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Stu Williamson

Stu Williamson was an American jazz trumpeter. Born in Brattleboro, Vermont, Williamson was the younger brother of jazz pianist Claude Williamson. Williamson relocated to Los Angeles in 1949 and became a regular on the West Coast scene, playing with Stan Kenton (1951, 1954-1955), Woody Herman (1952-1953), Billy May, and Charlie Barnet. Between 1954 and 1958 he played intermittently with Shelly Manne, and was a ubiquitous session musician up until 1968, when he retired from music. He battled drug addiction for much of his life, including for years after he left music. He died in Studio City, California in 1991.

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

New Faces - New Sounds

Read "New Faces - New Sounds" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Jazz is littered with musicians like Elmo Hope: young, talented and, ultimately, doomed because of racism, poverty, and chemical dependency. Born in jny: New York City, the son of immigrants from the Caribbean, Hope managed to release more than a baker's dozen of studio recordings in as many years, before dying of drug addiction-related health problems ...

Meet Davis Wilson

Read "Meet Davis Wilson" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper

Jeopardy contestant, amateur pianist, dance teacher, actor, sailor, postal worker, our July Super Fan has lived all over the place and done it all. Now based in St. Paul, Minnesota, he met “zillions of artists" as keeper of the flame at the old Artists' Quarter jazz club. But he stumbled upon one of the most memorable ...

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

Shorty Rogers: Short Stops

Read "Shorty Rogers: Short Stops" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

In the 1980s, trumpeter and Kenton alum Mike Vax put together a Supersax-type group called TRPTS. It released an album of harmonized trumpet classics, one of which was “Short Stop." There are lots of great tunes including “Night in Tunisia," “Trumpet Blues and Cantabile," and “Heckler's Hop." Oh yeah, one I never heard, Shorty Rogers' Short ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Weekend Extra: Shelly Manne and Friends

Weekend Extra: Shelly Manne and Friends

From 1960 to 1972 in Hollywood, drummer Shelly Manne operated Shelly’s Manne Hole, one of the great jazz clubs in the world. It was headquarters for his quintet known as Shelly Manne And His Men, which over the years included many of the era’s premier players, among them Charlie Mariano, Bill Holman, Richie Kamuca, Conte Candoli, ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Stan Kenton: Road Shows

Read "Stan Kenton: Road Shows" reviewed by Jack Bowers

For younger readers: yes, there was a time long ago when large groups of talented jazz musicians traveled without respite from city to city and town to town, braving one-night stands or more night after night in (mostly) sold-out concert halls, dance halls, pavilions, nightclubs, schools and other venues. They were known as big bands, so ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Stu Williamson: Two Januarys

Stu Williamson: Two Januarys

It was gratifying last week to hear that New York's Verse Music was remastering and re-issuing the entire Bethlehem catalog. The 1950s label not only consistently released superb albums on both coasts but also pioneered the early use of glossy color-saturated covers that tapped into consumer moods. This trend was the innovation of Creed Taylor, who ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Did Stan Kenton Swing? You Bet Your Walkin' Shoes He Did...

Read "Did Stan Kenton Swing? You Bet Your Walkin' Shoes He Did..." reviewed by Jack Bowers

I've been listening to a lot of Stan Kenton's music recently while coming to grips with the age-old question, did the Kenton orchestra really swing? The answer, to me, is a no-brainer: Yes, Kenton swung. Liberally and often. [Note: This of course depends on how “swinging" is defined; opinions may vary]. In his own way--although he'd ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND CARAVAN

Skelton Skinner All Stars / Clare Fischer Big Band / Ron Carter's Great Big Band

Read "Skelton Skinner All Stars / Clare Fischer Big Band / Ron Carter's Great Big Band" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Skelton Skinner Allstars Big BandCookin' with the Lid OnDiving Duck Records2012 Back in the late 1950s, vibraphonist Terry Gibbs (with some help from his friends) put together an ensemble that became known as the Terry Gibbs Dream Band, took up residence in Hollywood and began blowing audiences ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Salute to Stan Kenton: Artistry in Contrast

Read "Salute to Stan Kenton: Artistry in Contrast" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Artistry in Rhythm, the Ken Poston / Los Angeles Jazz Institute's 2009 homage to the renowned bandleader Stan Kenton, was held October 8-11 at the Sheraton LAX Four Points Hotel. As always, there was much to see, hear and admire: films, panel discussions, special presentations and, last but not least, no fewer than nineteen concerts by ...


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