Leon Abbey

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Leon Abbey

Leon Alexander Abbey (born May 7, 1900 in Minneapolis , † September 15, 1975 in Chicago ) was an American jazz violinist and bandleader who contributed to the worldwide spread of jazz through his tours in the 1920s and 1930s .

Live and act

Leon Abbey began directing various ensembles in Minneapolis in the late 1910s. Abbey was a member of J. Rosamund Johnson's (1873–1954) orchestra from 1920. In early 1925 he accompanied the blues singer Clara Smith on her recordings of You Better Keep the Home Fires Burning and If You Only Knowed . For the opening of the New York Savoy Ballroom , he was engaged with his Charleston Bearcats , which he then called the Savoy Bearcats due to the length of the engagement in the Savoy and with whom he also recorded for Victor in 1926. After the engagement in the Savoy ended , the group continued to perform under his name.

In 1927 Abbey went to Buenos Aires with his band ; he performed in Latin America for a year. He played with a newly formed band for several years in France, England, Switzerland and the Netherlands (in 1930 Cyril Blake and Rudolph Dunbar belonged to his band). In 1936, he took with musicians like Rudy Jackson , Castor McCord and Emile Christian to a commitment to India; he was the first to play swing music in Bombay with his nonet . He then toured Sweden and Norway with his band.

Abbey did not return to America until after the start of World War II , where he served as the musical director of Ethel Waters' band . In 1941 he founded his own trio in New York; he then went to Chicago, where he played in a trio with pianist Barrington Perry and bassist Rail Wilson. In the early 1950s he was already playing the electrically amplified violin, and in the mid-1950s he also ran his own nightclub in Chicago for recordings (1954 for Parrot Records ). He worked as a musician until 1964.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Eugene Chadbourne: Leon Abbey. In: www.allmusic.com. Retrieved November 27, 2017 (English).
  2. At the time, this band was considered one of the "hottest" bands in New York. Such a portrait of Abbey and his bearcats on redhotjazz
  3. Taj Mahal: A Dance Hall of History
  4. Norwegian Jazz History 1920-1949 (Norwegian)
  5. ^ History of the violin in jazz (PDF; 114 kB) Fiddle sessions