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Sonny Igoe

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A fine big band drummer, Sonny Igoe was inspired by Gene Krupa, Kenny Clarke and Max Roach. He was originally self-taught and at age 16 won a Gene Krupa drumming contest. Igoe was in the Army during 1942-46 and then played with Tommy Reed (1946-47), Les Elagart (1947) and Ina Ray Hutton (1948). His most significant musical associations were with Benny Goodman (the bebop band of 1948-49), Woody Herman's Third Herd (1950-52) and Charlie Ventura (1953-55). Since then Igoe has spent most of his career as a studio musician and as a teacher. However he has remained active and, starting in the 1980's, he frequently co-led a big band with Dick Meldonian which recorded several albums for Progressive.

Article: In Pictures

Tommy Igoe and the Birdland All Stars at the Sandler Center for the Arts

Read "Tommy Igoe and the Birdland All Stars at the Sandler Center for the Arts" reviewed by Mark Robbins


In 2014 Tommy Igoe was voted the Worlds #1 Jazz Drummer in a Modern Drummers Readers Poll. Once you see him in action, you'll know why. Backed by his nine piece Birdland All-Star Band Igoe more than lives up to his reputation. Think of Buddy Rich on steroids. Steely Dan, the Beatles, Snarky Puppy, Latin, David ...

News: Recording

Dick Meldonian and Sonny Igoe

Dick Meldonian and Sonny Igoe

Saxophonist Dick Meldonian began his recording career in Charlie Barnet's band in 1950. He then moved on to Stan Kenton at the start of 1952. He remained with Kenton until the mid-1950s, when he left to record on 12-inch LPs with Pat Moran, Sam Most, Erroll Garner, Nat Pierce, Bill Russo, Marion Evans (he's on the ...

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Article: Film Review

Woody Herman: Blue Flame - Portrait Of A Legend

Read "Woody Herman: Blue Flame - Portrait Of A Legend" reviewed by Edward Blanco


Woody HermanBlue Flame--Portrait Of A LegandJazzed Media 2012Born on May 16, 1913, Woodrow Charles “Woody" Herman is the subject of this feature-length documentary, produced by Jazzed Media's Graham Carter in association with Al Julian's The Woody Herman Society in recognition of the clarinetist, saxophonist, singer, bandleader and American ...

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Article: Film Review

Woody Herman: Blue Flame - Portrait Of A Jazz Legend

Read "Woody Herman: Blue Flame - Portrait Of A Jazz Legend" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Woody HermanBlue Flame: Portrait Of A Jazz LegendJazzed Media2012 Innovation and boundary pushing is often seen as a young man's game, so the obvious question is, how did clarinetist/saxophonist/vocalist/bandleader extraordinaire Woody Herman manage to keep things fresh for virtually his entire half-century run? The answer is so ...

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Article: Big Band Report

The "Desert Island" Revisited

Read "The "Desert Island" Revisited" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Back in the last millennium, shortly after this column first saw the light of day, I posted a list of twenty “desert island" albums, those that would be snugly ensconced in a crash-proof, water-tight carrying case should yours truly ever be marooned on a miniature atoll with nothing to relieve the boredom save palm trees, coconuts, ...

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News: Obituary

Sonny Igoe, 1923-2012

Sonny Igoe, 1923-2012

Sonny Igoe, who played drums with a succession of prominent leaders, died this week at the age of 88. In 1939 when Igoe was 16, he won the first Gene Krupadrum competition. After four years in the United States Marine Corps in World War Two, he worked briefly in a band of former Marines, then began ...


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