Thelonious Sphere Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer. He had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "'Round Midnight", "Blue Monk", "Straight, No Chaser", "Ruby, My Dear", "In Walked Bud", "Well, You Needn't". Monk is the second-most-recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, remarkable as Ellington composed more than a thousand pieces, whereas Monk wrote about 70. Monk's compositions and improvisations feature dissonances and angular melodic twists and are consistent with his unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of switched key releases and hesitations, his style was not universally appreciated. Monk was renowned for a distinct look which included suits and sunglasses, he was noted for an idiosyncratic habit during performances: while other musicians continued playing, Monk stopped, stood up, danced for a few moments before returning to the piano. Monk is one of five jazz musicians to have been featured on the cover of Time magazine.
Thelonious Sphere Monk was born two years after his sister Marion on October 10, 1917, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, was the son of Thelonious and Barbara Monk. His badly written birth certificate misspelled his first name as "Thelious" or "Thelius", it did not list his middle name, taken from his maternal grandfather, Sphere Batts. A brother, was born in January 1920. In 1922, the family moved to 243 West 63rd Street, in Manhattan, New York City. Monk started playing the piano at the age of six and was self-taught, he did not graduate. At 17, Monk toured with an evangelist, playing the church organ, in his late teens he began to find work playing jazz. In the early to mid-1940s, he was the house pianist at a Manhattan nightclub. Much of Monk's style was developed during his time at Minton's, when he participated in after-hours cutting contests, which featured many leading jazz soloists of the time. Monk's musical work at Minton's was crucial in the formulation of bebop, which would be furthered by other artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Christian, Kenny Clarke, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis.
Monk is believed to be the pianist featured on recordings Jerry Newman made around 1941 at the club. Monk's style at this time was described as "hard-swinging," with the addition of runs in the style of Art Tatum. Monk's stated influences included Duke Ellington, James P. Johnson, other early stride pianists. According to the documentary Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser, Monk lived in the same neighborhood in New York City as Johnson and knew him as a teenager. Mary Lou Williams, who mentored Monk and his contemporaries, spoke of Monk's rich inventiveness in this period, how such invention was vital for musicians, since at the time it was common for fellow musicians to incorporate overheard musical ideas into their own works without giving due credit. "So, the boppers worked out a music, hard to steal. I'll say this for the'leeches,' though: they tried. I've seen them in Minton's scribbling on the tablecloth, and our own guys, I'm afraid, did not give Monk the credit he had coming. Why, they stole his idea of the beret and bop glasses."In 1944 Monk made his first studio recordings with the Coleman Hawkins Quartet.
Hawkins was one of the earliest established jazz musicians to promote Monk, the pianist returned the favor by inviting Hawkins to join him on a 1957 session with John Coltrane. In 1947, Ike Quebec introduced Monk to Lorraine Gordon and her first husband, Alfred Lion, the founder of Blue Note Records. From on, Gordon preached his genius to the jazz world with unrelenting passion. Shortly after meeting Gordon and Lion, Monk made his first recordings as the Coleman Hawkins Quartet leader for Blue Note, which showcased his talents as a composer of original melodies for improvisation. Monk married Nellie Smith the same year, on December 27, 1949 the couple had a son, T. S. Monk, who became a jazz drummer. A daughter, was born on September 5, 1953 and died of cancer in 1984. In her autobiography, Gordon spoke of the utter lack of interest in Monk's recordings, which translated to poor sales. "I went to Harlem and those record stores didn't want Monk or me. I'll never forget one particular owner, I can still see him and his store on Seventh Avenue and 125th Street.'He can't play lady, what are you doing up here?
The guy has two left hands."You just wait,' I'd say.'This man's a genius, you don't know anything.'"Due to Monk's reticence, Gordon became his mouthpiece to the public. In February 1948, she wrote to Ralph Ingersoll, the editor of the newspaper PM, described Monk as "a genius living here in the heart of New York, whom nobody knows"; as a result, one of PM's best writers visited Monk to do a feature on him, but Monk wouldn't speak to the reporter unless Gordon was in the room with him. In September of the sam
Ray Brown (musician)
Raymond Matthews Brown was an American jazz double bassist known for extensive work with Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald. Ray Brown was born October 13, 1926 in Pittsburgh and took piano lessons from the age of eight. After noticing how many pianists attended his high school, he thought of taking up the trombone but was unable to afford one. With a vacancy in the high school jazz orchestra, he took up the upright bass. A major early influence on Brown's bass playing was Jimmy Blanton, the bassist in the Duke Ellington band; as a young man Brown became well known in the Pittsburgh jazz scene, with his first experiences playing in bands with the Jimmy Hinsley Sextet and the Snookum Russell band. After graduating high school, having heard stories about the burgeoning jazz scene on 52nd Street in New York City, he bought a one-way ticket to New York, he arrived in New York at the age of 20, met up with Hank Jones, with whom he had worked, was introduced to Dizzy Gillespie, looking for a bass player.
Gillespie hired Brown on the spot, he soon played with such established musicians as Art Tatum and Charlie Parker. In 1948, Brown left Dizzy's band to start a trio with Charlie Smith. From 1946 to 1951, Brown played in Gillespie's band. Brown, along with the vibraphonist Milt Jackson, drummer Kenny Clarke, pianist John Lewis formed the rhythm section of the Gillespie band. Lewis and Jackson formed the Modern Jazz Quartet. Brown became acquainted with singer Ella Fitzgerald when she joined the Gillespie band as a special attraction for a tour of the southern United States in 1947; the two married that year, together they adopted a child born to Fitzgerald's half-sister Frances, whom they christened Ray Brown, Jr. Fitzgerald and Brown divorced in 1953, bowing to the various career pressures both were experiencing at the time, though they would continue to perform together. From 1951 to 1965, Brown was a member of the Oscar Peterson Trio; the trio included a guitarist until 1958. After Ellis left the group, Peterson decided to continue the trio with drummer Ed Thigpen.
Brown recorded extensively as a session musician for producer Norman Granz during the 1950s alongside Peterson. After leaving the Oscar Peterson Trio, Brown concentrated on studio work in Los Angeles. Brown guested as a bass player on "Razor Boy", the second track on Steely Dan's second album, Countdown to Ecstasy, released in 1973. From 1974 to 1982, Brown performed and recorded a series of albums with guitarist Laurindo Almeida and flautist Bud Shank, drummer Shelly Manne under the name The L. A. Four. In the 1980s and 1990s Brown continued to refine his bass playing style. In his years he recorded and toured extensively with pianist Gene Harris. In the early 1980s, Brown met Diana Krall in a restaurant in Nanaimo, British Columbia. According to Jeff Hamilton, in an interview recorded on the Diana Krall Live in Rio DVD, he first heard Krall play at a workshop and, impressed with her piano skills, introduced her to bassist John Clayton. Hamilton and Clayton both encouraged Krall to move to Los Angeles to study under others.
In 1990, he teamed up with pianist Bobby Enriquez and drummer Al Foster, for Enriquez's album, The Wildman Returns. Around the same time, Brown made seven albums with pianist André Previn when, after a hiatus of two decades, Previn returned to jazz to perform and record regurlarly again between 1989 and 2002: After Hours, Old Friends, Kiri Sidetracks; the Jazz Album, What Headphones?, André Previn and Friends Play Show Boat, Jazz at the Musikverein. Brown and Previn had recorded together before in the 1960s on 4 To Go! and Right as the Rain. An hour-long film, Together on Broadway; the Making of Sidetracks documents the work on the album Kiri Sidetracks. The Jazz Album. Brown played for a time with the "Quartet" with Monty Alexander, Milt Jackson, Mickey Roker. After that he toured again with his own trio, with several young pianists such as Benny Green, Geoffrey Keezer, Larry Fuller; the last edition of the Ray Brown Trio included drummer Karriem Riggins. With that trio, Brown continued to perform until his death in 2002.
Ray Brown married Ella Fitzgerald in 1947. The couple adopted a son, Ray Jr. but the marriage did not last long, as work kept them apart. Ray and Ella divorced in 1953, but remained friends and worked together. Brown died in his sleep July 2002, after having played golf, before a show in Indianapolis. In 1995, Brown was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music. In 2001, Brown was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, 1st class and in 2003, he was inducted into the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame, he was awarded his first Grammy for his composition, "Gravy Waltz", a tune which would be used as the theme song for The Steve Allen Show. Brown, Ray. Ray Brown's Bass Method: Essential Scales and Exercises. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 978-0793594566. List of jazz bassists Ray Brown at the Hard Bop Homepage Ray Brown Biogr
Woodrow Charles Herman was an American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist and big band leader. Leading various groups called "The Herd", Herman came to prominence in the late 1930s and was active until his death in 1987, his bands played music, cutting edge and experimental for its time. Herman was born Woodrow Charles Thomas Herman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on May 16, 1913, his parents were Myrtle Herman. His mother was Polish, his father had a deep love for show business and this influenced Woody Herman at an early age. As a child he worked as a singer and tap-dancer in Vaudeville started to play the clarinet and saxophone by age 12. In 1931, he met an aspiring actress. Woody Herman joined the Tom Gerun band and his first recorded vocals were "Lonesome Me" and "My Heart's at Ease". Herman performed with the Harry Sosnick orchestra, Gus Arnheim and Isham Jones. Isham Jones wrote many popular songs, including "It Had to Be You" and at some point was tiring of the demands of leading a band. Jones wanted to live off the residuals of his songs.
Woody Herman's first band became known for its orchestrations of the blues, was sometimes billed as "The Band That Plays The Blues". This band recorded for the Decca label, at first serving as a cover band, doing songs by other Decca artists; the first song recorded was "Wintertime Dreams" on November 6, 1936. In January 1937 George T. Simon closed a review of the band with the words: "This Herman outfit bears watching. After two and a half years on the label, the band had its first hit, "Woodchopper's Ball" recorded in 1939. Woody Herman remembered that "Woodchopper's Ball" started out at first. "t was a sleeper. But Decca kept re-releasing it, over a period of three or four years it became a hit, it sold more than five million copies—the biggest hit I had." In January 1942, Herman would have his highest rated single, singing Harold Arlen's "Blues in the Night" backed by his orchestra. Other hits for the band include "Blue Flame" and "Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me". Musicians and arrangers that stood out included Cappy Lewis on trumpet and saxophonist/arranger Deane Kincaide.
"The Golden Wedding", arranged by James "Jiggs" Noble, was notable for its extended drum solo by Frankie Carlson. In jazz, swing was being replaced by bebop. Dizzy Gillespie, a trumpeter and one of the originators of bop, wrote three arrangements for Woody Herman, "Woody'n You", "Swing Shift" and "Down Under"; these were arranged in 1942. "Woody'n You" was not used at the time. "Down Under" was recorded July 24, 1942. The fact that Herman commissioned Gillespie to write arrangements for the band and that Herman hired Ralph Burns as a staff arranger, heralded a change in the style of music the band was playing. In February 1945, the band started a contract with Columbia Records. Herman liked what drew many artists to Columbia, Liederkranz Hall, at the time the best recording venue in New York City; the first side Herman recorded was "Laura", the theme song of the 1944 movie of the same name. Herman's version was so successful that it made Columbia hold from release the arrangement that Harry James had recorded days earlier.
The Columbia contract coincided with a change in the band's repertoire. The 1944 group, which he called the First Herd, was famous for its progressive jazz; the First Herd's music was influenced by Duke Ellington and Count Basie. Its lively, swinging arrangements, combining bop themes with swing rhythm parts, were admired; as of February 1945 the personnel included Bill Harris, Sonny Berman, Pete Candoli, Billy Bauer, Ralph Burns, Davey Tough and Flip Phillips. On February 26, 1945 in New York City, the Woody Herman band recorded "Caldonia". Neal Hefti and Ralph Burns collaborated on the arrangement of "Caldonia". "Ralph caught Louis Jordan in an act and wrote the opening twelve bars and the eight bar tag." "But the most amazing thing on the record was a soaring eight bar passage by trumpets near the end." These eight measures have wrongly been attributed to a Gillespie solo, but were in fact written by Neal Hefti. George T. Simon compares Hefti with Gillespie in a 1944 review for Metronome magazine saying, "Like Dizzy, Hefti has an abundance of good ideas, with which he has aided Ralph Burns immensely".
In 1946 the band won Down Beat, Metronome and Esquire polls for best band, nominated by their peers in the big band business. Along with the high acclaim for their jazz and blues performances, classical composer Igor Stravinsky wrote the Ebony Concerto, one in a series of compositions commissioned by Herman with solo clarinet, for this band. Herman recorded this work in the Belock Recording Studio in Bayside New York. Throughout the history of jazz, there have always been musicians who sought to combine it with classical music. Ebony Concerto is one in a long line of music from the twenties to the present day that seeks to do this. Herman said about the Concerto: " delicate and a sad piece." Stravinsky felt. Saxophonist Flip Philips said, "During the rehearsal there was a passage I had to play there and I was playing it soft, Stravinsky said'Play it, here I am!' and I
Benjamin David Goodman was an American jazz clarinetist and bandleader known as the "King of Swing". In the mid-1930s, Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in the United States, his concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City on January 16, 1938 is described by critic Bruce Eder as "the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz's'coming out' party to the world of'respectable' music."Goodman's bands started the careers of many jazz musicians. During an era of racial segregation, he led one of the first integrated jazz groups, he performed nearly to the end of his life. Goodman was the ninth of twelve children born to poor Jewish emigrants from the Russian Empire, his father, David Goodman, came to America in 1892 from Warsaw in partitioned Poland and became a tailor. His mother, Dora Grisinsky, came from Kovno, they met in Baltimore and moved to Chicago before Goodman's birth. With little income and a large family, they moved to the Maxwell Street neighborhood, an overcrowded slum near railroad yards and factories, populated by German, Italian, Polish and Jewish immigrants.
Money was a constant problem. On Sundays, his father took the children to free band concerts in Douglas Park, the first time Goodman experienced live professional performances. To give his children some skills and an appreciation for music, his father enrolled ten-year-old Goodman and two of his brothers in music lessons at the Kehelah Jacob Synagogue. During the next year Goodman joined the boys club band at Hull House, where he received lessons from director James Sylvester. By joining the band, he was entitled to spend two weeks at a summer camp near Chicago, it was the only time. He received two years of instruction from classically trained clarinetist Franz Schoepp; when he was 17, his father was killed by a passing car after stepping off a streetcar. His father's death was "the saddest thing that happened in our family", Goodman said, he attended Lewis Institute in 1924 as a high-school sophomore and played clarinet in a dance hall band. His early influences were New Orleans jazz clarinetists who worked in Chicago, such as Jimmie Noone, Johnny Dodds, Leon Roppolo.
He learned becoming a strong player at an early age, soon playing in bands. He made his professional debut in 1921 at the Central Park Theater on the West Side of Chicago, he entered Harrison Technical High School in Chicago in 1922. At fourteen he became a member of the musicians' union and worked in a band featuring Bix Beiderbecke. Two years he joined the Ben Pollack Orchestra and made his first recordings in 1926. Goodman moved to New York City and became a session musician for radio, Broadway musicals, in studios. In addition to clarinet, he sometimes played alto baritone saxophone. In a Victor recording session on March 21, 1928, he played alongside Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Joe Venuti in the All-Star Orchestra directed by Nathaniel Shilkret, he played with the bands of Red Nichols, Ben Selvin, Ted Lewis, Isham Jones and recorded for Brunswick under the name Benny Goodman's Boys, a band that featured Glenn Miller. In 1928, Goodman and Miller wrote "Room 1411", released as a Brunswick 78.
He reached the charts for the first time when he recorded "He's Not Worth Your Tears" with a vocal by Scrappy Lambert for Melotone. After signing with Columbia in 1934, he had top ten hits with "Ain't Cha Glad?" and "I Ain't Lazy, I'm Just Dreamin'" sung by Jack Teagarden, "Ol' Pappy" sung by Mildred Bailey, "Riffin' the Scotch" sung by Billie Holiday. An invitation to play at the Billy Rose Music Hall led to his creation of an orchestra for the four-month engagement; the orchestra recorded "Moonglow", which became a number one hit and was followed by the Top Ten hits "Take My Word" and "Bugle Call Rag". NBC hired for Goodman for the radio program Let's Dance. John Hammond asked Fletcher Henderson if he wanted to write arrangements for Goodman, Henderson agreed. During the Depression, Henderson disbanded his orchestra. Goodman hired Henderson's band members to teach his musicians. Goodman's band was one of three to perform on Let's Dance, playing arrangements by Henderson along with hits such as "Get Happy" and "Limehouse Blues" by Spud Murphy.
Goodman's portion of the program was broadcast too late at night to attract a large audience on the east coast. He and his band remained on Let's Dance until May of that year when a strike by employees of the series' sponsor, forced the cancellation of the radio show. An engagement was booked at Manhattan's Roosevelt Grill filling in for Guy Lombardo, but the audience expected "sweet" music and Goodman's band was unsuccessful. Goodman spent six months performing on Let's Dance, during that time he recorded six more Top Ten hits for Columbia. On July 31, 1935, "King Porter Stomp" was released with "Sometimes I'm Happy" on the B-side, both arranged by Henderson and recorded on July 1. In Pittsburgh at the Stanley Theater some members of the audience danced in the aisles, but these arrangements had little impact on the tour until August 19 at McFadden's Ballroom in Oakland, California. Goodman and his band, which included Bunny Berrigan, drummer Gene Krupa, singer Helen Ward were met by a large crowd of young dancers who cheered the music they had heard on Let's Dance.
Herb Caen wrote, "from the first note, the place was in an uproar." One night at Pismo Beach, the show was a flop, the band thought the overwhelming reception in Oakland had been a fluke. The next night, August 21, 1935, at the Palomar Ballroom in Los A
J. J. Johnson
James Louis Johnson was an American jazz trombonist and arranger. Johnson was one of the earliest trombonists to embrace bebop. After studying the piano beginning at age 9, Johnson decided to play trombone at the age of 14. In 1941, he began his professional career with Clarence Love, played with Snookum Russell in 1942. In Russell's band he met the trumpeter Fats Navarro, who influenced him to play in the style of the tenor saxophonist Lester Young. Johnson played in Benny Carter's orchestra between 1942 and 1945, made his first recordings in 1942 under Carter's leadership, recording his first solo in October 1943. In 1944, he took part in the first Jazz at the Philharmonic concert, presented in Los Angeles and organized by Norman Granz. In 1945 he joined the big band of Count Basie and recording with him until 1946. While the trombone was featured prominently in dixieland and swing music, it fell out of favor among bebop musicians because instruments with valves and keys were believed to be more suited to bebop's rapid tempos and demand for technical mastery.
In 1946, bebop co-inventor Dizzy Gillespie encouraged the young trombonist's development with the comment, "I've always known that the trombone could be played different, that somebody'd catch on one of these days. Man, you're elected."After leaving Basie in 1946 to play in small bebop bands in New York clubs, Johnson toured in 1947 with Illinois Jacquet. During this period he began recording as a leader of small groups featuring Max Roach, Sonny Stitt and Bud Powell, he performed with Charlie Parker at the 17 December 1947 Dial Records session following Parker's release from Camarillo State Mental Hospital. In 1951, with bassist Oscar Pettiford and trumpeter Howard McGhee, Johnson toured the military camps of Japan and Korea before returning to the United States and taking a day job as a blueprint inspector. Johnson admitted he was still thinking of nothing but music during that time, indeed, his classic Blue Note Records recordings as both a leader and with Miles Davis date from this period.
Johnson's compositions "Enigma" and "Kelo" were recorded by Davis for Blue Note and Johnson was part of the Davis studio session band that recorded the jazz classic Walkin'. In 1954 producer Ozzie Cadena with Savoy Records, convinced Johnson to set up a combo with trombonist Kai Winding: the "Jay and Kai Quintet"; the trombone styles and personalities of the two musicians, although different, blended so well that the pairing, which lasted until August 1956, was a huge success both musically and commercially. They toured U. S. nightclubs and recorded numerous albums before parting amicably, satisfied that they had explored their novel group. The duo reunited again in 1958 for a tour of the UK, an Impulse! studio album in 1960 and in 1968–1969. In January 1967, Johnson and Winding were in an all-star line-up backing Sarah Vaughan on her last sessions for Mercury Records, released as the album Sassy Swings Again, with three of the cuts, including Billy Strayhorn's "Take the "A" Train", being arranged by Johnson himself.
The duo made some jazz festival appearances in Japan in the early 1980s, the last shortly before Winding died in May 1983. Following the mid-1950s collaboration with Winding, J. J. Johnson began leading his own touring small groups for about 3 years, covering the United States, United Kingdom and Scandinavia; these groups included tenor saxophonists Bobby Jaspar and Clifford Jordan, cornetist Nat Adderley, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, pianists Tommy Flanagan and Cedar Walton, drummers Elvin Jones, Albert "Tootie" Heath, Roach. In 1957, he recorded the quartet albums First Place and Blue Trombone, with Flanagan, Paul Chambers and Roach, he toured with the Jazz at the Philharmonic show in 1957 and 1960, the first tour yielding a live album featuring Johnson and tenor saxophonist Stan Getz. In 1958–59 Johnson was one of three plaintiffs in a court case which hastened the abolition of the cabaret card system; this period overlaps with the beginnings of Johnson's serious forays into Third Stream music.
Periods of writing and recording his music would alternate with tours demanding attention to his playing. Following the six months he spent writing Perceptions, Johnson entered the studio for a date with André Previn's trio, they recorded an entire album of the music of Kurt Weill. The inventive arrangements and inspired playing of both stars on Andre Previn and J. J. Johnson Play'Mack The Knife' and Other Kurt Weill Songs bore out the producer's foresight, yet this recording was not released on CD until after his death. In 1962 Johnson toured for a number of months with Davis' sextet of that year, which went unrecorded. Johnson's 1963 solo album J. J.'s Broadway is an example of both his mature trombone style and sound, his arranging abilities. 1964 saw the recording of his last working band for a period of over 20 years – Proof Positive. Beginning in 1965 Johnson recorded a number of large group studio albums under his name, featuring many of his own compositions and arrangements; the late 1960s saw a radical downturn in the fortunes of many jazz musicians and Johnson was heard exclusively on big band-style studio records backing a single soloist.
From the mid-1950s, but the early 1960s on, Johnson dedicated more and more time to composition. He became an active contributor to the Third Stream movement in jazz, wrote a nu
The vibraphone is a musical instrument in the struck idiophone subfamily of the percussion family. It consists of tuned metal bars, is played by holding two or four soft mallets and striking the bars. A person who plays the vibraphone is called a vibraharpist; the vibraphone resembles the xylophone and glockenspiel, one of the main differences between it and these instruments being that each bar is paired with a resonator tube that has a motor-driven butterfly valve at its upper end. The valves are mounted on a common shaft, which produces a vibrato effect while spinning; the vibraphone has a sustain pedal similar to that on a piano. With the pedal up, the bars produce a shortened sound. With the pedal down, they sound for several seconds; the vibraphone is used in jazz music, in which it plays a featured role and was a defining element of the sound of mid-20th-century "Tiki lounge" exotica, as popularized by Arthur Lyman. It is the second most popular solo keyboard percussion instrument in classical music, after the marimba, is part of the standard college-level percussion performance education.
It is a standard instrument in the modern percussion section for orchestras and concert bands. The first musical instrument called "vibraphone" was marketed by the Leedy Manufacturing Company in the United States in 1921. However, this instrument differed in significant details from the instrument now called the vibraphone; the Leedy vibraphone achieved a degree of popularity after it was used in the novelty recordings of "Aloha'Oe" and "Gypsy Love Song" by vaudeville performer Louis Frank Chiha. This popularity led J. C. Deagan, Inc. in 1927 to ask its Chief Tuner, Henry Schluter, to develop a similar instrument. However, Schluter didn't just copy the Leedy design, he introduced several significant improvements: making the bars from aluminium instead of steel for a more "mellow" basic tone. Schluter's design was more popular than the Leedy design, has become the template for all instruments now called vibraphone. However, when Deagan began marketing Schluter's instrument in 1928, they called it the vibraharp.
The name derived from similar aluminum bars that were mounted vertically and operated from the "harp" stop on a theatre organ. Since Deagan trademarked the name, others were obliged to use the earlier "vibraphone" for their instruments incorporating the newer design; the name confusion continues to the present, but over time vibraphone became more popular than vibraharp. By 1974, the Directory of the D. C. Federation of Musicians listed 3 vibraharp players; the initial purpose of the vibraphone was to add to the large arsenal of percussion sounds used by vaudeville orchestras for novelty effects. This use was overwhelmed in the 1930s by its development as a jazz instrument; as of 2015, it retains its use as a jazz instrument, is established as a major keyboard percussion instrument used for solos, in chamber ensembles, in modern orchestral compositions. The use of the vibraphone in jazz was pioneered by Paul Barbarin, the drummer with Luis Russell's band, his playing can be heard on recordings by Henry "Red" Allen from July 1929, Barbarin played on the first recordings by Louis Armstrong to feature the instrument – "Rockin' Chair" and "Song of the Islands".
The first classical composer to use the vibraphone in one of his pieces was Alban Berg, who used it prominently in his opera Lulu from 1937. Outside of the United States, the Premier Drum Company of London, after experimenting with a variety of aluminum bar instruments more related to the glockenspiel that were called variations of “harpaphone”, moved to the production of the Schluter vibraphone design. Bergerault, of Ligueil, France began manufacturing vibraphones in the 1930s. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, each manufacturer attracted its own following in various specialties, but the Deagan vibraphones were the models preferred by many of the emerging class of specialist jazz players. Deagan struck endorsement deals with many of the leading players, including Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson; the Deagan company went out of business in the 1980s. Yamaha continues to make percussion instruments based on Deagan designs. In 1948, the Musser Mallet Company was founded by Clair Omar Musser, a designer at Deagan.
The Musser company continues to manufacture vibraphones as part of the Ludwig Drum Company. The standard modern instrument has a range of three octaves, from the F below middle C. Larger three-and-a-half or four octave models from the C below middle C are becoming more common. Unlike its cousin the xylophone, it is a non-transposing instrument written at concert pitch. However, composers write parts to sound an octave higher. In the 1930s several manufacturers made soprano vibraphones with a range C4 to C7, notably the Ludwig & Ludwig model B110 and the Deagan model 144. Deagan made a portable model that had a 2 1⁄2 octave range and resonators made of cardboard; the major components of a vibraphone are the bars, damper mechanism and the frame. Vibraphones are played with mallets. Vibraphone bars are made from aluminum bar stock, cut into blanks of pre-de
Ray Charles Robinson was an American singer, songwriter and composer. Among friends and fellow musicians he preferred being called "Brother Ray", he was referred to as "The Genius". Charles started losing his vision at the age of 5, by 7 he was blind, he pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950s by combining blues and blues, gospel styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic. He contributed to the integration of country music and blues, pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, notably with his two Modern Sounds albums. While he was with ABC, Charles became one of the first black musicians to be granted artistic control by a mainstream record company. Charles cited Nat King Cole as a primary influence, but his music was influenced by Louis Jordan and Charles Brown, he became friends with Quincy Jones. Their friendship lasted until the end of Charles's life. Frank Sinatra called Ray Charles "the only true genius in show business", although Charles downplayed this notion.
In 2002, Rolling Stone ranked Charles number ten on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", number two on their November 2008 list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time". Billy Joel said, "This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley". Ray Charles Robinson was the son of Bailey Robinson, a laborer, Aretha Williams, his mother was a teenage orphan making a living as a sharecropper. They lived in Florida with Robinson's father and his wife, Mary Jane Robinson; the Robinson family had informally adopted Aretha, she took the surname Robinson. When she became pregnant by Bailey, incurring scandal, she left Greenville late in the summer of 1930 to be with family members in Albany, Georgia for the baby's birth, after which mother and child returned to Greenville, she and Mary Jane shared in Ray's upbringing. He was devoted to his mother and recalled her perseverance, self-sufficiency, pride as guiding lights in his life, his father abandoned the family, left Greenville, married another woman elsewhere.
In his early years, Charles showed an interest in mechanical objects and would watch his neighbors working on their cars and farm machinery. His musical curiosity was sparked at Wylie Pitman's Red Wing Cafe, at the age of three, when Pitman played boogie woogie on an old upright piano. Charles and his mother were always welcome at the Red Wing Cafe and lived there when they were in financial distress. Pitman would care for Ray's younger brother George, to take some of the burden off their mother. George drowned in his mother's laundry tub. Charles started to lose his sight at the age of four or five, was blind by the age of seven as a result of glaucoma. Destitute and mourning the loss of her younger son, Aretha Robinson used her connections in the local community to find a school that would accept a blind African-American pupil. Despite his initial protest, Charles attended school at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine from 1937 to 1945. Charles further developed his musical talent at school and was taught to play the classical piano music of J.
S. Bach and Beethoven, his teacher, Mrs. Lawrence, taught him how to use braille music, a difficult process that requires learning the left hand movements by reading braille with the right hand and learning the right hand movements by reading braille with the left hand, combining the two parts. While Charles was happy to play classical music, he was more interested in the jazz and country music he heard on the radio. On Fridays, the South Campus Literary Society held assemblies at which Charles would play piano and sing popular songs. On both Halloween and George Washington's birthday, the black department of the school held socials at which Charles would play, it was here he established "RC Robinson and the Shop Boys" and sang his own arrangement of "Jingle Bell Boogie". During this time, he performed on WFOY radio in St. Augustine. Ray Charles' mother died in the Spring of 1944, when Ray was 14, her death came as a shock to him. Charles returned to school after the funeral but was expelled in October for playing a prank on his teacher.
After leaving school, Charles moved to Jacksonville with a couple, friends with his late mother. He played the piano for bands at the Ritz Theatre in LaVilla for over a year, he joined the musicians' union in the hope. He befriended many union members, but others were less kind to him because he would monopolize the union hall's piano, since he did not have one at home, he started to build a reputation as a talented musician in Jacksonville, but the jobs did not come fast enough for him to construct a strong identity. He decided to move to a bigger city with more opportunities. At age 16, Charles moved to Orlando, where he lived in borderline poverty and went without food for days, it was difficult for musicians to find work, as since World War II had ended there were no "G. I. Joes" left to entertain. Charles started to write arrangements for a pop music band, in the summer of 1947 he unsuccessfully auditioned to play piano for Lucky Millinder and his sixteen-piece band. In 1947, Charles moved to Tampa, where he had two jobs: one as a pianist for Charles Brantley's Honeydippers.
In his early career, he modeled himself on Nat King Cole. His first four recordings—"Wondering and Wondering", "Walking and Talkin