R.I.P. Jay McShann

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R.I.P. Jay McShann

Message  Steven le Ven 8 Déc 2006 - 11:14



Jay McShann, leading figure in Kansas City jazz scene, dies at 90
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Jay "Hootie" McShann, a jazz pianist and bandleader who helped refine the blues-tinged Kansas City sound and introduced the world to saxophonist Charlie Parker, died Thursday. He was 90.

McShann died at St. Luke's Hospital. The cause of death was not released to the public, hospital spokeswoman Kerry O'Connor said.

McShann, whose musical career spanned eight decades and earned him accolades from both blues and jazz aficionados, was born James Columbus McShann on Jan. 12, 1916 in Muskogee, Okla. Against the wishes of his parents, he taught himself how to play piano, in part by listening to late-night radio broadcasts featuring pianist and bandleader Earl "Fatha" Hines.

McShann developed a distinctive style that drew heavily on his beloved blues, and began his professional career at age 15. After a raid on a club in Kansas in 1936 - liquor was still illegal in the state then - the frustrated pianist decided to head north.

"I said, 'I've got an uncle in Omaha. I think I'll go up there and see what the cats are doing in Omaha,'" McShann recalled in a 1999 interview with The Associated Press.

"I got a bus ticket. I had a layover of two hours in Kansas City. I knew Basie had a band at the Reno Club. I thought I'd run over to the Reno. I might know some of these cats."

"A guy in the Reno said, 'This is it, right here in Kansas City.' I said, 'My money is a little low. I don't think I can stick around here too long.' He said, 'Take my apartment key. Stay as long as you want. I'll stay over at my girlfriend's.'"

A few days later, another musician sought out McShann. He stayed in Kansas City, making its sounds his own.

"You'd just have some people sitting around, and you'd hear some cat play, and somebody would say, 'This cat, he sounds like he's from Kansas City,'" McShann told AP in 2003. "It was the Kansas City style.

"They knew it on the East Coast. They knew it on the West Coast. They knew it up north, and they knew it down south."

McShann hooked up with Parker in 1937, after hearing the sax genius' music coming out of a Kansas City club, and the two worked together off and on until 1941. Parker, who earned his nickname "Bird" while playing with McShann's orchestra, made his recording debut on McShann's "Hootie Blues" in 1941.

McShann's own nickname stemmed from an incident in which someone slipped him a loaded drink during a jam session. McShann, a nondrinker, was unable to play at the "hootenanny," and the sobriquet, shortened to "Hootie," stuck.

McShann entered the Army in 1943 and served until 1944. In the 1950s and 1960s, he recorded seldom and toured even less. But in 1969, he started touring again and continued until well into his 80s.

His recording career also took off again, and in 2003, his CD "Goin' to Kansas City" was nominated for a traditional blues Grammy.

He was the subject of a film, "Hootie Blues," in 1978 and was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1996, he received a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.

In 2000, the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City named its outdoor performance pavilion for McShann. The museum, in the city's historic 18th and Vine district, is also home of the Gem Theatre, where McShann performed last year.

Museum officials on Thursday were arranging a memorial in his honor.


Jay McShann: <http://www.jaymcshann.com>

American Jazz Museum: <http://www.americanjazzmuseum.org>

Le Graoully
Le Graoully

Nombre de messages : 1566
Age : 32
Localisation : Paris, France
Date d'inscription : 04/01/2006

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