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Moreover, his use of extended chords and an ability to improvise freely along harmonic as well as melodic lines are echoed in post-WWII developments in jazz. Where Armstrong, at the head of an ensemble, played it hard, straight, and true, Beiderbecke, like a shadowboxer, invented his own way of phrasing "around the lead." A friend remembered that Beiderbecke showed little interest in the Saturday matinees they attended, but as soon as the lights came on he rushed home to duplicate the melodies the accompanist had played. His real name was Leon Bix Beiderbecke. He was screaming there were two Mexicans hiding under his bed with long daggers. Unpublished dissertation, University of Minnesota, March 1978. At two years of age, Bix was already showing signs of musical precociousness. French jazz scholar Jean Pierre Lion traveled the trajectory of Bix's life, from birth to death, to boarding school, on tour and beyond, to find the true story of this pivotal figure.Considered a genius by his fans and fellow musicians, Bix Beiderbecke was a master cornet player, and one of the most inspiring white jazz musicians of his age. During this time, he sat in and played professionally with various bands, including those of Wilbur Hatch, Floyd Bean, and Carlisle Evans. It has been hailed as an important example of the "jazz ballad style"—"a slow or medium-tempo piece played gently and sweetly, but not cloyingly, with no loss of muscle. Bix Beiderbecke's grave (left) is positioned near the Beiderbecke family marker (right) at Oakdale Cemetery in, Recorded on May 6, 1924, and released as Gennett 5453B and Claxtonola 40336B, duration is 2:31, For summaries of Beiderbecke's life, see Lion, Sudhalter and Evans, and the documentary film. See also Teachout, Teachout in "Homage to Bix", for instance, contrasts Beiderbecke's and Armstrong's personalities, styles, and the approach historians have taken to their stories. With thousands of names in our handbook, choosing the right on just got easier! In the April 1927 issue, bandleader Fred Elizalde stated: "Bix Bidlebeck (sic) is considered by Red Nichols himself and every other trumpet player in the States, for that matter, as the greatest trumpet player of all time". Whiteman's violinist Matty Malneck said "The work was so hard, you almost had to drink"[69] adding "He didn't get to play the things he loved with the Whiteman band because we were a symphonic band and we played the same thing every night, and it got to be tiresome. The letter is written on letterhead stationery from the 44th Street Hotel in New York City, sometime in 1930 or ’31, from Bix Beiderbecke to his parents. They had given encouragement. "Bix and all the rest would play and exchange ideas on the piano", he said. He argues that this stubbornness was behind Beiderbecke's decision not to switch from cornet to trumpet when many other musicians, including Armstrong, did so. The magazine's editor, Edgar Jackson, was equally fulsome in his praise: "Bix has a heart as big as your head, which shines through his playing with the warmth of the sun's rays" (September 1927 issue); "The next sixteen bars are a trumpet solo by Bix, and if this doesn't get you right in the heart, you'd better see a vet…."[85]. [21], Beiderbecke attended Davenport High School from 1918 to 1921. He shares his insights with the radio audience: “In 1922 Bix was 19 years old and causing his parents a lot of grief over his love affair with jazz. [26] Earlier biographies had not reported the alleged incident. The band toured widely and famously played a set opposite Fletcher Henderson at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City in October 1926. His interests, however, remained limited to music and sports. [81], Historians have disagreed over the identity of the doctor who pronounced Beiderbecke dead, with several sources stating that it was Dr. John Haberski (the husband of the woman Kraslow identified) who pronounced Beiderbecke dead in his apartment. [57] When Trumbauer organized a band for an extended run at the Arcadia Ballroom in St. Louis, Beiderbecke joined him. Burnie Beiderbecke claimed that the boy was named Leon Bix[10] and biographers have reproduced birth certificates that agree. Biopic of troubled jazz musician/composer Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931), who played with the Paul Whiteman band, among others. To humor him, I looked under the bed and when I rose to assure him there was no one hiding there, he staggered and fell, a dead weight, in my arms. "The overall impression we get from this solo, as in all of Bix at his best," writes the trumpeter Randy Sandke, "is that every note is spontaneous yet inevitable. [68] Beiderbecke also played on several notable hit records recorded by Whiteman, such as "Together", "Ramona" and "Ol' Man River", the latter featuring Bing Crosby on vocals. [102] Armstrong was deeply influenced by the blues, while Beiderbecke was influenced as much by modernist composers such as Debussy and Ravel as by his fellow jazzmen.[103]. With … His lip had strengthened from earlier, more tentative years; on nine of the Wolverines' recorded titles he proceeds commandingly from lead to opening solo without any need for a respite from playing. The parents weren’t professional musicians, but music was often heard in the home. He was the first major white jazz soloist. Leon Bix Beiderbecke was born in Davenport, Iowa to a middle-class family. [115], Bix Beiderbecke was posthumously inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which is a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least 25 years old and that have "qualitative or historical significance. By ten years of age, Bix was spending time at … "His story is a good story, quite humble and right. His father was a lumber and coal merchant. Beiderbecke is remembered for his piano and trumpet/cornet playing. His whole body was trembling violently. In addition to these commercial sessions with Goldkette, Beiderbecke and Trumbauer also recorded under their own names for the OKeh label; Bix waxed some of his best solos as a member of Trumbauer's recording band, starting with "Clarinet Marmalade" and "Singin' the Blues", recorded on February 4, 1927. [83] Beiderbecke's mother and brother took the train to New York and arranged for his body to be taken home to Davenport. [23] At the invitation of his friend Fritz Putzier, he subsequently joined Neal Buckley's Novelty Orchestra. At the time of his death, Beiderbecke was still little known by the public at large, though his appreciation among fellow musicians and the collegiate set is indicated by contemporary news reports: To a large circle of those boys and girls of high school and college age whom a staid world likes to label "the jazz-mad generation," the news that Leon Bix Beiderbecke is dead will mean something, however lacking in significance it might be to their critical elders. [27] While historians have traditionally suggested that his parents sent him to Lake Forest to discourage his interest in jazz,[28] others believe that he may have been sent away in response to his arrest. Bix Beiderbecke Fans Also Viewed . She pronounced him dead. His father was nicknamed "Bix", as, for a time, was his older brother, Charles Burnette "Burnie" Beiderbecke. 99–106, for an in-depth discussion of Beiderbecke's cause of death, informed by both medicine and history. [15], Beiderbecke was the youngest of three children. Following the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the once-booming music industry contracted and work became more difficult to find. Depending on the source. If the item is retained, the headmaster's florid prose needs to be replaced with something consise. Specializing in hot jazz and recoiling from so-called sweet music, the band took its name from one of its most frequent numbers, Jelly Roll Morton's "Wolverine Blues. Fairweather, p. 125; Ward and Burns, p. 81. Beiderbecke "lived very briefly […] in what might be called the servants' entrance to art", Ferguson wrote. But now, this jazz was different! Beiderbecke and Trumbauer joined Goldkette's main band at the Graystone Ballroom in Detroit in 1926. There is disagreement over whether Beiderbecke was christened Leon Bismark (and nicknamed "Bix") or Leon Bix. Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke's brief life has all of the hallmarks of a romantic legend. While composing and recording some of the landmark music in the early history of genre, Bix struggled with personal demons, facing the disapproval of his conservative parents and an increasing … Perhaps "Bixie's" death at the age of twenty-eight also is symbolical of the futility of the "jazz-mad generation's" quest for self-expression. Sources. Here’s the basic shorthand on Beiderbecke: He was born in 1903 in Davenport to middle-class, second-generation German parents (“good, oompah-loving Presbyterians,” Wolfe writes). Parents: Bismark Herman, Agatha Jane Beiderbecke: Siblings: Burnie Beiderbecke, Mary Louise Beiderbecke: Awards: Grammy Hall of Fame Award: Albums: Bix and Tram, Great Original Performances 1924-1930: Music Groups : The Wolverines: Movies: Fred The Hairdresser: Star Sign: Pisces # Fact; 1: His cornet solo in "Singin' the Blues" was the chief inspiration behind Hoagy … The Beiderbecke family was Midwestern upper-middle class. Johnson, Rich and Jim Arpy and Gerri Bowers. "[110] Richard Hadlock describes Beiderbecke's contribution to "Jazz Me Blues" as "an ordered solo that seems more inspired by clarinetists Larry Shields of the ODJB and Leon Roppolo of the NORK than by other trumpet players. Filmed partially in the Beiderbecke home, which Avati had purchased and renovated, Bix was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. "[99], In New Orleans, jazz had traditionally been expressed through polyphonic ensemble playing, with the various instruments weaving their parts into a single and coherent aural tapestry. Beiderbecke's parents enrolled him in the exclusive Lake Forest Academy, north of Chicago in Lake Forest, Illinois. Whiteman was perhaps best known for having premiered George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue in New York in 1924, and the orchestrator of that piece, Ferde Grofé, continued to be an important part of the band throughout the 1920s. "[93] In 1950, Michael Curtiz directed the film Young Man with a Horn, starring Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, and Doris Day. Bix Beiderbecke was born in 1903, in Davenport, Iowa, to respectable, upper class parents – far from the breeding grounds of jazz clubs and speakeasies in New Orleans and Chicago. They had taken delight in their young son's amazing ability to create a little quick music at the piano. Bix Beiderbecke was born on March 10, 1903, in Davenport, Iowa, the son of Bismark Herman and Agatha Jane (Hilton) Beiderbecke. After World War I, his older brother Charles brought several 78-rpm sides by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band—a five-piece white New Orleans ensemble who made the first jazz recordings in 1917. Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke (March 10, 1903 – August 6, 1931) was an American jazz cornetist, jazz pianist, and composer.With Louis Armstrong, Beiderbecke was one of the most influential jazz trumpet/cornet soloists of the 1920s.His turns on "Singin' the Blues" (1927) and "I'm Coming, Virginia" (1927), in particular, demonstrated an unusual purity of tone and a gift for improvisation. Bix Beiderbecke was one of the biggest jazz musicians from the 1920s. [44] Mezz Mezzrow recounted in his autobiography driving 53 miles to Hudson Lake, Indiana with Frank Teschemacher in order to play Armstrong's "Heebie Jeebies" for Beiderbecke when it was released. [87], Ferguson's sense of what was "right" became the basis for the Beiderbecke Romantic legend, which has traditionally emphasized the musician's Iowa roots, his often careless dress, his difficulty sight reading, the purity of his tone, his drinking, and his early death. But Bix's frustrated parents saw only a life of tragedy. [61] Paul Whiteman hoped to snatch up Goldkette's best musicians for his traveling orchestra, but Beiderbecke, Trumbauer, Murray, Bill Rank, Chauncey Morehouse, and Frank Signorelli instead joined the bass saxophone player Adrian Rollini at the Club New Yorker. Lane's piano suites and orchestral arrangements were self-consciously American whilst also having French Impressionist allusions, and influenced Beiderbecke's style, especially on "In a Mist. See Spencer, pp. Treatment for alcoholism in rehabilitation centers, with the support of Whiteman and the Beiderbecke family, failed to stop his decline. "The Fuzzy Wuzzy Bird" (Herbert Berger's St. Louis Club Orchestra) by David Tenner » Nov 09, 2020. In "(The headmaster went so far as to inform Mr. and Mrs. Beiderbecke, about Bix, "that certain parents have objected strenuously to their sons' association with him.)" --Philcha 18:27, 30 November … For the first time I realized music isn't all the same, it had become an entirely new set of sounds"[107] "I tried to explain Bix to the gang," Hoagy Carmichael wrote, but "[i]t was no good, like the telling of a vivid, personal dream […] the emotion couldn't be transmitted. He had a profound influence on Bing Crosby. Whiteman was large physically and important culturally —"a man flabby, virile, quick, coarse, untidy and sleek, with a hard core of shrewdness in an envelope of sentimentalism", according to a 1926 New Yorker profile. Bix Beiderbecke was one of the greatest jazz musicians of the 1920s. He knows also that this player is endowed with the rarest jazz gift of all, a sense of form which lends to an improvised performance a coherence which no amount of teaching can produce. In Davenport, Beiderbecke absorbed his parent’s middle class values and the free form world of riverboat life, filled with the music of traveling jazz bands and riverboat pipe organs. Bix Beiderbecke. [31] He also traveled to the predominantly African-American South Side to listen to classic black jazz bands such as King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, which featured Louis Armstrong on second cornet. His brother, Burnie, was born in 1895, and his sister, Mary Louise, in 1898. Beiderbecke's mother was the daughter of a Mississippi riverboat captain. Like Green, who made particular mention of Beiderbecke's "amount of teaching," the jazz historian Ted Gioia also has emphasized Beiderbecke's lack of formal instruction, suggesting that it caused him to adopt "an unusual, dry embouchure" and "unconventional fingerings," which he retained for the rest of his life. The Bix Beiderbecke Story: The Jazz Musician in Legend, Fiction, and Fact; A Study of the Images of Jazz in the National Culture 1930–the Present. He composed or played on recordings that are jazz classics and standards such as "Davenport Blues", "In a Mist", "Copenhagen", "Riverboat Shuffle", "Singin' the Blues", and "Georgia on My Mind". [64] A number of Beiderbecke partisans have criticised Whiteman for not giving Bix the opportunities he deserved as a jazz musician.[65]. In many ways they were right. [76] Bing Crosby, who sang with Whiteman, also cited Beiderbecke as an important influence. "[66] Richard Sudhalter has responded by suggesting that Beiderbecke saw the Whiteman band as an opportunity to pursue musical ambitions that did not stop at jazz: Colleagues have testified that, far from feeling bound or stifled by the Whiteman orchestra, as Green and others have suggested, Bix often felt a sense of exhilaration. During an engagement at the Cinderella Ballroom in New York in September–October 1924, Bix tendered his resignation with the Wolverines,[50] leaving to join Jean Goldkette and his Orchestra in Detroit, but Beiderbecke's tenure with the band proved to be short-lived. And it astonished even the Wolverines themselves. Severe alcoholism disrupted his career and led to his death. "If you had any talent at all he made you play better. Second PS: "PS Have you heard the Candlelight program?" New York, New York. Lion, pp. The Goldkette band folded in September 1927 and, after briefly joining bass saxophone player Adrian Rollini's band in New York, Trumbauer and Beiderbecke joined America's most popular dance band: Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra. "The Fuzzy Wuzzy Bird" (Herbert Berger's St. Louis Club Orchestra) by David Tenner » Nov 09, 2020. On April 22, 1921, a month after he turned 18, Beiderbecke was arrested by two Davenport police officers on an accusation that he had taken a five-year-old girl named Sarah Ivens into a neighbor's garage and committed a lewd and lascivious act with her—a statutory felony in Iowa. For a study of Beiderbecke's legend, see Perhonis. The baby-faced cornetist was the first white person to become a major jazz soloist. Again with Trumbauer, Beiderbecke re-recorded Carmichael's "Riverboat Shuffle" in May and delivered two further seminal solos a few days later on "I'm Coming, Virginia" and "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans". However that may be, if it is true, as some critics contend, that "jazz" music is establishing foundations on which a distinctive and thoroughly legitimate American music eventually will be built, Bix Beiderbecke has left his mark on the future culture of the nation. Most jazz trumpet players cite one of two main influences: the hot, flashy Louis Armstrong or the cool, thoughtful Bix Beiderbecke. [74], While he was away, Whiteman famously kept his chair open in Beiderbecke's honor, in the hope that he would occupy it again. Jill Swinburne teaches English and wants to help save the planet. Her story of the doomed trumpet player Rick Martin was inspired, she wrote, by "the music, but not the life" of Beiderbecke, but the image of Martin quickly became the image of Beiderbecke: his story is about "the gap between the man's musical ability and his ability to fit it to his own life. Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke (March 10, 1903 – August 6, 1931) was an American jazz cornetist, pianist, and composer. "[36] During this time, Beiderbecke also took piano lessons from a young woman who introduced him to the works of Eastwood Lane. [16] His sister recalls that he stood on the floor and played it with his hands over his head. Second PS: "PS Have you heard the Candlelight program?" There was a wildness in it, and they sensed danger. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Sudhalter, Richard M. and Philip R. Evans with William Dean-Myatt. Unofficially, edema of the brain, coupled with the effects of long-term alcoholism, have been cited as contributory factors. The music of Bix Beiderbecke is a lifelong passion of bandleader Jim Cullum. He also listened to jazz from the riverboats that docked in downtown Davenport. Beiderbecke was largely, although not completely, self-taught, and the constraints imposed by that fact were evident in his music. Possessor of a beautiful, distinctive tone and a strikingly original improvising style, Beiderbecke's only competitor among cornetists in the '20s was Louis Armstrong but, because of their different sounds and styles, you can't … 5 Replies 130 Views Last post by ahaim Nov 10, 2020 … The two hit it off, both personally and musically, despite Trumbauer having been warned by other musicians: "Look out, he's trouble. Beiderbecke’s approach lived on in the playing of Jimmy McPartland and Bobby Hackett, as well as in that of the many lesser players who formed almost a cult of hero worshipers, possibly fueled by novels and films such as Dorothy Baker’s Young Man with a Horn (1938; film 1950), a novel inspired by (but not based on) Beiderbecke’s life. He was delivered to Lake Forest Armed service Academy in 1921 but, by coincidence, it had been located fairly near Chicago, the guts of jazz at that time. [45] In addition to listening to Armstrong's records, Beiderbecke and other white musicians patronized the Sunset Café on Fridays to listen to Armstrong and his band. In 1936 Victor’s Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Album became the first album-form reissue in jazz ... originally assembled by Bix’s parents in the ’20s and ’30s, has passed to her and now forms the cornerstone of the museum collection. [72] He then spent the summer with Whiteman's band in Hollywood in preparation for the shooting of a new talking picture, The King of Jazz. Organizations like the one run by Jean Goldkette often operated multiple bands. For the blues influence on Armstrong, see Brothers, especially Chapter 7, "Ragtime and Buddy Bolden" (pp. He played mostly open horn, every note full, big, rich and round, standing out like a pearl, loud but never irritating or jangling, with a powerful drive that few white musicians had in those days."[109]. 78–79. Associated With. Louis Armstrong also provided a source of inspiration, though Beiderbecke's style was very different from that of Armstrong, according to The Oxford Companion to Jazz: Where Armstrong's playing was bravura, regularly optimistic, and openly emotional, Beiderbecke's conveyed a range of intellectual alternatives. He lived at 1934 Grand Ave., Davenport, Iowa. No. The band found itself subjected to the commercial considerations of the popular music sector that Victor deliberately targeted the band's recordings at. Production delays prevented any real work from being done on the film, leaving Beiderbecke and his pals plenty of time to drink heavily. The faculty voted to expel him the next day,[33] due both to his academic failings and his extracurricular activities, which included drinking. The music of Bix Beiderbecke is a lifelong passion of bandleader Jim Cullum. As a high school freshman, Beiderbecke became drawn to the sound of the ODJB’s trumpeter Nick LaRocca. According to the police ledger, the girl accused Beiderbecke of "putting his hands on her person outside of her dress." Bix Beiderbecke was Born March 10, 1903 in Davenport, Iowa, and by all accounts was a bit of a child prodigy, with the exceptional ability to pick out out songs on the piano when he was just three. 132–163). Suffering from insomnia, Beiderbecke played the piano late into the evenings, both to the annoyance and the delight of his neighbors. After his death, he also became one of the first cult celebrities of the 20th century. Beiderbecke's parents enrolled him in the exclusive Lake Forest Academy, north of Chicago in Lake Forest, Illinois. Beiderbecke's cornet solo in "Singin' the Blues" recorded on February 4, 1927, in New York. With Bryant Weeks, Emile B. Levisetti, Julia Ewing, Mark Collver. Quotation from Trumbauer's journal; in Lion, p. 101. 94–95). 1G, 43-30 46th Street, in Sunnyside, Queens, New York, on August 6, 1931. Shapiro and Hentoff, p. 151. Five years later, he was the subject of an admiring article in the Davenport Daily Democrat that proclaimed, "Seven-year-old boy musical wonder! It was widely believed, for many years, that Beiderbecke's real name was Leon Bismark Beiderbecke. For while the Beiderbecke sound is filled with joy--and it is hot and it is swinging--it often … The band was run by Goldkette, and it put Beiderbecke in touch with another musician he had met before: the C-melody saxophone player Frankie Trumbauer. While Armstrong often soared into the upper register, Beiderbecke stayed in the middle range, more interested in exploring the melody and harmonies than in dazzling the audience. This bittersweet quality, often not noticed when one first begins listening to Bix, may be the most intriguing ingredient. By September, he was back in Davenport, where his parents helped him to seek treatment. 2020 … but Bix 's frustrated parents saw a life of tragedy ahead for him and. 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