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Count Basie

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 2010 | By Claire Noland, Los Angeles Times
Benny Powell, a veteran jazz trombonist who played with Count Basie from the early 1950s to the early 1960s, taking a solo turn in the band's 1955 recording of "April in Paris," has died. He was 80. Powell died June 26 at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City after undergoing back surgery, said publicist Devra Hall Levy. The cause has not been determined. A native of New Orleans, Powell had a varied career that ranged from Lionel Hampton's big band in the late 1940s to modern jazz with pianist Randy Weston and his African Rhythms ensemble for the last quarter-century.
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NATIONAL
December 30, 2012 | John M. Glionna
AAt age 87, Roger Hall still loves to play the music of his youth, that larger-than-life big band sound that no longer commands respect among the casino bosses in this town. In an earlier life, he played in bands backing Nat King Cole, and Sammy Davis Jr. and the rest of the original Rat Pack. Yet with the city's backbeat overtaken by a new generation of bejeweled rappers and DJs, he found fewer places to blow his alto sax in a big band. One by one, restaurants like Peppers and the Italian American Club, which used to host bands, all closed down.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 13, 1998 | Don Heckman
Mention the Count Basie Orchestra, and several aural images spring quickly to mind. The grooving, in-the-pocket swing of the rhythm section, its drive energized by Basie's brisk piano punctuations and the subtle understatement of Freddie Green's guitar; the crisp, utterly unified thrust of the ensemble, swinging as a single man; the instantly memorable compositions; the extraordinary soloists, from Lester Young and Harry Edison to Frank Foster and Thad Jones.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 19, 2012
JAZZ Celebrating Los Angeles' rich jazz tradition, the 17th Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival takes on additional gravitas in the shadow of the historic Dunbar Hotel, which in its heyday counted Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Billie Holiday among its guests. The hotel is undergoing a restoration effort. Two afternoons of music include the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Poncho Sanchez, Phil Ranelin and the soulful blues of Sons of Etta, a band featuring Etta James' son Donto on drums.
NEWS
July 28, 1999 | DON HECKMAN and JON THURBER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Harry "Sweets" Edison, a master of the jazz trumpet who was a mainstay of the Count Basie band, died Tuesday at his daughter's home in Columbus, Ohio. The cause of death was prostate cancer, which he had been fighting for several years. He was 83. In a career spanning more than 60 years, Edison had that rarest of qualities, an utterly individual style.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 11, 2005 | From a Times Staff Writer
Bernie Ebbins, the former road manager for several leading jazz and pop music figures, including singers Billy Eckstine and Vic Damone and band leader Count Basie, has died. He was 88. Ebbins died Dec. 27 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The cause of death was not reported. During his more than 40 years in the entertainment industry, Ebbins also managed the syndication department at William Morris Agency and held a similar position at Paramount Studios.
NEWS
November 4, 1986
Eddie (Lockjaw) Davis, considered one of the most innovative and individual tenor saxophonists to ever play jazz, died Monday at a Culver City hospital of cancer. He was 65 and had performed as recently as Sept. 14 at a tribute to pianist Jimmy Rowles. Davis was self-taught, playing professionally in Harlem only eight months after buying his first saxophone. He played with Cootie Williams and Louis Armstrong, formed his own combo and then began a long association with Count Basie in 1952.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 13, 1990 | LEONARD FEATHER
A new band was introduced Monday evening at the Grand Avenue Bar, 10 of whose 16 members performed at one time or another with Count Basie. Among them was the leader, drummer Gregg Field, who brought to the job a library of arrangements by Ernie Wilkins, Neal Hefti, Sam Nestico and other Basie writers.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 22, 2007 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
"Count Basie" and "Christmas" aren't ordinarily used in the same sentence -- or experienced on the same stage. Yet there was the Count Basie Orchestra at Disney Hall on Thursday night, avidly applying the Basie groove to a program sparkling with holiday songs. The ensemble is, of course, a ghost band, one of several Swing Era big bands that have continued long after the deaths of their original leaders.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 31, 1998 | BILL KOHLHAASE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Sure, Count Basie's Orchestra did it all the time. But few high school bands have done what the San Clemente High School Jazz Ensemble did Sunday at Chapman University. The ensemble played a Count Basie tune arranged by Sammy Nestico, with Nestico in the audience. It happened on a lush sun-swept lawn outside Memorial Hall as part of the university's first Invitational Jazz Festival, "A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 13, 2012 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Maria Cole, the widow of music legend Nat King Cole and the mother of singer Natalie Cole whose own singing career included a stint as vocalist for Duke Ellington's orchestra in the mid-1940s, has died. She was 89. Cole died Tuesday at a hospice in Boca Raton, Fla., after a short battle with cancer, her family said. "Our mom was in a class all by herself," her three daughters said in a joint statement. "She epitomized class, elegance, and truly defined what it is to be a real lady.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 12, 2012 | By Randy Lewis
Maria Hawkins Cole, a singer who performed with Duke Ellington and Count Basie before marrying Nat “King” Cole, has died. She was 89. Cole, who had been living in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.,  died Tuesday of cancer, her family announced. Born Maria Hawkins in Boston in 1922, she sang with Duke Ellington, the Mills Brothers, Count Basie and others before she met Nat “King” Cole, the jazz singer and pianist who broke barriers as a black entertainer on network television in the 1950s.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 29, 2012 | By Kirk Silsbee, Special to the Los Angeles Times
In 2004, the late jazz and recording session pianist Mike Melvoin spoke about his work. His storied career in the studios included playing organ on "That's Life" for Frank Sinatra and on "Good Vibrations" for the Beach Boys, jazz piano on "Nighthawks at the Diner" by Tom Waits and many other high points. But the milestones were few and far between. On many studio dates, musicianly camaraderie outweighed the music at hand. "When I played a Johnny Mandel date," Melvoin clarified, "I realized: This is why I became a musician.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 24, 2011 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Documentary filmmaker Bruce Ricker didn't start out making films. A native New Yorker who earned a law degree from Brooklyn Law School, he arrived in Kansas City in 1970 as a teaching assistant at the University of Missouri and soon began practicing law. But the seed for a new career was planted in 1972 when U.S. Atty. F. Russell Millin took the jazz-loving Ricker to the Mutual Musicians Federation, the city's old black musicians' union hall where veteran Kansas City jazzmen gathered for after-hours jam sessions.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 30, 2010 | By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times
"Big bands are definitely not coming back," George Carlin once declared in a bit from the '80s, where he posed as Jesus Christ sitting down for an interview. While their golden age certainly has passed, what was as true then as it is now is that big bands have never entirely disappeared, and in fact, there is considerable evidence that the classic format may be enjoying a bit of a revival. Last year's Grammy-nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble and the eclectic steampunk jazz of Darcy James Argue's Secret Society are just two recent examples, and a triple bill at the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday night headlined by the venerable Count Basie Orchestra honored the form's rich history while also showing where it stands in the present.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 2010 | By Claire Noland, Los Angeles Times
Benny Powell, a veteran jazz trombonist who played with Count Basie from the early 1950s to the early 1960s, taking a solo turn in the band's 1955 recording of "April in Paris," has died. He was 80. Powell died June 26 at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City after undergoing back surgery, said publicist Devra Hall Levy. The cause has not been determined. A native of New Orleans, Powell had a varied career that ranged from Lionel Hampton's big band in the late 1940s to modern jazz with pianist Randy Weston and his African Rhythms ensemble for the last quarter-century.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 17, 1994 | ZAN STEWART, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
It's mid-June in Southern California and there are two things you can count on: dreary overcast skies and the return of the Playboy Jazz Festival. This year's lineup for the two-day event at the Hollywood Bowl features a world-class selection of jazz artists. Saturday's program, which is completely sold out, is highlighted by the appearance of the young firebrand Joshua Redman and the indefatigable Lionel Hampton.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2001 | BILL KOHLHAASE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Count Basie's influence on the world of jazz has not waned since his death in 1984, especially among saxophonists in the Frank Capp Juggernaut big band. The ensemble will play its 12th annual "Tribute to Count Basie" on Sunday at the Irvine Marriott. Alto saxophonist Lanny Morgan sat in with Basie's band during a 1955 rehearsal at New York City's Birdland. He later joined the band at an outdoor performance atop a 60-story skyscraper under the stars during the same period.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 11, 2008 | Don Heckman
Bandleader Gerald Wilson, a prime member of the Los Angeles jazz community for more than six decades, is retiring from his position as a member of the UCLA jazz studies faculty. Tonight, a tribute concert at the university's Schoenberg Hall will celebrate his contributions as an educator, band leader, trumpeter, composer and arranger. The bill includes the full UCLA jazz studies faculty, with guest artists Ernie Andrews and Anthony Wilson, and three student ensembles: the UCLA Jazz Orchestra, the UCLA Latin Jazz Ensemble and the UCLA Contemporary Jazz Ensemble.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 22, 2007 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
"Count Basie" and "Christmas" aren't ordinarily used in the same sentence -- or experienced on the same stage. Yet there was the Count Basie Orchestra at Disney Hall on Thursday night, avidly applying the Basie groove to a program sparkling with holiday songs. The ensemble is, of course, a ghost band, one of several Swing Era big bands that have continued long after the deaths of their original leaders.
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