Reference Entry

Dorsey, Jimmy

Eddy Determeyer

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print November 2013 |
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.A2228215

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[James Francis]

(b Shenandoah, PA, Feb 29, 1904; d New York, NY, June 12, 1957). American clarinetist, alto saxophonist, bandleader, and composer, brother of Tommy Dorsey. He was a child prodigy. Urged by his father, a coal-miner who also taught music and led brass ensembles, he and his younger brother Tommy received thorough music training from an early age. His first paying job was in 1919, as a member of a local group, the Syncopators. Work with other regional bands followed and, practicing regularly, Dorsey developed into the first alto saxophone soloist of note in jazz. Associations with the California Ramblers (1924), Jean Goldkette, Ray Miller, Vincent Lopez, Paul Whiteman, and Red Nichols, among others, honed his craft. His command of the alto saxophone made him a role model for such disparate musicians as Johnny Hodges, Charlie Parker, and Ornette Coleman.

After extensive freelance work in radio and recording ensembles, including the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra formed in ...

Reference Entry.  447 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music ; Contemporary Music

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