Tadd Dameron

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Tadd Dameron
Portrait of Tadd Dameron, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948 (Gottlieb).jpg
Portrait of Tadd Dameron, New York, between 1946 and 1948
Background information
Birth nameTadley Ewing Peake Dameron
Born(1917-02-21)February 21, 1917
OriginCleveland, Ohio
DiedMarch 8, 1965(1965-03-08) (aged 48)
GenresJazz
OccupationsComposer
Arranger
Pianist
InstrumentsPiano
 
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Tadd Dameron
Portrait of Tadd Dameron, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948 (Gottlieb).jpg
Portrait of Tadd Dameron, New York, between 1946 and 1948
Background information
Birth nameTadley Ewing Peake Dameron
Born(1917-02-21)February 21, 1917
OriginCleveland, Ohio
DiedMarch 8, 1965(1965-03-08) (aged 48)
GenresJazz
OccupationsComposer
Arranger
Pianist
InstrumentsPiano

Tadley Ewing Peake "Tadd" Dameron (February 21, 1917 – March 8, 1965) was an American jazz composer, arranger and pianist. Saxophonist Dexter Gordon called Dameron the "romanticist" of the bop movement,[1] while reviewer Scott Yanow writes that Dameron was the "definitive arranger/composer of the bop era".[2]

Biography[edit]

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Dameron was the most influential arranger of the bebop era, but also wrote charts for swing and hard bop players. The bands he arranged for included those of Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Jimmie Lunceford, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstine, and Sarah Vaughan. He and lyricist Carl Sigman wrote "If You Could See Me Now" for Sarah Vaughan and it became one of her first signature songs. According to the composer, his greatest influences were George Gershwin and Duke Ellington.[3]

In the late 1940s, Dameron wrote arrangements for the big band of Dizzy Gillespie, who gave the première of his large-scale orchestral piece Soulphony in Three Hearts at Carnegie Hall in 1948. Also in 1948, Dameron led his own group in New York, which included Fats Navarro; the following year he was at the Paris Jazz Festival with Miles Davis. From 1961 he scored for recordings by Milt Jackson, Sonny Stitt, and Blue Mitchell.[4]

He also arranged and played for rhythm and blues musician Bull Moose Jackson. Playing for Jackson at that same time was Benny Golson, who was to become a jazz composer in his own right. Golson has said that Dameron was the most important influence on his writing.

Dameron composed several bop standards, including "Hot House", "If You Could See Me Now", "Our Delight", "Good Bait" (composed for Count Basie),[3] and "Lady Bird". His bands featured leading players such as Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, and Wardell Gray.

After forming another group of his own with Clifford Brown in 1953, Dameron developed an addiction to narcotics toward the end of his career. He served time (1959–1961) in federal prison in Lexington, Kentucky. Dameron suffered from cancer and had several heart attacks before he died at the age of 48 of cancer in 1965.

Legacy[edit]

Dameron has been the subject of many tributes since his death:

In the 1980s, Philly Joe Jones, drummer for the Miles Davis Quintet, and trumpeter Don Sickler founded Dameronia, a tribute band to Dameron.[5]

Continuum: Mad About Tadd: The Music of Tadd Dameron is an album released in 1982 by a group consisting of Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Ron Carter, Art Taylor, Kenny Barron. The LP has since been reissued on CD.

In 1975, jazz pianist Barry Harris recorded Barry Harris Plays Tadd Dameron for Xanadu Records.

In 2007, pianist Richard "Tardo" Hammer recorded Look Stop and Listen: The Music of Tadd Dameron for Sharp Nine Records.

Discography[edit]

Tadd Dameron, Mary Lou Williams, and Dizzy Gillespie in Williams' apartment, c. June 1946

As leader or co-leader[edit]

As arranger or conductor[edit]

With Milt Jackson

With Sonny Stitt

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nisenson, Eric (1996). 'Round About Midnight: A Portrait of Miles Davis. Da Capo Press. p. 65. ISBN 0-306-80684-3. 
  2. ^ Yanow, Scott (2008) "Tadd Dameron biography", AllMusic.
  3. ^ a b Rosenthal, David, H. Hard Bop: Jazz and Black Music 1955-1965. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-505869-0. 
  4. ^ Harrison, Max. "Dameron, Tadd." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. 2 Apr. 2011 <http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/07122>
  5. ^ Carr, Ian; Fairweather, Digby and Priestley, Brian Rough Guide to Jazz Rough Guides, 2004 ISBN 1-84353-256-5, ISBN 978-1-84353-256-9 "Don Sickler" at Google Books

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]