Alec Dankworth

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Alec Dankworth
Alec Dankworth.jpg
Background information
Birth nameAlexander William Tamba Dankworth
Born (1960-05-14) 14 May 1960 (age 58)
Marylebone, London, England
InstrumentsDouble bass
Years active1980spresent

Alexander William Tamba Dankworth [1] (born 14 May 1960) is an English jazz bassist and composer.

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".



Born in London, the son of John Dankworth and Cleo Laine, Alec Dankworth grew up in the villages of Aspley Guise and Wavendon, living at the Old Rectory, Wavendon, where his parents established the Wavendon All-Music Plan (WAP) that includes the Stables Theatre. After attending Bedford School, he studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1978, and then joined his parents' quintet. Between 1980 and 1983 he toured the United States, Australia, and Europe with them, going on to work with Tommy Chase, the BBC Big Band, and Clark Tracey, with whom he recorded two albums.

John Dankworth British musician

Sir John Phillip William Dankworth, CBE, also known as Johnny Dankworth, was an English jazz composer, saxophonist, clarinetist and writer of film scores. With his wife, jazz singer Dame Cleo Laine, he was a music educator and also her music director.

Cleo Laine English jazz singer and an actress

Dame Cleo Laine is an English jazz and pop singer and an actress, known for her scat singing and for her vocal range. Though her natural range is that of a contralto, she is able to produce a G above high C, giving her an overall compass of well over three octaves.

Aspley Guise village in Bedfordshire, England

Aspley Guise is a village and civil parish in the west of Central Bedfordshire, England. It directly adjoins Woburn Sands in the Borough of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, it is centred 6 miles (9.7 km) east by southeast of Milton Keynes and 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the M1 motorway's junction 13. It has its own railway station, three calling points from Bletchley on the West Coast Main Line, and a large historic centre with 29 listed buildings, four of which are in the second highest category.

Dankworth recorded an arrangement of Duke Ellington's Black, Brown, and Beige with violinist Nigel Kennedy in 1986, with whom he also performed Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons . He also played in the 1980s with Dick Morrissey, Spike Robinson, Jean Toussaint, Michael Garrick, Tommy Smith, Julian Joseph, and Andy Hamilton, as well as leading his own quartet.

Duke Ellington American jazz musician, composer and band leader

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death over a career spanning more than fifty years.

Nigel Kennedy British-born violinist and violist

Nigel Kennedy is an English violinist and violist. He made his early career in the classical field, and has more recently performed in jazz, klezmer and other music genres.

Antonio Vivaldi Italian baroque period composer, virtuoso violinist and teacher

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was an Italian Baroque musical composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher, and priest. Born in Venice, the capital of the Venetian Republic, he is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. He composed many instrumental concertos, for the violin and a variety of other instruments, as well as sacred choral works and more than forty operas. His best-known work is a series of violin concertos known as the Four Seasons.

In 1990 he was invited to join and tour with Dave Brubeck's band, and in 1993 he worked with Abdullah Ibrahim, touring Europe and South Africa. He has played with Mose Allison, Clark Terry, Mel Tormé, Anita O'Day, Peter King, Alan Barnes, David-Jean Baptiste, Van Morrison and Martin Taylor, among others. He also co-led a 14-piece band with his father, John Dankworth: the Alec and John Dankworth Generation Band (or "Generation Band"), with which he has recorded two albums.

Dave Brubeck American jazz pianist and composer

David Warren Brubeck was an American jazz pianist and composer, considered one of the foremost exponents of cool jazz. He wrote a number of jazz standards, including "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "The Duke". Brubeck's style ranged from refined to bombastic, reflecting both his mother's attempts at classical training and his own improvisational skills. His music is known for employing unusual time signatures as well as superimposing contrasting rhythms, meters, and tonalities.

Abdullah Ibrahim South African pianist and composer

Abdullah Ibrahim is a South African pianist and composer. His music reflects many of the musical influences of his childhood in the multicultural port areas of Cape Town, ranging from traditional African songs to the gospel of the AME Church and ragas, to more modern jazz and other Western styles. Ibrahim is considered the leading figure in the subgenre of Cape jazz. Within jazz, his music particularly reflects the influence of Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington. He is known especially for "Mannenberg", a jazz piece that became a notable anti-apartheid anthem.

Mose Allison American jazz blues pianist and singer

Mose John Allison Jr. was an American jazz and blues pianist, singer, and songwriter. He became notable for playing a unique mix of blues and modern jazz, both singing and playing piano. After moving to New York in 1956, he worked primarily in jazz settings, playing with jazz musicians like Stan Getz, Al Cohn, and Zoot Sims, along with producing numerous recordings.

In 2013 Dankworth toured with the Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion, a quartet comprising Dankworth on bass, drummer Ginger Baker, saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis and percussionist Abass Dodoo. Dankworth is also a tutor for the National Youth Jazz Collective.

Ginger Baker English rock drummer

Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker is an English drummer and a founder of the rock band Cream. His work in the 1960s earned him the reputation of "rock's first superstar drummer," while his individual style melds a jazz background with African rhythms. Baker is credited as a pioneer of drumming in genres like jazz fusion, heavy metal and world music.


As co-leader

As sideman

With Dave Brubeck

<i>The 40th Anniversary Tour of the U.K.</i> 1999 live album by Dave Brubeck

The 40th Anniversary Tour of the U.K. is a 1998 live album by Dave Brubeck and his quartet recorded over three consecutive concerts in the United Kingdom, some 40 years after he had first visited the country.

Telarc International Corporation is an American audiophile independent record label founded in 1977 by two classically trained musicians and former teachers, Jack Renner and Robert Woods. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the label has had a long association with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Alhough it started as a classical music label, Telarc has released jazz, blues and country music recordings.

<i>The Crossing</i> (Dave Brubeck album) 2001 studio album by Dave Brubeck

The Crossing is 2001 studio album by pianist Dave Brubeck and his quartet.

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