Van Alexander co-wrote “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” with Ella Fitzgerald while both worked in the Chick Webb Orchestra back in 1938. The success of that song led to a job as arranger for Webb as well as Benny Goodman and Paul Whiteman and super stardom for Ella. Van formed his own band during the wonderful... more
Frank Alkyer has asked a lot of questions. As a writer and editor of Music Inc. he has interviewed music retailers and suppliers alike. As a writer and editor for Down Beat Magazine, Frank has interviewed countless jazz and big band performers. With this background you can imagine how meaningful it... more
Jon Andersen has enjoyed playing music nearly his entire life.  A jazz saxophonist, Jon played in a number of small and large bands over the years and found work with several noted musicians in and around his neighborhood, Santa Barbara.  When he was approached by his longtime friend Nick Rail, to... more
Ron Anthony can be heard playing his jazz guitar on several classic recordings of George Shearing as well as on the top selling CD, Frank Sinatra’s “Duets.” His love of music goes back to his childhood and has remained in full force ever since those early days. In addition to performing, Ron is a... more
George Avakian has produced so many pop and jazz recordings over his 50 plus year career with several labels it might be easier to list the recordings he did not take part in. Before entering World War II George had already produced his first recording, as well as writing about the music that he... more
Louie Bellson was one of the World's premier drummers and listed in every jazz encyclopedia. Even with great success, he remained humble and was one of the true gentlemen of American popular music. With his noted double bass drum kit, a series of method books, and respected clinics, Louie made a... more
Max Bennett is among the jazz world’s most percussive bass players. With a strong knowledge of drums, he explored and helped design the rhythm of jazz of the 1970s and 80s in the pre soft jazz era, a style he refers to as cool-whip. With his group, LA Express, he was able to showcase his own... more
George Benson recalls befriending Bob Cavanagh at the EU Wurlitzer Music store in Boston long before his noted career as an entertainer took off. George often visited the store and spent hours playing the instruments while Bob often showed him chords, provided picks and let him try out various... more
Lee Berk’s father had a unique idea in teaching music, bringing the passion and fun of music making into the classroom. The Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA was founded with those ideas and in the decades to follow was built on those ideas by his son, Lee. Lee ensured that jazz programs were... more
Hal Blaine is perhaps the most recorded drummer from the California recording studios of the 1950s-'70s.  His influential style can be heard on more than 170 number one hit songs and 450 tunes that made the top 40 on the charts during those decades.  His beat can be heard on hundreds of albums by... more