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Sonny Payne

Born:

Sonny Payne was an American jazz drummer, best known for his work with Count Basie and Harry James. Payne's father was Wild Bill Davis's drummer Chris Columbus. After early study with Vic Berton, in 1944 Payne started playing professionally around New York with the Dud and Paul Bascomb band, Hot Lips Page, Earl Bostic (1945–1947), Tiny Grimes (between 1947 and 1950), and Lucille Dixon (1948). From 1950 to 1953, Payne played with Erskine Hawkins' big band, and led his own band for two years, but in late December, 1954, he made his most significant move, joining Count Basie's big band for ten years of constant touring and recording

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Article: Profile

Gaga, Bennett, The Count, Presidents: Harold Jones Drums Across History

Read "Gaga, Bennett, The Count, Presidents: Harold Jones Drums Across History" reviewed by Arthur R George


When Tony Bennett stepped past the twilight of Alzheimer's onto the stage of Radio City Music Hall in jny: New York City in August 2021, drummer Harold Jones was there ready for him, as he had been for Bennett over the past seventeen years, in a friendship going back to 1968. Lady Gaga, the popstar recreated ...

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Article: Interview

Ulysses Owens: Big Band, Big Sound

Read "Ulysses Owens: Big Band, Big Sound" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Some jazz drummers, as remarkable as they may be and as successful as their careers are, just aren't suited to drive a big band. It's not for every percussionist. But every big band needs a good one or the effort will fall short. A ship needs a rudder. Ulysses Owens Jr., who started beating out rhythms ...

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Article: Interview

Joe Farnsworth: Friends In High Places

Read "Joe Farnsworth: Friends In High Places" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Joe Farnsworth is one of the top jazz drummers working today, with a resume that includes some of the absolute greats. His muscular swing and precise timekeeping have been attractive to employers like Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall, McCoy Tyner, George Coleman, Pharoah Sanders, Eric Alexander, Benny Golson and many more. He likes to say ...

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Article: Live Review

The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia with Joey DeFrancesco at the Kimmel Center

Read "The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia with Joey DeFrancesco at the Kimmel Center" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia with Joey DeFrancesco Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts Philadelphia, PA June 1, 2019 The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP), under the leadership of trumpeter Terell Stafford, has produced a series of action-packed concerts at the Kimmel Center, featuring special guest artists, all ...

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Article: SoCal Jazz

Michael Lauren: Give My Regards To Portugal

Read "Michael Lauren: Give My Regards To Portugal" reviewed by Jim Worsley


From Broadway to jazz to Portugal. A circuitous route for sure. One that has, however, served international musician Michael Lauren well. The now seventy-year- old multi-styled drummer came out of the womb with a kick pedal and has been holding down a symphony of beats ever since. Over the years he has played or recorded with ...

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Article: Book Review

Good Morning Blues

Read "Good Morning Blues" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci


Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie as told to Albert Murray William James Basie 399 Pages ISBN: 978-1-5179-0143-1 University of Minnesota Press 2016 (1985) In May 1959 Count Basie and his Orchestra played a “Breakfast Dance and Barbecue," like back in Kansas City, hosted by Roulette ...

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Article: Interview

D'Vonne Lewis: It's About the Love

Read "D'Vonne Lewis: It's About the Love" reviewed by Paul Rauch


On the Seattle jazz scene, no musician is more visible than drummer D'Vonne Lewis. Whether he is touring and playing with his band Industrial Revelation, leading his flexible and innovative combo, D'Vonne Lewis Limited Edition, or playing as a sideman on multiple projects around town, Lewis brings to the bandstand a remarkable versatility, and musical identity ...

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Article: Interview

Victor Lewis: The Drummer's Spirit

Read "Victor Lewis: The Drummer's Spirit" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


For several decades, Victor Lewis has been one of the most in-demand drummers of the post-bop era and beyond. He has performed with Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, J.J. Johnson, Chet Baker, George Cables, Woody Shaw, Kenny Barron, Bobby Watson, and others of similar stature. On account of his exceptional ability to push the envelope of musical ...

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Article: Interview

Ron Aprea: Passion Supreme

Read "Ron Aprea: Passion Supreme" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


Ron Aprea is a saxophonist's saxophonist. After all, none less than the late, great Frank Foster called him friend, confidant, section mate and leader. And Foster wasn't alone in this regard. Aprea has been a mainstay and graced the sax section in the bands of Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman and many others. A multi-faceted musician with ...


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