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Jazz Musician Pseudonyms

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Compiled by Jack Woker

Although it receives little support by the record industry, the media, and society at large, jazz- though not thriving- is still managing to survive. There is no shortage of young musicians flocking towards the music, and new CD releases are certainly not in short supply. And though jazz represents a relatively small market, there is still a listener base, and jazz discs are (contrary to what record executives tell their artists)still being sold. The reason for this is not hard to understand. Aside from the obvious high level of art found within the music itself, one finds every cog in the jazz wheel; it's history, it's linage, the colorful personalities, the tragic heroes, the unsung geniuses, the fables, legends, and war stories; the totality which makes up the art form, to be utterly fascinating. One of the many honors and pleasures a jazz musician receives is the occasion to hear first-hand stories about the jazz musicians he or she admires the most. Many stories are long held secrets only spoken by people deep inside of the jazz community: stories of racism, battles with drug addiction, individual quests for musical expression, the problems of creating in the face of adversity. And while some stories are sad, others are uplifting, and very inspiring to many, many a jazz musician. Stories of the obstacles and challenges that the masters of this music so bravely faced, can be extremely motivational to a young artist wishing to pursue a career playing jazz. It is a reason to continue the struggle to make this music, when it seems nobody else gives a damn.

Of course, not all of the stories are so dark. There is a lot of comedy in jazz as well. Some of it is intentional; most of it- like the music, is improvised. Of great interest to many a jazz fan- player and listener alike- has been the usage of pseudonyms by many prominent jazz artists. The reason behind the deception appears to be relatively simple: When an artist is under exclusive contract with a particular label, but wishes to record a session for another label either as a leader or as a sideman, he must first be granted a release from the label for which he is under contract. There may be other reasons as well, such as an artist may simply wish to remain anonymous for personal reasons, but the former explanation is a more common scenario. Just contemplating the notion that these players would think that by using an alias they would fool anyone is hilarious in itself. Most prominent jazz musicians get to a point where their playing style becomes like their DNA ; a musical fingerprint that unmistakably identifies who they are.

Did Cannonball Adderley, a player with a highly discernable sound think that he would fool anyone with the name Buckshot La Funke ? What about Stan Getz? Everybody knows his sound! Did he think he could get away with the name Dju Berry ? And if that weren't silly enough, what about the pseudonyms Ken Stanton, Manny Shell , and Phil Forest ? Are these identities so hard to figure out? The long list of jazz pseudonyms below is bound to turn heads and elicit chuckles. Exactly why Mel Powell came up with Shoeless Joe Jackson is beyond me. Did Shoeless Joe play a mean horn, or did Mel at one time consider a career in baseball? The answer to this, and other puzzling questions regarding the secret identities of our jazz super heroes may forever elude us.


Pseudonym

Real Name

Album

Shoeless Henry Aaron

Harry Allen

Bob Wilber "Budafora Blowup", Arbors 1996

Gabriel Armstrong

Jon Faddis

Al Grey "Live At The Floating Jazz Festival", Chiaroscuro, 1990

Barbecue Joe

Wingy Manone

Champion, 1930

Kunst Bauer

Art Farmer

Teo Macero "What's New?", Columbia, 1955

Buzzy Bavarian

Al Gafa

Kai Winding, "Dirty Dog", Verve, 1966

Johnny Beecher

Plas Johnson

"Sax Fifth Avenue", Charter, 1962

Sam Beethoven

Jimmy Raney

Cohn-Perkins-Kamuca "The Brothers", RCA, 1955

Ferris Bender

Jackie McLean

Art Blakey "Night in Tunisia", Vik, 1957

Ralph & Bert Berg

Reinhold Svensson & Charles Norman

Metronome, 1950

Dju Berry

Stan Getz

Jimmy Gourley "No More", Musica, 1981

John Birks

Dizzy Gillespie

Jazz At The Philharmonic, Disc, 1946

Blockbuster

Cannonball Adderley

Jon Hendricks "A Good Git Together", Pacific Jazz, 1959

B. Bopstein

Dizzy Gillespie

Tony Scott, Gotham, 1946

Jud Brotherly

Cannonball Adderley

"Ray Brown With The All-Star Big Band", Verve, 1962

Boots Brown

Shorty Rogers

"Rock That Beat", Groove, 1952-53
RCA Victor singles, 1958

Tiger Brown

Maynard Ferguson

"Jazz Studio 4", Decca, 1955

John Burk

Dizzy Gillespie

Wilbert Baranco, Black & White, 1946

Lord Calvert

Nat King Cole

The Keynoters, Keynote, 1946

Steve Canyon

Stan Kenton

 

Billy Carton

Benny Carter

Varsity Seven, Varsity, 1939

Unidentified Cat

Gato Barbieri

Carla Bley, Watt

Pete Cera

Pete Jolly

Jon Eardley "Quartet", Prestige, 1955
Shorty Rogers "The Swinging Mr. Rogers", Atlantic, 1955

Charlie Chan

Charlie Parker

"Jazz At Massey Hall", Debut, 1953;
Miles Davis "Collector's Items", Prestige, 1953

Friendly Chap

Buddy Guy

Junior Wells "Hoodoo Man Blues, Delmark

Prince Charming

Count Basie

Kansas City Seven, Keynote, 1944

Cootie Chesterfield

Pete Candoli

Peggy Lee "Black Coffee", Decca, 1953

Joe Chevrolet

Joe Dodge

Paul Desmond "Quartet Featuring Don Elliott", Fantasy, 1956

Chicago Flash

Gene Krupa

JATP, Asch, 1944

I Ching

Freddie Redd

Howard McGhee "The Connection", Felsted, 1960

Clarence Clump

Benny Carter

Capitol, 1948

Sven Coolson

Stan Getz

Jimmy Raney "Plays", Prestige, 1953

Little Miss Cott

Shirley Scott

Stanley Turrentine "Dearly Beloved", Blue Note, 1961

E. Dankworth

Wynton Marsalis

Marcus Roberts "Deep In The Shed", RCA
Eric Reed "It's Alright To Swing"

John Doe

Howard Lucraft

Howard Lucraft "Showcase For Modern Jazz", Decca, 1957

Lonesome Dragon

Bob Moses

Gary Burton "A Genuine Tong Funeral", RCA, 1967

Dan Drew

Elliot Lawrence

"Rock That Beat", Groove, 1952-53

Blind Willie Dunn

Eddie Lang

w/ Lonnie Johnson, 1928-29

Sir Edward

Harold Vick

"The Power of Feeling", Encounter

Darlene Edwards

Jo Stafford

"The Piano Artistry Of Jonathan Edwards", Columbia

Jonathan Edwards

Paul Weston

 

Ly N. Ell

Lionel Hampton

Eddie Condon, Commodore, 1938

Swede Enlovely

Charlie Shavers

George Williams "Rhythm Was His Business", RCA

Keats Ennam

Shelly Manne

 

Maggsi Evonce

Howard McGhee

Leo Parker, Savoy, 1947

Gib Fender

Howard Roberts

June Christy "The Cool School", Capitol, 1959

"Baron" Fingus

Charles Mingus

George Wallington Trio, Prestige, 1952

Chicago Flash

Gene Krupa

 

Art Flickreiter

Andre Previn

Dave Pell "The Big Small Bands", Capitol, 1959

Phil Forest

Phil Woods

Nat Pierce "Jazz Romp", Keynote, 1955

Billy Franklin

Don Goldie

"Golden Horn", Design

Phil Funk

Phil Woods

 

Ernst Von Funkenstein

Ernie Freeman

Jimmy Witherspoon "Baby Baby Baby", Prestige, 1963

Gabriel

Dizzy Gillespie

Tempo Jazz Men, Dial, 1946

Irving Garner

Paul Smith

"The Best Of Irving Garner", Verve, 1956
Buddy DeFranco "Plays Artie Shaw", Verve, 1957

Sir Jonathan Gasser

Johnny Smith

"Jazz Studio 1", Decca, 1953

Hen Gates

Jimmy Forman

 

Hen Gates

Dizzy Gillespie

Charlie Parker, Savoy, 1945

Jimmy Gloomy

James Moody

Tubby Hayes "Tubby's Back In Town", Smash, 1962

Doc Goldberg

Milt Hinton

George Williams "We Could Make Such Beautiful Music", RCA

Izzy Goldberg

Dizzy Gillespie

 

Goliath

Lou Bennett

Jack Sels, Delahay, 1961

DaWilli Gonga

George Duke

Cal Tjader "Amazonas", Fantasy; Joe Henderson "Black Miracle", Milestone, 1975; Tom Waits "Blue Valentine", 1978; others.

Blue Grant

Grant Green

Don Patterson "Tune Up", Prestige, 1971

Roy Green

Ray Brown

Joyce Collins "Girl Here Plays Mean Piano", Jazzland, 1960

Rod Gregory

Dick Hyman

"Holiday For Lovers", Waldorf, c. 1955

Earl Grey

Lou Levy

Shorty Rogers "Martians Come Back", Atlantic, 1955

Zane Grudge

Don Lamond

Guss Hoo "New York Land Dixie", RCA, 1956

Aye Guy

Nat King Cole

Lester Young "Trio", Clef, 1946

Ruth Haag

Betty Grable

Harry James, Columbia, 1945

Sir Osbert Haberdasher

Jimmy Raney

Al Cohn, "Mr. Music", RCA, 1954

Carleton Harkins

Coleman Hawkins

Varsity Seven, Varsity, 1939

Bunny Harris

Jimmy Raney

Dick Collins "King Richard...", RCA, 1954

Bernie Hart

Milt Bernhart

Jerry Fielding "Swingin' In Hi Fi", Decca, 1956

Harvey

Johnny Hodges

Billy Taylor, Keynote, 1944

Bert Herbert

Herb Geller

"Jazz Studio 4", Decca, 1955

Junior Hifitz

Milt Hinton

Gus Hoo "New York Land Dixie", RCA 1956

Gus Hoo

Billy Butterfield

"New York Land Dixie", RCA, 1956

Ike Horowitz

Al Cohn

Urbie Green "East Coast Jazz", Bethlehem, 1955

Shoeless Joe Jackson

Mel Powell

JATP, Disc, 1946

Shoeless John Jackson

Benny Goodman

Mel Powell, Commodore, 1942

John Jackson

Benny Goodman

Teddy Wilson, Brunswick, 1936

Sonny Jackson

King Curtis

Sue, 1961

Jo Jaguar

Martial Solal

Vogue EPs, 1956

Jinx Jingles

Teddy Charles

Donald Byrd & Pepper Adams, Warwick, 1961

Phil Johnson

George Shearing

Night Blooming Jazzmen, Mainstream, 1973

Spider Johnson

Cannonball Adderley

Riverside single, 1962

Little Jazz

Roy Eldridge

Little Jazz Ensemble, Keynote

Jug

Gene Ammons

Bennie Green "Soul Stirrin'", Blue Note, 1958

Stix Kahn

Teddy Charles

"Mundell Lowe Quintet", RCA Victor, 1954

Ken Kenney

Red Norvo

"Jazz Studio 4", Decca, 1955

Chuck Kidde

Charlie Shavers

Coleman Hawkins "Hawk in Hi Fi, RCA Victor, 1956

John Kildare

Dizzy Gillespie

Albinia Jones, National, 1945

Oliver King

Thad Jones

Charles Mingus/John LaPorta "Jazzical Moods", Period, 1954

Willie "The Rock" Knox

Dick Hyman

"Ragtime Piano", Waldorf, c. 1955

Kokomo

Jimmy Wisner

"Asia Minor", Felsted

Felix Krull

Horace Parlan

Booker Ervin "That's It", Candid, 1961

Buckshot La Funke

Cannonball Adderley

" Here Comes Louis Smith ", Blue Note, 1958

Bob Landy

Bob Dylan

"The Blues Project", Elektra

George Lane

Eric Dolphy

John Coltrane "Ole", Atlantic, 1961

Vera Lane

Helen Ward

Teddy Wilson, Brunswick, 1936

Kansas Lawrence

Carmell Jones

Vi Redd "Bird Call", United Artists, 1962

Bengt Laxeau

Bengt Hallberg

Monica Zetterlund "Swedish Sensation", Columbia, 1958

L. Lee

Benny Carter

Lionel Hampton, Victor, 1939

Bud Legge

Bud Shank

June Christy "The Intimate June Christy", Capitol, 1963

Often LePow

Seldon Powell

George Williams "We Could Make Such Beautiful Music", RCA

Jelly Roll Lipschitz

Leonard Feather

Leo Watson, Signature, 1946

Little Brother

Nat Adderley

King Curtis "The New Scene Of King Curtis", New Jazz, 1960

Red Loring

Red Nichols

Julia Lee, Capitol, 1947

Hey Louis

Louis Hayes

Pepper Adams & Donald Byrd "Motor City Scene", Bethlehem

Manhattan Red

Urbie Green

Jimmy McPartland, Design, 1960

Maurice

Fats Waller

Eddie Condon, Commodore, 1940

Buddy Maynard

Maynard Ferguson

Jerry Fielding "Swingin' In Hi Fi", Decca, 1956

Henry McDode

Hampton Hawes

Jimmy Witherspoon "Singin' The Blues", World Pacific, 1958

Moe and Joe

J.J. Johnson & Kai Winding

Tony Aless "Long Island Suite", Roost, 1956

Wilbur Mosby

Don Patterson

 

Rock Murphy

Barney Kessel

Verve 45's

Shorty Nadine

Nat King Cole

Jazz At The Philharmonic, Disc, 1944

Virgil Nameless

Johnny Dankworth

 

Nature Boy

Nat "King" Cole

Stan Getz "Groovin' High", Crown, 1947

Lord Nelson

Sonny Stitt

Sensation, 1948

Jimmy O'Heigho

Jimmy Cleveland

George Williams "Rhythm Was His Business", RCA, 1956

Hammond Olson

Reinhold Svensson

Metronome, 1952

Olson Brothers

Reinhold Svensson & Charles Norman

Esquire?, 1950

A. N. Other

Allen Eager

 

Knuckles O'Toole

Dick Hyman

Waldorf and other labels, 1950s

Pete Pesci

Bobby Hackett

Eddie Condon, "Bixieland", Columbia, 1955

Hunt Peters

J.J. Johnson

Elvin Jones "And Then Again", Atlantic, 1965

Ronnie Peters

Cannonball Adderley

Milt Jackson "Plenty Plenty Soul", Atlantic, 1957

Fefe Phophum

Hal McKusick

Gus Hoo "New York Land Dixie", RCA 1956

Mac Pierce

Hugh McCracken

King Curtis "Trouble In Mind", Tru-Sound, 1961

Buddy Poor

Buddy Rich

Harry James "Wild About Harry", Capitol, 1957

Al Portch

Laurindo Almeida

Pete Rugolo "Percussion At Work", Mercury, 1957

Cue Porter

Johnny Hodges

Billy Strayhorn "Cue For Saxophone", Felsted, 1958

Al Price

Bill Berry

 

Bubber Prince

Sammy Price

Albinia Jones, National, 1945

The Prince

Shorty Rogers

"Jazz Studio 4", Decca, 1955

Amanda B. Reckondwith

Ruth Underwood

George Duke

Ragtime Reinhold

Reinhold Svensson

Metronome, 1953 & 1955

Dirty Rivers

Muddy Waters

Otis Spann "The Blues Never Die", Prestige, 1964

Little Rock

Pharoah Sanders

Leon Thomas "Spirits Known and Unknown", Flying Dutchman, 1969

Jolly Roger

Shorty Rogers

Teddy Charles "New Directions", Prestige, 1953

Slim Romero

Fats Navarro

Illinois Jacquet, Aladdin, 1947

Swing Roo

Cozy Cole

Teddy Wilson, Brunswick, 1937

Art Salt

Art Pepper

Shorty Rogers "Cool & Crazy", RCA Victor, 1954

Steve Sax

Steve Lacy

Joe Lee Wilson "Secrets From the Sun", Sun, c. 1976

Joe Scott

Wynton Kelly

Sonny Criss "At The Crossroads", Peacock, 1959

Manny Shell

Shelly Manne

"Wild One" soundtrack, Decca, 1954

Roger Short

Shorty Rogers

"Wild One" soundtrack, Decca, 1954

C.C. Siegel

J.J. Johnson

Charlie Parker 10th Memorial Concert", Limelight, 1965

Big Skol

Sonny Boy Williamson

Roland Kirk "Kirk in Copenhagen", Mercury, 1963

Brother Soul

Milt Jackson

Quincy Jones "This Is How I Feel About Jazz", ABC, 1956

George Spelvin

Bud Shank

 

Joe Splink

Clifford Scott

Richard Groove Holmes "Somethin' Special", Pacific Jazz;
Carmell Jones "Business Meeting" Pacific Jazz

Kant Standhim

Stan Kenton

 

Ken Stanton

Stan Kenton

 

Cinderella G. Stump

Jo Stafford

Red Ingle, Capitol, 1947

Mad Milt Summerblouse

Boomie Richman

Gus Hoo "New York Land Dixie", RCA 1956

Theoshis Tannis

Roland Kirk

Eddie Baccus "Feel Real", Smash, 1962

Erskine Tearblotter

Lou McGarity

Gus Hoo "New York Land Dixie", RCA 1956

A Tenor man

Ben Webster

Carmen McRae "Birds Of A Feather", Decca, 1958

Ed Theodore

Prob. Teddy Edwards

Mel Tormé "I Dig The Duke, I Dig The Count", Verve, 1960-61

Zeke Tolin (anagram of Lee Konitz)

Lee Konitz

"Gil Evans +10", Prestige, 1957

Blue Train

John Coltrane

Cecil Taylor "Stereo Drive", United Artists, 1958

Bernard Trapps

Buddy Rich

George Freeman "Man & Woman ", Groove Merchant, 1974

Flip Turner

Flip Phillips

Jazz At The Philharmonic, Mercury, 1947

Shad Turner

Jay Johnson

 

Peter Urban

Art Farmer

Teddy Charles "Tentet", Atlantic, 1956

James Van Dyke

Jimmy Cleveland

Gigi Gryce, "Orchestra/Quartet", Signal, 1955

Luke "The Wailer"

Danny Bank

George Handy "Handyland, U.S.A.", 1954

Wally Wales

Bobby Hackett

George Wein, "George Wein Sings", Atlantic, 1955

Herb Walsh

Herb Geller

"Best From The West", Blue Note, 1954-55

Billy Ward

Buster Bailey

Oriole, 1925

Jim Whatsmyname

Jimmy Cleveland

Lucky Thompson's ABC Paramount Lps, 1956

The Wizzard

Raymond Cheng

Frank Lowe, "Black Beings", ESP

Eddie Wood

Eddie Heywood

Rex Stewart, Capitol, 1945

Baldy Wynn

Moe Wechsler

Gus Hoo "New York Land Dixie", RCA 1956

Drummer X

Chico Hamilton

John Pisano/Billy Bean "Makin' It, Decca, 1958

Trumpeter X

Harry Edison

Manny Albam "Jazz Greats...", Coral, 1957

Ennam Yllehs

Shelly Manne

Dave Pell, "The Big Small Bands" Capitol, 1959

Ashby de la Zooch

Irving Ashby

Charles Mingus, Four Star, 1946

Jack Zoot

Zoot Sims

Ernie Wilkins, RCA, 1955


Contributors: Chuck Nessa, Dave Royko, Francois Ziegler, Martin Milgrim, John Hood, Tim Brockett, Anthony Agostinelli, Linda Shank, Ed Barr, John Pickworth, Peter Friedman, Doug Norwood, Luca Conti, David Toman, Henry Schmidt, Dennis Whitling, Ed Berger, M. Heckman, Steve Schwartz, Jonathan Kutler, Danny D'Imperio, Tim Hume, Phil Stein, Lenny Mazel, Bob Roberts, Paul Costuros, Larry Israel and Bill Gallagher.

Special thanks to Michael Fitzgerald and his Jazz Research page .


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