Paul Gonsalves

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Paul Gonsalves
Paul Gonsalves.jpg
Background information
Born(1920-07-12)July 12, 1920
Brockton, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedMay 15, 1974(1974-05-15) (aged 53)
London, England
Genres Jazz, swing, bebop
Occupation(s)Musician
Instruments Tenor Saxophone
Years active1938–1974
Labels RCA Victor, Impulse!, Riviera, Black Lion
Associated actsPhil Edmonds, Sabby Lewis, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington

Paul Gonsalves (July 12, 1920May 15, 1974) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist [1] best known for his association with Duke Ellington. At the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival, Gonsalves played a 27-chorus solo in the middle of Ellington's "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue", [2] a performance credited with revitalizing Ellington's waning career in the 1950s. [3]

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States. It originated 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".

Saxophone type of musical instrument of the woodwind family

The saxophone is a family of woodwind instruments. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. Although most saxophones are made from brass, they are categorized as woodwind instruments, because sound is produced by an oscillating reed, traditionally made out of woody cane, rather than lips vibrating in a mouthpiece cup as with the brass instrument family. As with the other woodwinds, the pitch of the note being played is controlled by covering holes in the body tube to control the resonant frequency of the air column by changing the effective length of the tube.

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.

Contents

Biography

Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, to Cape Verdean parents, Gonsalves' first instrument was the guitar, and as a child he was regularly asked to play Cape Verdean folk songs for his family. He grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and played as a member of the Sabby Lewis Orchestra. His first professional engagement in Boston was with the same group on tenor saxophone, in which he played before and after his military service during World War II. [4] Before joining Duke Ellington's orchestra in 1950, he had also played in big bands led by Count Basie (1947–1949) and Dizzy Gillespie (1949–1950).

Brockton, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts

Brockton is a city in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States; the population was 95,314 in the 2015 Census. Brockton, along with Plymouth, are the county seats of Plymouth County. Brockton is the seventh largest city in Massachusetts and is sometimes referred to as the "City of Champions", due to the success of native boxers Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler, as well as its successful Brockton High School sports programs. Two of the villages within the city are Montello and Campello, both have the distinction of having their own MBTA Commuter Rail Stations and post offices. Campello is the smallest neighborhood in the city, but also the most populous. Brockton hosts a baseball team, the Brockton Rox. Brockton is one of the windiest cities in the United States, with an average wind speed of 14.3 mph.

Cape Verde Country comprising ten islands off the Northwest coast of Africa

Cape Verde or Cabo Verde, officially the Republic of Cabo Verde, is an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. It forms part of the Macaronesia ecoregion, along with the Azores, Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Savage Isles. In ancient times these islands were referred to as "the Islands of the Blessed" or the "Fortunate Isles". Located 570 kilometres (350 mi) west of the Cape Verde Peninsula off the coast of Northwest Africa, the islands cover a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi).

New Bedford, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

New Bedford is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 95,072, making it the sixth-largest city in Massachusetts. New Bedford is nicknamed "The Whaling City" because during the 19th century, the city was one of the most important whaling ports in the world, along with Nantucket, Massachusetts and New London, Connecticut. The city, along with Fall River and Taunton, make up the three largest cities in the South Coast region of Massachusetts, and is known for its fishing fleet and accompanying seafood producing industries, as well as having a high concentration of Luso Americans.

At the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival, Gonsalves' solo in Ellington's song "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue" went through 27 choruses; the publicity from this performance is credited with reviving Ellington's career. [5] The performance is captured on the album Ellington at Newport . Gonsalves was a featured soloist in numerous Ellingtonian settings. He received the nickname "The Strolling Violins" from Ellington for playing solos while walking through the crowd. [6]

Newport Jazz Festival music festival

The Newport Jazz Festival is a music festival held every summer in Newport, Rhode Island. Elaine Lorillard established the festival in 1954, and she and husband Louis Lorillard financed it for many years. They hired George Wein to organize the first festival and bring jazz to Rhode Island.

<i>Ellington at Newport</i> 1956 live album by Duke Ellington

Ellington at Newport is a 1956 live jazz album by Duke Ellington and his band of their 1956 concert at the Newport Jazz Festival, a concert which revitalized Ellington's flagging career. Jazz promoter George Wein describes the 1956 concert as "the greatest performance of [Ellington's] career... It stood for everything that jazz had been and could be.". It is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, which ranks it "one of the most famous... in jazz history". The original release partly recreated in the studio after the Ellington Orchestra's festival appearance.

Gonsalves died in London a few days before Duke Ellington's death, after a lifetime of addiction to alcohol and narcotics. [7] Mercer Ellington refused to tell Duke of the passing of Gonsalves, fearing the shock might further accelerate his father's decline. Ellington and Gonsalves, along with trombonist Tyree Glenn, lay side-by-side in the same New York funeral home for a period of time. [8]

Mercer Ellington American musician

Mercer Kennedy Ellington was an American musician, composer, and arranger.

Tyree Glenn American trombonist

Tyree Glenn, born William Tyree Glenn, was an American trombone player.

Gonsalves is buried at the Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York.

Long Island National Cemetery United States National Cemetery located in Suffolk County, New York

Long Island National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery located in Suffolk County, New York. It comprises the northern section of an area known as "Pinelawn," which consists of a grouping of cemeteries and memorial parks situated along Wellwood Avenue - these include Pinelawn Memorial Park, St. Charles / Resurrection, Beth Moses, New Montefiore and Mt. Ararat Cemeteries. Its mailing address is Farmingdale. It borders East Farmingdale along its western edge and is located within the CDPS of Wyandanch, in the Town of Babylon, and Melville in the Town of Huntington. Administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, it encompasses 364.7 acres (147.6 ha), and as of 2014, had more than 346,000 interments.

Farmingdale, New York Village in New York, United States

Farmingdale is an incorporated village on Long Island within the Town of Oyster Bay in Nassau County, New York, United States. The population was 8,189 at the 2010 Census.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Paul Gonsalves among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. [9]

<i>The New York Times Magazine</i>

The New York Times Magazine is a Sunday magazine supplement included with the Sunday edition of The New York Times. It is host to feature articles longer than those typically in the newspaper and has attracted many notable contributors. The magazine is also noted for its photography, especially relating to fashion and style.

2008 Universal fire 2008 fire

The 2008 Universal fire erupted June 1 on the back lot of Universal Studios Hollywood, an American film studio and theme park in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County, California, United States. The fire began when workers, repairing a building on set, used torches to heat the underside of APP roofing membrane. They left before checking that all spots had cooled and a three alarm fire broke out. Nine firefighters and a Los Angeles County sheriffs' deputy sustained minor injuries. The fire was put out after twelve hours.

Discography

As leader/co-leader

As sideman

With Duke Ellington

With Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis

With Johnny Hodges

With John Lewis

With Billy Taylor

With Clark Terry

With Jimmy Woode

With Joya Sherrill

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"Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue" is a jazz composition written in 1937 by Duke Ellington and recorded for the first time on May 15, 1937 by the Duke Ellington Orchestra with Wallace Jones, Cootie Williams (trumpet), Rex Stewart (cornet), Barney Bigard (clarinet), Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwick, Laurence Brown, Joe Nanton (trombone), Harry Carney, Sonny Greer (drums), Wellmann Braud, Freddie Guy (guitar), and Duke Ellington (piano). No tenor saxophone was present in this recording section, nor in "Crescendo in Blue," which was recorded the same day. In its early form, the two individual pieces, "Diminuendo in Blue" and "Crescendo in Blue," were recorded on opposite sides of a 78 rpm record. The 1956 performance at the Newport Jazz Festival revitalized Ellington's career, making newspaper headlines when seated audience members chaotically began rising to dance and stand on their chairs during Paul Gonsalves's tenor saxophone solo.

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References

  1. "Paul Gonsalves", Allaboutjazz.com. Archived September 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. Allmusic biography
  3. Larson, Thomas E. The History and Tradition of Jazz, p. 106. Google Books.
  4. Carr, Ian and Digby Fairweather, Brian Priestley The Rough Guide to Jazz. Google Books.
  5. Martin, Henry and Keith Waters Jazz: the first 100 years, Cengage Learning, p. 150. Google Books.
  6. "Paul Gonsalves, Ellington band saxophonist," May 18, 1974. St. Petersburg Times
  7. Downbeat magazine, March 16, 1961, page 11, reports "Ellingtonians arrested in Vegas" "Ray Nance, Willie Cook. Andrew (Fats) Ford as well as Paul Gonsalves...the sheriff's squad seized...heroin plus hypodermic needles, eye droppers and other paraphernalia of the narcotic user"
  8. Hasse, John Edward Beyond Category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington, Da Capo Press, p. 385. Google Books.
  9. Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019.