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Encyclopedia > Bix Beiderbecke

Bix Beiderbecke (March 10, 1903August 6, 1931) was a notable jazz cornet player. March 10 is the 69th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (70th in leap years). ... 1903 (MCMIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... August 6 is the 218th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (219th in leap years), with 147 days remaining. ... 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1931 calendar). ... Jazz is an original American musical art form originating around the start of the 20th century in New Orleans, rooted in Western music technique and theory, and is marked by the profound cultural contributions of African Americans. ... Bâ™­ cornet The cornet is a brass instrument that closely resembles the trumpet. ...


It was widely believed, for many years, that Bix's real name was Leon Bismark Beiderbecke. It is now known that this — like so many other myths about Bix — is untrue. His real name was Leon Bix Beiderbecke. Bismark was a family name, reflecting the family's German origins, but it was not given to Bix.


Leon Bix Beiderbecke was born in Davenport, Iowa to a middle-class family. As a teenager he would sneak off to the banks of the Mississippi to listen to the bands play on the riverboats that would come up from the south. Image:Dillon crop2. ... The Mississippi River, derived from the old Ojibwe word misi-ziibi meaning great river (gichi-ziibi big river at its headwaters), is the second-longest river in the United States; the longest is the Missouri River, which flows into the Mississippi. ... A first class tourist riverboat High speed planing riverboat High speed hydrofoil riverboat Local passenger transport craft Riverboat specialized for cargo truck transport Self propelled gravel barge M.V. Splendid China layout A riverboat is a specialized watercraft (vessel) designed for operating on inland waterways. ...


Partially due to frequent absences due to illness, Bix's grades suffered. His parents felt that sending him to the exclusive Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois, just northwest of Chicago, would provide the attention and discipline needed to improve his schooling. Lake Forest Academy is a private boarding and day school for grades 9 through 12 located on the North Shore in Lake Forest, Illinois. ... Lake Forest is a city located in Lake County, Illinois. ... Chicago (officially named the City of Chicago) is the third largest city in the United States (after New York City and Los Angeles), with an official population of 2,896,016, as of the 2000 census. ...


Bix's schooling there soon suffered when the only subjects he showed avid interest in were music and sports. Bix soon began going into Chicago as often as possible to catch the hot jazz bands of the day at clubs and speakeasies around Chicago, and too often didn't return in time or was found out the next day. Music is conceptual time expressed in the structures of tones and silence. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Bix was soon asked to leave the Academy due to his academic failings and extra-curricular activities in Chicago, and began his musical career in earnest.

Contents


Influences

Beiderbecke's early influences were mostly New Orleans jazz cornetists. His first big influence was Nick LaRocca of the Original Dixieland Jass Band; the LaRocca influence is evident in a number of Beiderbecke's recordings (especially the covers of O.D.J.B. songs.) Other influences included Joe "King" Oliver, Louis Armstrong, and clarinetist Leon Roppolo. The influence of older New Orleans players such as Freddie Keppard shows up on Beiderbecke's famous two note interjection on "Goose Pimples." New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ... Nick LaRocca. ... Shown are (left to right) Tony Sbarbaro (aka Tony Spargo) on drums; Edwin Daddy Edwards on trombone; D. James Nick LaRocca on cornet; Larry Shields on clarinet, and Henry Ragas on piano. ... In pop music a cover version is a new rendition of a previously recorded song. ... Joe King Oliver, (December 19, 1885 – April 8, 1938) was a bandleader and jazz musician. ... Louis Armstrongs stage personality matched his flashy trumpet as captured in this photo by William P. Gottlieb. ... Two soprano clarinets: a B♭ clarinet (left) and an A clarinet (right, with no mouthpiece). ... Leon Roppolo (March 16, 1902 – October 5, 1943) was a prominent early jazz clarinetist, best known for his playing with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. ... Freddie Keppard (sometimes rendered as Freddy Keppard) (February 27, 1890 - July 15, 1933) was an early jazz cornetist. ...


According to many contemporaries Beiderbecke's single biggest influence was Emmett Hardy, a highly regarded New Orleans cornetist of whom there are no extant recordings; several fellow musicians said that Hardy's influence is very evident in Beiderbecke's early recordings with The Wolverines. New Orleans drummer Ray Bauduc heard Hardy playing in the early 1920s and said that he was even more inspired than Beiderbecke. Emmett Hardy (June 12, 1903 - June 16, 1925) was an early jazz cornet player and one of the best regarded New Orleans musicians of his generation. ... Ray Bauduc (1906-1988) was a hugely popular and influential New Orleans-born jazz drummer best known for his work with the Bob Crosby Orchestra and their band-within-a-band, the Bobcats, between 1935 and 1942. ...


Bix was also influenced by music that had hitherto been far removed from jazz, such as the compositions of Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and the American Impressionists, notably Eastwood Lane. Claude Debussy Achille-Claude Debussy () (August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918) was a French composer. ... Joseph-Maurice Ravel (March 7, 1875 – December 28, 1937) was a French composer and pianist, known especially for the subtlety, richness, and poignancy of his music and generally considered to be one of the major composers of the 20th century. ... The Impressionist movement in music is a movement in music loosely set between the late nineteenth century, up to the middle of the twentieth century. ... Eastwood Lane (May 22, 1879 - January 22, 1951) was a American composer who wrote piano suites, impressionist pieces, and ballet. ...


Career

Beiderbecke first recorded with his band The Wolverines in 1924, then became a sought-after musician in Chicago, Illinois and New York City, New York. He made innovative and influential recordings with Frankie Trumbauer ("Tram") and the Jean Goldkette Orchestra. When the Goldkette Orchestra disbanded after their last recording ("My Merry Oldsmobile"), in May 1927, Bix and Trambauer, a 'C' Melody and alto saxophone player, briefly joined Adrian Rollini's band at the Club New Yorker, New York, before moving on to the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, the most popular and highest paid band of the day. 1924 (MCMXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Nickname: The Windy City Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Official website: http://egov. ... New York, New York redirects here. ... Frankie (Tram) Trumbauer (1901–1956) was one of the leading jazz saxophonists of the 1920s and 1930s. ... Jean Goldkette Jean Goldkette (18 March 1893 – 24 March 1962) was a jazz pianist and bandleader. ... 1928 Columbia Records label with caricature of Paul Whiteman Paul Whiteman (March 28, 1890 – December 29, 1967) was a popular american orchestral leader. ...


Beiderbecke also played piano, sometimes switching from cornet for a chorus or two during a song (eg: 'For No Reason at All in C', 1927). He wrote several compositions for the piano, and recorded one of them, "In a Mist", after it was transcribed from his improvisations by the Goldkette / Whiteman arranger Bill Challis). His piano compositions were later recorded by (amongst others) Jess Stacy, Bunny Berigan, Jimmy and Marion McPartland, Dill Jones and Ralph Sutton. A baby grand piano, with the lid up. ...


Beiderbecke suffered health problems from a young age, though the relentless schedule of the road and heavy drinking leading to alcoholism began to contribute to and exacerbate a decline in his health. Bix suffered from severe pain in his legs and other ill effects of prohibition era alcohol and with declining work around the New York City area, he took a turn for the worse. Alcoholism is a powerful craving for alcohol which often results in the compulsive consumption of alcohol. ... Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol. ...


Though his death certificate described the cause of death as pneumonia, and he was in seriously ill health, the circumstances immediately surrounding his death are still unclear. He died at the age of 28, in his apartment at 43-30 46th Street, Sunnyside, Queens, within the confines of the City of New York on August 6, 1931. Death Certificate was the second solo album from rapper Ice Cube, released on November 5, 1991. ... Pneumonia is an illness of the lungs and respiratory system in which the microscopic, air-filled sacs (alveoli) responsible for absorbing oxygen from the atmosphere become inflamed and flooded with fluid. ... Queens Borough in New York City, in yellow Queens is the largest in area and second most populous of the five boroughs of New York City. ... -1... August 6 is the 218th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (219th in leap years), with 147 days remaining. ... 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1931 calendar). ...


Later influence

Louis Armstrong once remarked that he never played the tune "Singin' the Blues" because he thought Beiderbecke's classic recording of the song shouldn't be touched. As he later said, "Lots of cats tried to play like Bix; ain't none of them play like him yet". Louis Armstrongs stage personality matched his flashy trumpet as captured in this photo by William P. Gottlieb. ...


The character Rick Martin in the novel Young Man With a Horn (1938) by Dorothy Baker was a work of fiction partially based on Beiderbecke's life. It was later made into a movie (1950) starring Kirk Douglas as Martin (with horn playing dubbed by Harry James after first choice Bobby Hackett - according to some sources - blew the job because of unreliability). It was later parodied in the BBC radio series Round The Horne as "Young Horne With a Man", featuring "Bix Spiderthrust". 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Kirk Douglas in Champion Kirk Douglas (born December 9, 1916) is an American actor and film producer known for his oft-imitated and -parodied gravel-ridden voice and his recurring roles as the kinds of characters Douglas himself once described as sons of bitches. He is also father to Hollywood... ... The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the largest publicly-funded radio and television broadcasting corporation of the United Kingdom (see British television) and the world. ... Round the Horne was one of the most influential BBC Radio comedy programmes, comparable to The Goon Show in its influence on other comedy programmes. ...


The most obviously Bix-influenced follower was cornetist Jimmy McPartland, who replaced Bix in the 'Wolverine' Orchestra in 1925, and continued to pay tribute to Bix throughout his long career (McPartland died in 1991). Bix's influence was most noticeable amongst white musicians, but there were also black players who fell under his spell, notably trumpeters John Nesbitt (of McKinney's Cotten Pickers), Rex Stewart (Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra, Duke Ellington's Orchestra), and Doc Cheatham (Cab Calloway's Orchestra). John Nesbitt (1925-1988) was a Manitoba agrologist. ... Rex Stewart (1907–1967) was an American jazz cornetist best known for his work with the Duke Ellington orchestra. ... Fletcher Hamilton Henderson, Jr. ... Duke Ellington Edward Kennedy Duke Ellington (April 29, 1899–May 24, 1974), also known simply as Duke (see Jazz royalty), was an American jazz composer, pianist, and bandleader. ... Adolphus Anthony Cheatham, much better known as Doc Cheatham (13 June 1905 - 2 June 1997) was a jazz trumpeter, singer, and bandleader. ... Cab Calloway, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1933 Cab Calloway (December 25, 1907–November 18, 1994) was a famous American jazz singer and bandleader. ...


In the 1930's Bobby Hackett was widely billed as the "new Bix", especially after he reprised Bix's "I'm Coming Virginia" solo at Benny Goodman's famous 1938 Carnegie Hall concert. Robert Leo (Bobby) Hackett (January 31, 1915 _ June 7, 1976) was an accomplished jazz musician. ... Benny Goodman, born Benő Guttman, (May 30, 1909 – June 13, 1986) was an American Jazz musician of Hungarian descent, known as King of Swing, Patriarch of the Clarinet, The Professor, and Swings Senior Statesman. // Childhood and early years Goodman was born in Chicago, the son of poor Jewish immigrants... 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Carnegie Hall Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in New York City located at 57th Street and 7th Avenue. ...


Later Bix-influenced trumpet/cornet players have included: Ruby Braff, Dick Sudhalter, Warren Vache, Randy Sandke and (perhaps the closest to capturing Bix's elusive tone and phrasing), Tom Pletcher. Reuben Ruby Braff (March 16, 1927 - February 9, 2003) was a American jazz cornetist. ...


Miles Davis was fascinated by Bix's playing, and sought out people who had known and played with him. Miles's silvery tone and understated, "cool" phrasing clearly hark back to one aspect of Bix's playing. Davis 1959 album Kind of Blue, likely the best-selling jazz album ever. ...


Beiderbecke's music features heavily in three British comedy-drama television series, all written by Alan Plater: The Beiderbecke Affair (1984), The Beiderbecke Tapes (1987) and The Beiderbecke Connection (1988). Alan Frederick Plater, CBE (born 15 April 1935) is an English playwright and screenwriter, who has worked extensively in British television from the 1960s to the 2000s. ... The Beiderbecke Affair was the first in a series of three short television series produced in the UK by ITV in the mid 1980s, written by Alan Plater. ... 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


External links

  • Bix Beiderbecke Resources: A Bixography
  • Davenport Blues - An mp3 of Beiderbecke's first recording under his own name.
  • "Celebrating Bix" - A tribute album created to commemorate the centenary of Bix's birth by some of the world's finest traditional jazz musicians.
  • Bix: Man and Legend by Richard M. Sudhalter & Philip R. Evens (Quartet; 1974).
  • Bix: The Definitive Biography of a Jazz Legend by Jean Pierre Lion with the assistance of Gabriella Page-Fort, Michael B. Heckman and Norman Field (Continuum, New York / London; 2004).

  Results from FactBites:
 
Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (200 words)
The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival is a jazz festival dedicated to the music of Bix Beiderbecke.
The festival got its start in 1971 when Bill Donahue's Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Band of New Jersey traveled to Davenport, Iowa to play music at Bix's grave at the 40th anniversary of his death.
The Bix 7 foot race is held every year during the festival.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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