Vic Dickenson Biography

Victor Dickenson, 6 August 1906, Xenia, Ohio, USA, d. 16 November 1984, New York City, New York, USA. A self-taught musician, Dickenson’s early experience came playing trombone in the territory bands of Speed Webb and Zack Whyte. By the 30s he was ready for the big time and worked with bands led by Luis Russell, Claude Hopkins, Benny Carter and Count Basie. Throughout the 40s he was active mostly with small groups, including those of Sidney Bechet, Frankie Newton, Eddie Heywood (for a long spell), and as leader of his own groups. This pattern continued into the 50s and 60s when he worked with Bobby Hackett, Henry ‘Red’ Allen and others. Although rooted in the more traditional jazz style, Dickenson’s big band experience, allied to his instinctive melodic grace, made him an ideal musician to enter the mainstream. Indeed, his record albums of the early and mid-50s, especially sessions with Ruby Braff, were important milestones in the emergence of this strand of jazz. In addition to his mastery of his instrument, Dickenson brought a refreshing sense of humour to his playing, inserting little musical asides that help to make his work readily identifiable.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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