|Tags:||jazz swing 40s clarinet 30s jazz clarinet|
|Decades:||1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1990s 2000s|
Albany Leon Bigard, 3 March 1906, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, d. 27 June 1980, Culver City, California, USA. Born into a highly musical family, Bigard began studying clarinet at the age of seven, taking lessons from the noted teacher, Lorenzo Tio Jnr. He worked in street parades but then switched to tenor saxophone in 1922 to join the band led by Albert Nicholas. During the next two years Bigard played in several bands in New Orleans before going to Chicago to join King Oliver. While with Oliver he reverted to clarinet. In the mid-20s he played in Chicago and New York in the bands of Charlie Elgar and Luis Russell before joining Duke Ellington in December 1927. In common with so many Ellingtonians, he remained a member of the band for many years, but eventually left in mid-summer 1942 and for the next few years he led his own small bands, worked in the film studios of Hollywood and was also briefly with Freddy Slack. In 1947 Bigard joined Louis Armstrongs...