De Basement Bigband speelt voornamelijk stukken uit de jazz-stijlen Swing, Bebob, Cool Jazz en Hard Bob maar neemt ook nog wel eens een uitstapje naar Latin en andere stijlen. Altijd wordt zoveel mogelijk van originele arrangementen gespeeld wat voor een amateur bigband niet altijd vanzelfsprekend is. Enkele van onze geliefde componisten/arrangeurs zijn:
Alan Baylock is quickly becoming recognized as one of the most creative young voices in the music business today. He is in demand as a composer, arranger, conductor, producer, instrumentalist, and educator. Based in Washington, DC, Alan is the chief arranger for the USAF Airmen of Note jazz ensemble, and is the leader of the Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra.
Mr. Baylock’s music has been performed and/or recorded by jazz greats Maynard Ferguson, Freddie Hubbard, Michael Brecker, Phil Woods, David Liebman, Jerry Bergonzi, Bobby Shew, Kenny Werner, Paquito D’Rivera, Tierney Sutton, and many more. His eclectic talents have also led him to writing music for Roy Clark, Wynonna, Chaka Khan, Spyro Gyra, Ronan Tynan, and symphony orchestras across the country and abroad. An inspiring educator, Alan continues to write music for high school and collegiate level jazz ensembles, much of which is published by Alfred.
Two Seconds to Midnight, the debut recording of the Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra (ABJO), was released in October 2003 on Seabreeze Records. After receiving international critical acclaim, the CD spent eight weeks on the JazzWeek national jazz radio top 40 chart. In January 2007, the Airmen of Note released Out in Front, a recording that features 13 of Mr. Baylock’s arrangements. The ABJO will release its newest recording, Setting the Standard, later this year.
“Alan Baylock has achieved a goal that many artists aspire to, but often fail to reach: he has developed his own distinct sound as a composer. His writing is fresh, and is imbued with a great sense of spirit and fun.” — Gordon Goodwin, Grammy & Emmy Award-winning composer/bandleader.
Born September 23, 1928 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Frank Benjamin Foster III began his long musical career at age eleven, when he took up the clarinet. Two years later he began playing alto saxophone, advancing technically to the point of performing with local dance bands at age 14. He began to compose and arrange at 15, and led his own 12- piece band while still only a senior in high school. Foster attended Wilberforce University, then left for Detroit in 1949 (with trumpeter Snooky Young) where he played with such local musicians as Wardell Gray.
Upon finishing his military service in 1953, Foster joined Count Basie’s big band (replacing Eddie Lockjaw Davis) on the recommendation of Ernie Wilkins. In addition to his full throated tenor playing, Foster contributed original material to the band including the standard, “Shiny Stockings,” and other popular songs including “Down For The Count,” “Blues Backstage,” “Back to the Apple,” “Discommotion,” and “Blues In Hoss Flat” as well as arrangements for the entire Easin’ It album.
“I wrote `Shiny Stockings’ in 1955,” Foster told Bob Bernotas. “We had a rehearsal at a place called Pep’s Bar in Philadelphia. We had just arrived in town. Everybody was sleepy, tired, hungry, and evil. Nobody felt like rehearsing. We rehearsed `Shiny Stockings’ and it sounded like a bunch of jumbled notes, just noise, and I said, `Wow, all the work I put into this, and it sounds so horrible. I know Basie will never play it.’ And then something very strange happened. He continued to play and it came together. Finally, we recorded it and, well, it’s the very best known piece that I have contributed to the Basie book.”
After ten-plus years, Foster departed Basie’s band in 1964, and began working as a freelance arranger and musician providing material for Sarah Vaughan and Frank Sinatra, among others. From 1970 to 1975 he brought his mighty tenor to a variety of situations including the bandstands of Elvin Jones, George Coleman, Joe Farrell and the Thad Jones�”Mel Lewis big band. Foster also led the Living Color and Loud Minority Big Bands; co-led a quintet with Frank Wess in 1983, and toured Europe as a member of Jimmy Smith’s quintet in 1985. Foster succeeded Thad Jones as leader of the Basie band in 1986, where he remained until 1995.
Foster has recorded many albums as a leader, including Here Comes Frank Foster (Blue Note, 1954), Two Franks Please! (Savoy, 1957), Fearless Frank Foster (Prestige, 1965), Manhattan Fever (Blue Note, 1968), Shiny Stockings (Denon, 1987), Frankly Speaking (Concord, 1995), and Swing (Challenge, 1998).
Foster is the recipient of two Grammy Awards: the first, for his big band arrangement of the Diane Schuur composition, “Deedles’ Blues, “ (Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocal, 1987), and the second for his arrangement of guitarist/vocalist George Benson’s composition, “Basie’s Bag” (Best Instrumental Arrangement, Jazz Category, 1988). He also received two Grammy nominations: first, for his big band arrangement of Charles Trenet’s composition, ”Beyond The Sea,” and next for an album with his fellow Basie alumnus Frank Wess entitled Frankly Speaking.
Frank Foster is currently celebrating 60 years in music. His career highlights include stints with The Lloyd Price Orchestra, The Lionel Hampton Orchestra, and The Woody Herman Orchestra. In addition, Foster has performed with Johnny Richards, Duke Pearson, and Benny Goodman.
Throughout his career Foster has received many writing commissions. He has composed and orchestrated material for The Carnegie Hall Jazz Ensemble, The Detroit Civic Symphony Orchestra, The Ithaca College Jazz Ensemble, The Jazzmobile Corporation of New York City, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Malaysia Symphony Orchestra, The Metropole Orchestra of Hilversum, Holland, and The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. In 1983 Dizzy Gillespie personally commissioned Frank Foster to orchestrate one of the jazz icon’s compositions, “Con Alma,” for a scheduled performance and recording with The London Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Robert Farnon.
After resigning as leader of The Count Basie Orchestra in 1995, Foster resumed his leadership of three musical groups, The Non-Electric Company, a jazz quartet, Swing Plus, a 12-piece dance band, and The Loud Minority Big Band, an 18-piece concert jazz orchestra, each of which he had organized years prior to assuming leadership of the Basie unit in 1986.
In 2006, The Harper’s Ferry Historical Association of Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia commissioned Foster to compose and conduct a jazz suite to be performed by The Count Basie Orchestra as part of the three-day celebration to commemorate the “Niagara movement,” which relates to John Brown’s famous raid on Harper’s Ferry.
Frank Foster suffered a stroke in 2001 that impaired his left side to the extent that he could no longer play the saxophone. As a result he disbanded his quartet; however, he continued to lead Swing Plus and The Loud Minority Big Band on limited engagements, mostly in the New York City area. He also continued arranging and composing at his home in Chesapeake, Virginia, where he resides with his wife and personal manager of nearly 40 years, Cecilia Foster.
Frank Foster passed on July,26, 2011.
John Clayton is a natural born multitasker. The multiple roles in which he excels — composer, arranger, conductor, producer, educator, and yes, extraordinary bassist — garner him a number of challenging assignments and commissions. With a Grammy on his shelf and eight additional nominations, artists such as Diana Krall, Paul McCartney, McCoy Tyner, Milt Jackson, Regina Carter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Gladys Knight, Dr. John, Queen Latifah, and Charles Aznevour vie for a spot on his crowded calendar.
He began his bass career in elementary school playing in strings class, junior orchestra, high school jazz band, orchestra, and soul/R&B groups. In 1969, at the age of 16, he enrolled in bassist Ray Brown’s jazz class at UCLA, beginning a close relationship that lasted more than three decades. After graduating from Indiana University’s School of Music with a degree in bass performance in 1975, he toured with the Monty Alexander Trio (1975-77), the Count Basie Orchestra (1977-79), and settled in as principal bassist with the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in Amsterdam, Netherlands (1980-85). He was also a bass instructor at The Royal Conservatory, The Hague, Holland from 1980-83.
In 1985 he returned to California, co-founded the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, rekindled the The Clayton Brothers quintet, and taught part-time bass at Cal State Long Beach, UCLA and USC. In 1988 he joined he faculty of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where he taught until 2009. Now, in addition to individual clinics, workshops, and private students as schedule permits, John also directs the educational components associated with the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Centrum Festival, and Vail Jazz Party.
Career highlights include arranging the ‘Star Spangled Banner” for Whitney Houston’s performance at Super Bowl 1990 (the recording went platinum), playing bass on Paul McCartney’s CD “Kisses On The Bottom,” arranging and playing bass with Yo-Yo Ma and Friends on “Songs of Joy and Peace,” arranging playing and conducting the 2009 CD “Charles Aznavour With the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra,” and numerous recordings with Diana Krall, the Clayton Brothers, Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Milt Jackson, Monty Alexander, et al.
Herbie Hancock is a true icon of modern music. Throughout his explorations, he has transcended limitations and genres while still maintaining his unique, unmistakable voice. Herbie’s success at expanding the possibilities of musical thought has placed him in the annals of this century’s visionaries. With an illustrious career spanning five decades, he continues to amaze audiences and never ceases to expand the public’s vision of what music, particularly jazz, is all about today.
Herbolzheimer migrated from communist Romania to West Germany in 1951. In 1953 he moved to the United States of America, where he worked as guitarist.
He returned to Germany in 1957, took up the trombone and for one year studied at Nuremberg Conservatory. In the 1960s he played with the Nuremberg radio dance orchestra and with Bert Kämpfert’s orchestra. In 1968 he became member of the pit orchestra of Hamburg theater (Deutsches Schauspielhaus) directed by Hans Koller.
In 1969 Herbolzheimer formed his Rhythm Combination and Brass (RC&B) for which he wrote most of the arrangements. This big band was unique in that it had an international lineup of eight brass, but originally only one saxophone, with Herb Geller in that chair.
In 1972 Herbolzheimer wrote music for the Edelhagen Band’s opening of the Olympic Games in Munich. Later he worked for German television as leader and arranger, and accompanied visiting American musicians such as Al Jarreau and Dizzy Gillespie.
Between 1987 and 2006 Herbolzheimer was the musical director of Germany’s national youth jazz orchestra, the BundesJazzOrchester (BuJazzo). He conducts regular workshops and clinics for big band jazz.
Neal Hefti was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, tune writer, and arranger. He was perhaps best known for composing the theme music for the Batman television series of the 1960s, and for scoring the 1968 film The Odd Couple and the subsequent TV series of the same name.
He began arranging professionally in his teens, when he wrote charts for Nat Towles. He became a prominent composer and arranger while playing trumpet for Woody Herman; while working for Herman he provided new arrangements for “Woodchopper’s Ball” and “Blowin’ Up a Storm,” and composed “The Good Earth” and “Wild Root.” After leaving Herman’s band in 1946, Hefti concentrated on arranging and composing, although he occasionally led his own bands. He is especially known for his charts for Count Basie such as “Li’l Darlin’” and “Cute”. Obituary
As the actors Adam West and Burt Ward slid down to the Batcave during the title sequence of the twice-weekly 1960s series Batman, they emerged as Batman and Robin to the accompaniment of one of the best-known television themes of all. Built around a simple 12-bar blues, Neal Hefti’s “Na-na-na-na Na-na-na-na Batman!” theme was sung in school playgrounds across the world, and became the most-recorded song of 1966.
Hefti was a brilliant composer and arranger who created the scores for many other television shows and films, notably the two Neil Simon movies The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park. His score for Harlow included the song Girl Talk which has become a jazz standard.
Away from the world of Hollywood Hefti will be remembered as the man who shaped the sound of the postwar Count Basie Orchestra, and who also produced dozens of skilful, well-crafted arrangements for Woody Herman and Harry James.
Born in Hastings, Nebraska, Hefti was a child of the jazz age, and because his mother was a music teacher, he started piano lessons at the age of 3, becoming well-versed in theory and harmony by the time he took up the trumpet at 11. After winning several school prizes, he was to start making his living as a jazz trumpeter in the big bands of Charlie Barnet and Charlie Spivak.
He was already writing arrangements, having taught himself by trial and error in high school. He was supplying local dance bands with music well before he graduated.
After travelling to California with Spivak to make a film, Hefti stayed on the West Coast, joining Woody Herman’s band in 1944. Although he played in the trumpet section, this was when his arranging began to take precedence over his playing.
Hefti married the band’s singer, Frances Wayne, in 1945, but neither of them remained long in the group thereafter, as they settled in New York, with the idea that Hefti would focus on being a freelance studio musician and arranger. Writing in every genre and for all sizes of ensemble, he became adept at using small forces to create a big sound, and this stood him in good stead when economics forced Basie to scale down to an octet in 1949. Heft wrote numerous arrangements for the group, which sounded remarkably like a full big band on record, thanks to the skill of his settings.
When Basie eventually re-formed his full orchestra, Hefti became one of his principal writers. The album The Atomic Basie remains the best work that the group did in the 1950s, playing entirely Hefti’s arrangements.
He had started writing for Harry James in the late 1940s, but in the 1950s Hefti furnished James with numerous compositions, designed to feature the leader’s trumpet and the band’s star drummer Buddy Rich.
Nevertheless, Hefti was by this time writing in a similar style to that which he used for Basie, giving rise to the apocryphal story that when the two bands met on a television show, Basie drily asked James: “Are you going to play our arrangements first, or are we?”
Hefti also fronted his own band for a while in the 1950s, making such discs as The Band with Young Ideas, and he wrote and conducted albums for his wife. He contributed to some of Frank Sinatra’s most popular albums, including Frank Sinatra and Swinging Brass, which he also produced.
From the early 1960s onwards, he was increasingly involved in the world of films and television, winning a Grammy award for his Batman theme. After his wife’s death in 1978, however, he ceased to write and record new music. Nevertheless, not least because Basie continued to commission other writers to replicate his style, his effect on big band arranging and on film scores remained extremely influential.
Thaddeus Joseph Jones (March 28, 1923 – August 21, 1986) was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader.
He was born in Pontiac, Michigan to a musical family of ten (an older brother was pianist Hank Jones and a younger brother was drummer Elvin Jones). Thad Jones was a self taught musician, performing professionally by the age of sixteen. He served in U.S. Army bands during World War II (1943-46).
After the war, Thad Jones continued his professional music career, eventually winding up with Count Basie in 1954, for whom he arranged, composed, and performed. He stayed with Basie for nine years. Thad achieved critical acclaim during this time, but not for his work with Basie. Much of Jones’s music was stylistically original and didn’t always fit in with the Basie group which he left in 1963. In the early sixties he became a free lance arranger and performer in the New York area.
In 1965 he and drummer Mel Lewis formed the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band. The group initially began with informal late night jam sessions amongst New York’s top studio musicians. The group eventually began performing at the Village Vanguard, to wide acclaim, and continued with Jones in the lead for twelve years. In 1979 they won a Grammy Award for their album Live in Munich. Jones also taught at William Paterson College in New Jersey.
In 1978 Thad suddenly moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, (to the great surprise of his New York band mates), where several other American jazz musicians had gone to live. There, he formed a new band Eclipse, composed for The Danish Radio Big Band and taught jazz at the Royal Danish Conservatory in Copenhagen.
A year before his death, Jones came back to the U.S. to lead the Count Basie Orchestra but had to step down due to ill health. He returned to his home in Copenhagen for the last few months of his life. He died on August 21, 1986 after being hospitalized for months but his cause of death was not published. At the time of his death he had a six year old child, also named Thad Jones, with his wife Lis Jones. He is buried there in the Vestre Kirkegard Cemetery (Western Churchyard Cemetery).
Charles Mingus called Jones “…the greatest trumpet player I’ve heard in this life.” In later years his playing ability was overshadowed by his composing and arranging skills. His best known composition is the standard A Child is Born.
Bill Basie studied music with his mother as a child and played piano in early childhood. He picked up the basics of early ragtime from some of the great Harlem pianists and studied organ informally with Fats Waller. He made his professional debut as an accompanist for vaudeville acts and replaced Waller in an act called Katie Crippen and her Kids. He also worked with June Clark and Sonny Greer who was later to become Duke Ellington’s drummer.
It was while traveling with the Gonzel White vaudeville show that Basie became stranded in Kansas City when the outfit suddenly broke up. He played at a silent movie house for a while and then became a member of the Walter Page Blue Devils in 1928 and ’29. Included in the ranks of the Blue Devils was a blues shouter who was later to play a key role as early male vocalist with Basie’s own big band, Jimmy Rushing. It was in fact the rotund Rushing who happened to hear Basie playing in Kansas City and invited him to attend a Blue Devil’s performance. Basie soon joined the band after sitting in with them that night.
After Page’s Blue Devils broke up Count Basie and some of the other band members integrated into the Bennie Moten band. He remained with Moten until his death in 1935. After Moten’s death the band continued under the leadership of Bennie’s brother Buster, but Basie started a group of his own and soon found a steady gig at the Reno Club in Kansas City employing some of the best personnel from the Moten band himself.
The band gradually built up in quantity and quality of personnel and was broadcast live regularly from the club by a small Kansas City radio station. It was during one of these broadcasts that the group was heard by John Hammond, a wealthy jazz aficionado, who had himself worked as an announcer, disc jockey and producer of a live jazz show on radio. Hammond decided that the band must go to New York. Through his efforts and support (at times even financially) the band enlarged its membership further and went to New York in 1936. Hammond installed Willard Alexander as the band’s manager and in January of 1937 the Count Basie band made its first recording with the Decca record label.
By the following year the Basie big band had become internationally famous, anchored by the leader’s simple and sparse piano style and the rhythm section of Freddie Greene guitar, Walter Page bass, and Jo Jones drums. The great soloists of this band included Jimmy Rushing as vocalist, Lester Young and Herschel Evans tenor saxes, Earl Warren on alto, Buck Clayton and Harry “Sweets” Edison on trumpets, and Benny Morton and Dickie Wells on trombones, among others. Also contributing to the bands success were the arrangements by Eddie Durham and others in the band and the “head” arrangements spontaneously developed by the group.
Despite the occasional losses of key soloists, throughout the 1940’s Basie maintained a big band that possessed an infectious rhythmic beat, an enthusiastic team spirit, and a long list of inspired and talented jazz soloists. Among the long line of budding stars to pass through the Basie aggregation’s ranks during these years were tenor men, Lester Young, Herschel Evans, Don Byas, Buddy Tate, Lucky Thompson, Illinois Jacquet, and Paul Gonsalves. On trumpets the list includes Buck Clayton, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Joe Newman, and Emmett Berry. In the trombone section Dickie Wells, Benny Morton, Vic Dickenson, and J.J. Johnson all had stints with Basie in the 40’s.
Except for a period in 1950 and ’51, when economic conditions forced him to tour with a septet, Basie maintained a highly swinging big band that, at one time or another, included Clark Terry, Wardell Gray, Al Grey, Frank Wess, Frank Foster, Thad Jones, Sonny Payne, Joe Wilder, Benny Powell, and Henry Coker. In 1954 Joe Williams became the band’s full time male vocalist. By 1955 he had infused the Basie band with new life and further commercial success beginning with Every Day I Have The Blues. Also during this period arrangers Neal Hefti and Ernie Wilkins contributed many fine swinging arrangements to the band’s book. These great men of music coupled with Basie’s undying allegiance to the beat and the 12 bar blues allowed the band to consistently turn out records of extremely high caliber well into even the 1970’s.
Count Basie’s health began deteriorating in 1976 when he suffered a heart attack that put him out of commission for several months. Following another stay in the hospital in 1981 he began appearing on stage driving an electric wheel chair. Count Basie died of cancer at 79.
Along with a number of Grammy awards the Count and his big bands won the following Jazz polls: Esquire’s Silver Award in 1945; Down Beat reader’s poll in 1955, ’57-’59; Metronome Poll ’58-’60; Down Beat Critics Poll ’54-’57; Playboy All Stars’ All Stars ’59. As pianist Basie won the Metronome Poll in ’42-’43. In 1958 Count Basie was elected to the Down Beat Hall Of Fame.