Kenny Wheeler in 2007
|Birth name||Kenneth Vincent John Wheeler|
|Born||14 January 1930|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Died||18 September 2014 84) (aged|
|Genres||Jazz, avant-garde jazz, chamber jazz|
|Labels||ECM, Fontana, FMP, Soul Note, PSI, CAM Jazz|
|Associated acts||John Dankworth, Evan Parker, John Taylor, Azimuth, Anthony Braxton, Dave Holland, Globe Unity Orchestra, Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra|
Kenneth Vincent John Wheeler, OC (14 January 1930 – 18 September 2014) was a Canadian composer and trumpet and flugelhorn player, based in the U.K. from the 1950s onwards.
Most of his performances were rooted in jazz, but he was also active in free improvisation and occasionally contributed to rock music recordings. Wheeler wrote over one hundred compositions and was a skilled arranger for small groups and large ensembles.
Wheeler was the patron of the Royal Academy Junior Jazz course.
Wheeler was born in Toronto, Ontario, on 14 January 1930. Growing up in Toronto, he began playing the cornet at age 12 and became interested in jazz in his mid-teens. Wheeler spent a year studying composition at The Royal Conservatory of Music in 1950. In 1952 he moved to Britain. He found his way into the London jazz scene of the time, playing in groups led by Tommy Whittle, Tubby Hayes, and Ronnie Scott.
In the late 1950s, he was a member of Buddy Featherstonhaugh's quintet together with Bobby Wellins. Throughout the sixties, he worked with John Dankworth, and also formed part of (Eric Burdon and) the Animals' Big Band that made its only public appearance at the 5th Annual British Jazz & Blues Festival in Richmond (1965) with tenors Stan Robinson, Dick Morrissey and Al Gay, baritone sax Paul Carroll, and fellow trumpets Ian Carr and Greg Brown. In 1968, Wheeler appeared on guitarist Terry Smith's first solo album, Fall Out.
Wheeler performed and recorded his own compositions with large jazz ensembles throughout his career, beginning with the first album under his own name, Windmill Tilter (1969), recorded with the John Dankworth band. BGO Records released a CD in September 2010. The big band album Song for Someone (1973) fused Wheeler's characteristic orchestral writing with passages of free improvisation provided by musicians such as Evan Parker and Derek Bailey, and was also named Album of the Year by Melody Maker magazine in 1975. It has subsequently been reissued on CD by Parker's Psi label.
In the mid-1960s, Wheeler became a close participant in the nascent free improvisation movement in London, playing with Parker, John Stevens, the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and the Globe Unity Orchestra. Despite the above-noted accomplishments, much of his reputation rests on his work with smaller jazz groups. Wheeler's first small group recordings to gain significant critical attention were Gnu High (1975) and Deer Wan (1977), both for the ECM label (Gnu High is one of the few albums to feature Keith Jarrett as a sideman since his tenure with Charles Lloyd). One exception from the ongoing collaboration with ECM was his rare album on CBC called Ensemble Fusionaire in 1976. This had three other Canadian musicians and was recorded in St. Mary's Church in Toronto for a different character to the sound than on the ECM recordings.
Wheeler was the trumpeter in the Anthony Braxton Quartet from 1971 to 1976. He was also a member of the chamber jazz trio Azimuth with John Taylor and Norma Winstone from 1977 to 2000. Their first release under this name was a 1977 album issued by ECM; two albums followed, with later albums coming in 1985 and 1995.
In 1997 Wheeler received widespread critical praise for his album Angel Song , which featured an unusual "drummerless" quartet of Bill Frisell (guitar), Dave Holland (bass) and Lee Konitz (alto sax). Wheeler recorded seven albums with CAM Jazz from 2005 to 2008 but returned to ECM to record his final album in 2013.
Wheeler died after a short period of frail health at a nursing home in London on 18 September 2014. He was 84 years old.
With Tommy Smith
With John Abercrombie
With Rabih Abou-Khalil
With George Adams
With Pepper Adams
With the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra
With Jane Ira Bloom
With Anthony Braxton
With Jakob Bro
With Bill Bruford
With Rainer Brüninghaus
With Steve Coleman
With Collective Consciousness Society
With Graham Collier
With Paolino Dalla Porta
With John Dankworth With Pierre Favre
With Claudio Fasoil
With Bill Frisell
With Globe Unity Orchestra
With Paul Gonsalves
With Dave Holland Quintet
With Philly Joe Jones
With Chris Kase
With Andy Middleton
With Joni Mitchell
With Louis Moholo-Moholo
With Enrico Pieranunzi
With Wadada Leo Smith
With Thomas Stabenow
With David Sylvian
With John Surman
With Ralph Towner
With Fabio Zeppetella
John Taylor was a British jazz pianist born in Manchester, England, who occasionally performed on the organ and the synthesizer.
Evan Shaw Parker is a British tenor and soprano saxophone player who plays free improvisation.
Dave Holland is an English jazz double bassist, composer and bandleader who has been performing and recording for five decades. He has lived in the United States for over 40 years.
Tony Oxley is an English free-jazz drummer and one of the founders of Incus Records.
Enrico Rava, is an Italian jazz trumpeter. He started on trombone, then changed to the trumpet after hearing Miles Davis.
Barre Phillips is a jazz bassist. A professional musician since 1960, he migrated to New York City in 1962, then to Europe in 1967. Since 1972 he has been based in southern France where in 2014 he founded the European Improvisation Center.
Barry John Guy is a British composer and double bass player. His range of interests encompasses early music, contemporary composition, jazz and improvisation, and he has worked with a wide variety of orchestras in the UK and Europe. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music under Buxton Orr, and later taught there.
Paul William Rutherford was an English free improvising trombonist.
Alexander von Schlippenbach is a German jazz pianist and composer. He came to prominence in the 1960s playing free jazz in a trio with saxophonist Evan Parker and drummer Paul Lovens and as a member of the Globe Unity Orchestra. Since the 1990s, Von Schlippenbach has explored the work of more traditional jazz composers like Jelly Roll Morton or Thelonious Monk.
Martin France is an English drummer. He has recorded on over 100 albums and has taught at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Chris Laurence is an English musician. Born in London, he studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and primarily works with jazz and classical music. In the classical world he was principal double bass with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields orchestra until 1995, playing on many of their recordings ranging from the film Amadeus to Benjamin Britten's Curlew River. He has recorded with many jazz artists, including trombonist J. J. Johnson, Tony Coe, Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan, Clark Terry, Johnny Mathis, and Lena Horne. His most recent recordings include John Surman's The Spaces in Between (2007), Kenny Wheeler's The Long Waiting (2012) and Songs for Quintet on ECM Records, and Norma Winstone's Manhattan in the Rain (1998). He has also recorded music for television, film, and albums, most notably Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Ken Loach's Looking for Eric (2009), The Constant Gardener (2005), Howard Shore's score for Hugo (2011), and most recently was featured on the soundtrack of Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner (2014). In 2007, he recorded a CD with his own jazz quartet titled New View, released on the Basho label along with Frank Ricotti (vibes), John Parricelli (guitar), Martin France (drums), and featuring Norma Winstone (vocals). As well as jazz and classical music, Laurence has also featured on albums with many stars including Elton John, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Joni Mitchell, David Gilmour, Michel Legrand, and guitarist John Williams.
Michael Evans Osborne was an English jazz alto saxophonist, pianist, and clarinetist who was a member of the band Brotherhood of Breath in the 1960s and 1970s.
Norma Ann Winstone MBE is an English jazz singer and lyricist. In a career spanning more than 50 years she is best known for her wordless improvisations. Musicians with whom she has worked include Michael Garrick, John Surman, Michael Gibbs, Mike Westbrook, as well as pianist John Taylor, who was her former husband.
Music for Large & Small Ensembles is an album by Canadian jazz trumpeter Kenny Wheeler which was released in 1990 by ECM Records.
Stanley Ernest Sulzmann is an English jazz saxophonist.
Christopher Norman "Chris" Pyne was an English jazz trombonist.
Paolo Damiani is an Italian jazz cellist and double-bassist. Performing primarily avant-garde jazz, he has worked with Gianluigi Trovesi, Kenny Wheeler, Tony Oxley, Paolo Fresu, and John Taylor. Damiani has also recorded on the albums of Deep Forest and Bauhaus.
Thomas Henry Lowther is an English jazz trumpeter.
Pause, and Think Again is the debut album by jazz pianist John Taylor, featuring Tony Levin on drums and Chris Laurence on bass.
Song for Someone is the second album led by trumpeter and composer Kenny Wheeler which was recorded in 1973 and released on the Incus label. The album was rereleased on CD on Psi Records in 2004.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kenny Wheeler .|