Barney Bigard

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From left: Jack Teagarden, Sandy DeSantis, Velma Middleton, Fraser MacPherson, Cozy Cole, Arvell Shaw, Earl Hines, Barney Bigard. At the Palomar Supper Club, March 17, 1951.

Barney Bigard , actually Leonard Albany Bigard, (* 3. March 1906 in New Orleans , Louisiana ; † 27. June 1980 in Culver City , California ) was an American jazz - clarinet .

Live and act

Bigard came from a Creole family and had a number of musical relatives; his cousins ​​were Natty Dominique and Armand J. Piron . He received his first clarinet lessons from Lorenzo Tio jr. , one of the most important clarinetists of the early years of New Orleans Jazz . As a teenager, he played in the famous Tom Anderson's, a cabaret that featured a number of leading black jazz musicians in the fading days of Storyville . As a clarinetist and tenor saxophonist he played with Albert Nicholas in 1922 . After briefly working at Octave Gaspard, Amos White and Luis Russell , he returned to Nicholas and went with him to Chicago in 1924 .

In 1925 Bigard got an engagement with King Oliver , who appeared in the Plantation Cafe . After a few short stops - u. a. in the band of Luis Russell, who played "The Nest" in the legendary Harlem breakfast bar - in January 1928 he switched to the Duke Ellington orchestra . In the 14 years of his membership in this formation he became world-famous and contributed significantly to the typical style of the Ellington Orchestra through his way of playing the clarinet . Titles like " Mood Indigo ", which he wrote with Mitchell Parish , were his, even if this was not always recorded on the records. The simple basic motif on which Ellington's “ C Jam Blues ” (1942) is based is also attributed to him. In 1937 the version of the Ellington classic " Caravan ", recorded under his name, hit the charts and appeared in 1955 on The Duke's Men .

At the end of 1940 he took part in the legendary concert in Fargo, North Dakota . In 1942, after leaving the Ellington Orchestra, he moved to Los Angeles and worked for a time with his own band, with which he accompanied Etta Jones on her recordings for Black & White Records . He had a hit in the "Harlem Hit Parade" (the forerunner of the R&B charts) in 1942 with "C Blues". From the mid-1940s he played with Kid Ory again and again, only to work in the following years mainly in Louis Armstrong's various all-star groups . In 1955 he left Armstrong's group in order to occasionally perform with other jazz musicians and make recordings. In 1958/59 he led a band with Cozy Cole , with which he a. a. performed in Las Vegas . In 1961 he returned briefly to Armstrong; from 1962 Bigard withdrew into private life, but still appeared occasionally with Earl Hines , Muggsy Spanier , Ben Pollack and Rex Stewart . In 1971 he went on a college tour with Art Hodes , Wild Bill Davison and Eddie Condon . In the mid-1970s he was a guest. a. at the festivals of Pescara, San Sebastian, Bordeaux and Newport , most recently at the Nice Jazz Festival in 1979.

In 1986 his autobiography With Louis and the Duke was published .

Discographic notes


Web links

Commons : Barney Bigard  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Date of death according to Bohländer u. a. Reclams Jazzführer 1989, Allmusic Guide