarden. A variation, appears in several 1939 recordings, the first, known print appearance occurred in 1939, but the term was little-used subsequently until applied to the music now associated with it in the mid-1940s. Some researchers speculate that it was a used by Charlie Christian because it sounded like something he hummed along with his playing. Another theory is that it derives from the cry of Arriba, used by Latin American bandleaders of the period to encourage their bands. At times, the bebop and rebop were used interchangeably. By 1945, the use of bebop/rebop as nonsense syllables was widespread in R&B music, ability to play sustained, high energy, and creative solos was highly valued for this newer style and the basis of intense competition.
Swing-era jam sessions and cutting contests in Kansas City became legendary, the Kansas City approach to swing was epitomized by the Count Basie Orchestra, which came to national prominence in 1937. One young admirer of the Basie orchestra in Kansas City was an alto saxophone player named Charlie Parker. Young was equally daring with his rhythm and phrasing as with his approach to harmonic structures in his solos and he would frequently repeat simple two or three note figures, with shifting rhythmic accents expressed by volume, articulation, or tone. His phrasing was far removed from the two or four bar phrases that players had used until then. They would often be extended to an odd number of measures and he would take a breath in the middle of a phrase, using the pause, or free space, as a creative device. The overall effect was that his solos were something floating above the rest of the music, Parker played along with the new Basie recordings on a Victrola until he could play Youngs solos note for note.
That understatement of harmonically sophisticated chords would soon be used by young musicians exploring the new language of bebop. That solo showed a sophisticated harmonic exploration of the tune, with implied passing chords, Hawkins would eventually go on to lead the first formal recording of the bebop style in early 1944. As the 1930s turned to the 1940s, Parker went to New York as a player in the Jay McShann Orchestra. Guitarist Charlie Christian, who had arrived in New York with the Benny Goodman Orchestra in 1939 was, like Parker, christians major influence was in the realm of rhythmic phrasing
David Warren Dave Brubeck was an American jazz pianist and composer, considered to be one of the foremost exponents of cool jazz. He wrote a number of standards, including In Your Own Sweet Way. Brubecks style ranged from refined to bombastic, reflecting his mothers attempts at classical training and his music is known for employing unusual time signatures, and superimposing contrasting rhythms and tonalities. Brubeck experimented with time throughout his career, recording Pick Up Sticks in 6/4, Unsquare Dance in 7/4, Worlds Fair in 13/4. He was a composer of orchestral and sacred music, and wrote soundtracks for television such as Mr. Broadway. Dave Brubeck was born in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Concord and his father had Swiss ancestry and possibly Native American Modoc lineage, while his maternal grandparents were English and German. Brubeck originally did not intend to become a musician, but took lessons from his mother and he could not read music during these early lessons, attributing this difficulty to poor eyesight, but faked his way through, well enough that this deficiency went mostly unnoticed.
Intending to work with his father on their ranch, Brubeck entered the College of the Pacific in Stockton, California and he changed to music on the urging of the head of zoology, Dr. Arnold, who told him Brubeck, your minds not here. Its across the lawn in the conservatory, stop wasting my time and yours. Later, Brubeck was nearly expelled when one of his professors discovered that he could not read music on sight, several of his professors came forward, arguing that his ability to write counterpoint and harmony more than compensated, and demonstrated his familiarity with music notation. The college was still afraid that it would cause a scandal, after graduating in 1942, Brubeck was drafted into the U. S. Army. He served in Europe in the Third Army and he volunteered to play piano at a Red Cross show and was such a hit that he was spared from combat service and ordered to form a band. He created one of the U. S. armed forces first racially integrated bands, while serving in the military, Brubeck met Paul Desmond in early 1944.
He returned to college after serving four years in the army. He studied under Darius Milhaud, who encouraged him to study fugue and orchestration, but not classical piano. While on active duty, he received two lessons from Arnold Schoenberg at UCLA in an attempt to connect with high modernist theory and practice. ”After completing his studies under Milhaud, Brubeck worked with an octet, and a trio including Cal Tjader and Ron Crotty. Highly experimental, the group made few recordings and got even fewer paying jobs, the trio was often joined by Paul Desmond on the bandstand, at Desmonds own insistence. Jack Sheedy owned San Francisco-based Coronet Records, which had recorded area Dixieland bands
Miles Dewey Davis III was an American jazz trumpeter and composer. He is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz, with his ever-changing directions in music, Davis was at the forefront of a number of major stylistic developments in jazz over his five-decade career. In the early 1950s, Davis recorded some of the earliest hard bop music while on Prestige Records, after a widely acclaimed comeback performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1955, he signed a long-term contract with Columbia Records and recorded the 1957 album Round About Midnight. It was his first work with saxophonist John Coltrane and bassist Paul Chambers and his million-selling 1970 record Bitches Brew helped spark a resurgence in the genres commercial popularity with jazz fusion as the decade progressed. In 2006, Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Miles Dewey Davis III was born on May 26,1926 into an affluent middle class African-American family in Alton, Illinois,15 miles north of St.
Louis. The second of three children, he had a sister, Dorothy Mae, and a younger brother. His father, Miles Dewey Davis II of Arkansas, was a dental surgeon who earned three college degrees, and his mother Cleota Mae Davis, of Arkansas, was a music teacher. They owned a 200-acre estate near Pine Bluff, Arkansas where Davis and his siblings would ride horses and hunt. In 1927, the moved to East St. Louis, Illinois. From 1932 to 1934, Davis attended John Robinson Elementary School, an institution, followed by Crispus Attucks School where he performed well in mathematics, music. It was in East St. Louis and Pine Bluff that the young Davis developed his earliest appreciation for music, Davis suggested that his fathers instrument choice was made largely to irk his wife, who disliked the trumpets sound. Against the fashion of the time, Buchanan stressed the importance of playing without vibrato, Davis would carry his clear signature tone throughout his career. He once remarked on its importance to him, saying, I prefer a round sound with no attitude in it, like a voice with not too much tremolo.
If I cant get that sound I cant play anything, in 1939, the family moved to 1701 Kansas Avenue in East St. Louis. For his 13th birthday held that year, Davis father bought his son a new trumpet, around this time, Davis took additional trumpet lessons from Joseph Gustat, first chair of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. In 1941, the 15-year-old Davis began at East St. Louis Lincoln High School where he joined the marching band directed by Buchanan. Davis claimed the contests he did not win was largely down to prejudice over his race and it was at Lincoln High where Davis met his first girlfriend, Irene Cawthorn. Davis had formed his own group by this time, performing in local venues such as Huffs Beer Garden with hits such as In the Mood by Glenn Miller
Orie Frank Trumbauer was one of the leading jazz saxophonists of the 1920s and 1930s. He played the C-melody saxophone which, in size, is between an alto and tenor saxophone and he played alto saxophone, bassoon and several other instruments. He was a composer of sophisticated sax melodies, one of the small group jazz bandleaders of the 1920s and 1930s. His landmark recording of Singin the Blues with Bix Beiderbecke and Eddie Lang in 1927, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1977. Born of part Cherokee ancestry in Carbondale, Trumbauer grew up in St Louis, Tram was one of the most influential and important jazz saxophonists of the 1920s and 1930s. He is remembered for his collaborations with Bix Beiderbecke. Trumbauer and Beiderbecke collaborated with jazz guitarist Eddie Lang, Trumbauer recruited Bix Beiderbecke for Jean Goldkettes Victor Recording Orchestra, of which he became musical director. After leaving Goldkette, he and Beiderbecke worked briefly in Adrian Rollinis short lived New Yorkers band, in 1927, Trumbauer signed a contract with OKeh and released a 78 recording of Singin the Blues, featuring Beiderbecke on cornet and Lang on guitar.
Singin the Blues was a jazz classic originally recorded and released by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1920, the Okeh recording became a smash hit. Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra covered it in 1931 in the Trumbauer-Beiderbecke version, Trumbauer played with Whiteman for eight of the following nine years. He recorded a handful of sides in 1931 for Brunswick, in 1932 he organized a band in Chicago and recorded for Columbia, but gave up the orchestra and returned to New York late in 1933. During 1934–1936, while again a member of Paul Whitemans Orchestra, he made a series of recordings for Brunswick and Victor. In 1936 he led The Three Ts, featuring the Teagarden brothers, in 1938, he, in 1940, Trumbauer, a skilled pilot, left music to join the Civil Aeronautics Authority. During World War II he was a test pilot with North American Aviation and he continued to work for the CAA after the war, and played in the NBC Orchestra. After 1947, although he continued to play and record, he earned most of his income in aviation, Trumbauer died of a sudden heart attack in Kansas City, where he had made his home for some years.
Trumbauer suggested to Hoagy Carmichael that he compose the jazz and pop standard Georgia on My Mind, in 1931, Trumbauer had the first hit recording of Georgia on My Mind, which reached the top ten on the charts. Trumbauers cool, delicate style and slow vibrato influenced many important saxophonists, including Benny Carter, Lester Young, according to the Red Hot Jazz website, Trumbauers solo on Trumbology is one of the most influential saxophone parts in the history of jazz. Lester Young acknowledged and cited Trumbauer as his influence as a saxophonist
Capitol Records, LLC is an American record label which operates as a division of the Capitol Music Group. The label was founded as the first West Coast-based record label in the United States in 1942 by three industry insiders named Johnny Mercer, Buddy DeSylva and Glenn Wallichs, in 1955, the label was acquired by the British music conglomerate EMI as its North American subsidiary. EMI was acquired by Universal Music Group in 2012 and was merged with the company in 2013, making Capitol Records, Capitol Records circular headquarter building located in Los Angeles is a recognized landmark of California. Mercer first raised the idea of starting a company while golfing with Harold Arlen. By 1941, Mercer was a songwriter and a singer with multiple successful releases. Mercer next suggested the idea to Wallichs while visiting his record store, Wallichs expressed interest in the idea and the pair negotiated an agreement whereby Mercer would run the company and identify their artists, while Wallichs managed the business side.
On February 2,1942, Mercer and Wallichs met with DeSylva at a Hollywood restaurant to inquire about the possibility of investment of the company from Paramount Pictures, while DeSylva declined the proposal, he handed the pair a check worth $15,000. On March 27,1942, the three men incorporated as Liberty Records, in May 1942, the application was amended to change the companys name to Capitol Records. On April 6,1942, Mercer supervised Capitols first recording session where Martha Tilton recorded the song Moon Dreams, on May 5, Bobby Sherwood and his orchestra recorded two tracks in the studio. On May 21, Freddie Slack and his orchestra recorded three tracks in the studio, one with the orchestra, one with Ella Mae Morse called Cow-Cow Boogie, on June 4,1942, Capitol opened its first office in a second-floor room south of Sunset Boulevard. On that same day, Wallichs presented the companys first free record to Los Angeles disc jockey Peter Potter, on June 5,1942, Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra recorded four songs at the studio.
On June 12, the recorded five more songs in the studio. On June 11, Tex Ritter recorded Jingle Jangle Jingle and Goodbye My Little Cherokee for his first Capitol recording session, and the songs formed Capitols 110th produced record. 133 - Get On Board Little Chillun - July 31,1942 - is a Freddie Slack/Ella Mae Morse/Mellowaires recording that might be the first rock n roll record and she has sometimes been called the first rock n roll singer. A good example is her 1942 recording of song which, with strong gospel, boogie. Bone Walker recorded Mean Old World a pioneering example of the use of electric guitar. The earliest recording artists included co-owner Mercer, Tilton, Margaret Whiting, Jo Stafford, the Pied Pipers, Johnnie Johnston, Tex Ritter, Capitols first gold single was Morses Cow Cow Boogie in 1942. Capitols first album was Capitol Presents Songs By Johnny Mercer, a three 78-rpm disc set with recordings by Mercer and the Pied Pipers, all with Westons Orchestra
Lester Willis Young, nicknamed Pres or Prez, was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and occasional clarinetist. Coming to prominence while a member of Count Basies orchestra, Young was one of the most influential players on his instrument, known for his hip, introverted style, he invented or popularized much of the hipster jargon which came to be associated with the music. Lester Young was born in Woodville and grew up in a musical family and his father, Willis Handy Young, was a respected teacher, his brother Lee Young was a drummer, and several other relatives performed music professionally. His family moved to New Orleans, when Lester was an infant and to Minneapolis, although at a very young age Young did not initially know his father, he learned that his father was a musician. Later Willis taught his son to play the trumpet, Lester Young played in his familys band, known as the Young Family Band, in both the vaudeville and carnival circuits. He left the band in 1927 at the age of 18 because he refused to tour in the Southern United States.
In 1933 Young settled in Kansas City, where after playing briefly in several bands and his playing in the Basie band was characterized by a relaxed style which contrasted sharply with the more forceful approach of Coleman Hawkins, the dominant tenor sax player of the day. Young left the Basie band to replace Hawkins in Fletcher Hendersons orchestra and he soon left Henderson to play in the Andy Kirk band before returning to Basie. While with Basie, Young made small-group recordings for Milt Gablers Commodore Records, The Kansas City Sessions. Although they were recorded in New York, they are named after the group, the Kansas City Seven, and comprised Buck Clayton, Dicky Wells, Young, Freddie Green, Rodney Richardson, Young played clarinet as well as tenor in these sessions. Young is described as playing the clarinet in a liquid, nervous style, as well as the Kansas City Sessions, his clarinet work from 1938–39 is documented on recordings with Basie, Billie Holiday, Basie small groups, and the organist Glenn Hardman.
Billie and Lester met at a Harlem jam session in the early 30s and worked together in the Count Basie band, at one point Lester moved into the apartment Billie shared with her mother, Sadie Fagan. Holiday always insisted their relationship was strictly platonic and she gave Lester the nickname Prez after President Franklin Roosevelt, the greatest man around in Billies mind. Playing on her name, he would call her Lady Day and their famously empathetic classic recordings with Teddy Wilson date from this era. After Youngs clarinet was stolen in 1939, he abandoned the instrument until about 1957 and that year Norman Granz gave him one and urged him to play it. Young left the Basie band in late 1940 and he subsequently led a number of small groups that often included his brother, drummer Lee Young, for the next couple of years and broadcast recordings from this period exist. During this period Young accompanied the singer Billie Holiday in a couple of studio sessions and his studio recordings are relatively sparse during the 1942 to 1943 period, largely due to the recording ban by the American Federation of Musicians.
Small record labels not bound by union contracts continued to record, in December 1943 Young returned to the Basie fold for a 10-month stint, cut short by his being drafted into the army during World War II
Bennett Lester Benny Carter was an American jazz alto saxophonist, trumpeter, composer and bandleader. He was a figure in jazz from the 1930s to the 1990s. Carter performed with artists from several generations of jazz, and at major festivals. The National Endowment for the Arts honored Benny Carter with its highest honor in jazz, the NEA Jazz Masters Award for 1986. He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987, in 2000 he was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts, National Medal of Arts, presented by President Bill Clinton. Born in New York City in 1907, the youngest of six children, largely self-taught, by age fifteen, Carter was already sitting in at Harlem night spots. From 1924 to 1928, Carter gained professional experience as a sideman in some of New Yorks most prominent bands, as a youth, Carter lived in Harlem around the corner from Bubber Miley, who was Duke Ellingtons featured trumpeter. Carter was inspired by Miley and bought a trumpet, but when he found he couldnt play like Miley, Duke Ellington, and their respective groups.
He first recorded in 1928 with Charlie Johnsons Orchestra, arranging the titles recorded, Carters arrangements were sophisticated and very complex, and a number of them became swing standards which were performed by other bands. He arranged for Duke Ellington during these years, Carter was noted for his arrangements. By the early 1930s he and Johnny Hodges were considered the leading players of the day. Carter quickly became a leading trumpet soloist, having rediscovered the instrument and he recorded extensively on trumpet in the 1930s. Carters name first appeared on records with a 1932 Crown label release of Tell All Your Day Dreams to Me credited to Bennie Carter, Carters short-lived Orchestra played the Harlem Club in New York but only recorded a handful of records for Columbia, OKeh and Vocalion. The OKeh sides were issued under the name Chocolate Dandies and his trumpet solo on the October 1933 recording of Once Upon A Time by the Chocolate Dandies has long been considered a milestone solo achievement.
These 14 sides plus four by Carters big band were only issued in England at the time, originally titled Spike Hughes, the musicians were mainly made up from members of Carters band. Two recordings that typify his sound are 1937s Honeysuckle Rose, recorded with Django Reinhardt and Coleman Hawkins in Europe, returning home in 1938, he quickly formed another orchestra, which spent much of 1939 and 1940 at Harlems famed Savoy Ballroom. His arrangements were much in demand and were featured on recordings by Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Glenn Miller, Gene Krupa and he relocated to Los Angeles in 1943, and moved increasingly into studio work. Beginning with Stormy Weather in 1943, he arranged for dozens of feature films and television productions
Stanley Stan Getz was an American jazz saxophonist. Playing primarily the tenor saxophone, Getz was known as The Sound because of his warm, lyrical tone, his influence being the wispy, mellow timbre of his idol. Coming to prominence in the late 1940s with Woody Hermans big band, Getz was born on February 2,1927, at St. Vincents Hospital in Philadelphia. In 1913, Harris and Beckie emigrated to the United States with their three sons Al, and Ben after their son Louis Gayetski in 1912. The Getz family first settled in Philadelphia, but during the depression the family moved to New York City, Getz worked hard in school, receiving straight As, and finished sixth grade close to the top of his class. Getzs major interest was in musical instruments and he played a number of them before his father bought him his first saxophone at the age of 13. Even though his father got him a clarinet, Getz instantly fell in love with the saxophone and he attended James Monroe High School in the Bronx. In 1941, he was accepted into the All City High School Orchestra of New York City and this gave him a chance to receive private, free tutoring from the New York Philharmonics Simon Kovar, a bassoon player.
He continued playing the saxophone and he eventually dropped out of school in order to pursue his musical career, but was sent back to the classroom by the school systems truancy officers. In 1943 at the age of 16, he was accepted into Jack Teagardens band, Getz played along with Nat King Cole and Lionel Hampton. With Herman, he had a hit with Early Autumn and after Getz left The Second Herd he was able to launch his solo career and he was the leader on almost all of his recording sessions after 1950. Getzs reputation was enhanced by his featured status on Johnny Smiths 1952 album Moonlight in Vermont. The single of the tune became a hit that stayed on the charts for months. In the mid to late 1950s working from Scandinavia, Getz became popular playing cool jazz with Horace Silver, Johnny Smith, Oscar Peterson, and many others. His first two quintets were notable for their personnel, including Charlie Parkers rhythm section of drummer Roy Haynes, pianist Al Haig, a 1953 line-up of the Dizzy Gillespie/Stan Getz Sextet featured Gillespie, Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown and Max Roach.
Returning to the U. S. from Europe in 1961, teaming with guitarist Charlie Byrd, who had just returned from a U. S. State Department tour of Brazil, Getz recorded Jazz Samba in 1962 and it quickly became a hit. Getz won the Grammy for Best Jazz Performance of 1963 for Desafinado and it sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. His second bossa nova album, recorded in 1962, was Big Band Bossa Nova with composer and arranger Gary McFarland, as a follow-up, Getz recorded the album, Jazz Samba Encore. with one of the originators of bossa nova, Brazilian guitarist Luiz Bonfá
Leon Bismark Bix Beiderbecke was an American jazz cornetist, jazz pianist, and composer. With Louis Armstrong and Muggsy Spanier, Beiderbecke was one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920s and his turns on Singin the Blues and Im Coming, Virginia, in particular, demonstrated an unusual purity of tone and a gift for improvisation. With these two recordings, especially, he helped to invent the jazz style and hinted at what, in the 1950s. In a Mist, one of a handful of his piano compositions, a native of Davenport, Beiderbecke taught himself to play cornet largely by ear, leading him to adopt a non-standard fingering some critics have connected to his original sound. Beiderbecke and Trumbauer joined Goldkette in 1926, the band toured widely and famously played a set opposite Fletcher Henderson at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City in October 1926. He made his greatest recordings in 1927, in 1928, Trumbauer and Beiderbecke left Detroit to join the best-known dance orchestra in the country, the New-York-based Paul Whiteman Orchestra.
Beiderbeckes most influential recordings date from his time with Goldkette and Whiteman, a few stints in rehabilitation centers, as well as the support of Whiteman and the Beiderbecke family in Davenport, did not check Beiderbeckes decline in health. He left the Whiteman band in 1930 and the following summer died in his Queens apartment at the age of 28 and his death, in turn, gave rise to one of the original legends of jazz. In magazine articles, musicians memoirs and Hollywood films, Beiderbecke has been reincarnated as a Romantic hero, the Young Man with a Horn. His life has been portrayed as a battle against such common obstacles to art as family and commerce, the musician-critic Benny Green sarcastically called Beiderbecke jazzs Number One Saint, while Ralph Berton compared him to Jesus. Beiderbecke remains the subject of controversy regarding his true name, the cause of his death. Beiderbecke was born on March 10,1903, in Davenport, there is disagreement over whether Beiderbecke was christened Leon Bismark or Leon Bix.
His father was nicknamed Bix, as, for a time, was his older brother, Burnie Beiderbecke claimed that the boy was named Leon Bix and subsequent biographers have reproduced birth certificates to that effect. However, more recent research—which takes into account church and school records in addition to the will of a relative—has suggested that he was originally named Leon Bismark, his parents called him Bix, which seems to have been his preference. In a letter to his mother when he was nine years old, Beiderbecke signed off, Beiderbeckes father, the son of German immigrants, was a well-to-do coal and lumber merchant, named after the Iron Chancellor of his native Germany. Beiderbeckes mother was the daughter of a Mississippi riverboat captain and she played the organ at Davenports First Presbyterian Church, and encouraged young Bixs interest in the piano. Beiderbecke was the youngest of three children and his brother, was born in 1895, and his sister, Mary Louise, in 1898. He began playing piano at age two or three and his sister recalls that he stood on the floor and played it with his hands over his head
The clarinet is a musical-instrument family belonging to the group known as the woodwind instruments. It has a mouthpiece, a straight cylindrical tube with an almost cylindrical bore. A person who plays a clarinet is called a clarinetist, the word clarinet may have entered the English language via the French clarinette, or from Provençal clarin, oboe. It would seem however that its roots are to be found amongst some of the various names for trumpets used around the renaissance. Clarion and the Italian clarino are all derived from the medieval term claro which referred to a form of trumpet. This is probably the origin of the Italian clarinetto, itself a diminutive of clarino, according to Johann Gottfried Walther, writing in 1732, the reason for the name is that it sounded from far off not unlike a trumpet. The English form clarinet is found as early as 1733, while the similarity in sound between the earliest clarinets and the trumpet may hold a clue to its name, other factors may have been involved.
The trumpet parts that required this speciality were known by the term clarino, Johann Christoph Denner is generally believed to have invented the clarinet in Germany around the year 1700 by adding a register key to the earlier chalumeau. Over time, additional keywork and airtight pads were added to improve the tone and these days the most popular clarinet is the B♭ clarinet. However, the clarinet in A, just a lower, is commonly used in orchestral music. Since the middle of the 19th century the clarinet has become an essential addition to the orchestra. The clarinet family ranges from the BBB♭ octo-contrabass to the A♭ piccolo clarinet, the clarinet has proved to be an exceptionally flexible instrument, equally at home in the classical repertoire as in concert bands, military bands, marching bands and jazz. The cylindrical bore is primarily responsible for the clarinets distinctive timbre, the tone quality can vary greatly with the musician, the music, the instrument, the mouthpiece, and the reed.
The most prominent were the German/Viennese traditions and the French school, the latter was centered on the clarinetists of the Conservatoire de Paris. The proliferation of recorded music has made examples of different styles of clarinet playing available, the modern clarinetist has a diverse palette of acceptable tone qualities to choose from. The A clarinet and B♭ clarinet have nearly the same bore, orchestral players using the A and B♭ instruments in the same concert could use the same mouthpiece for both. The A and the B♭ instruments have nearly identical tonal quality, the tone of the E♭ clarinet is brighter than that of the lower clarinets and can be heard even through loud orchestral or concert band textures. The bass clarinet has a deep, mellow sound, while the alto clarinet is similar in tone to the bass