Jazz Essay Assignment

Use the information below to research and produce a 3-5 page essay on an individual jazz musician's life and significance in jazz history.  Information provided includes the musician's name, his/her date of birth/death, the year the photograph was taken, and a sample of the musician's work. Use Internet Explorer and QuickTime Player to listen to the sound clips, just click on the red musical note. Photographer William P. Gottlieb's collection, Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz, is courtesy of The Library of Congress.

Reference items providing vital information include The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, The Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz, 1900-1950, Biographical Dictionary of Jazz, and Jazz: The Rough Guide.

Texts, such as Concise Guide to Jazz and Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz, should be consulted for information about the jazz artists. Ken Burns' PBS documentary film, JAZZ or its corresponding book, JAZZ: A History of America's Music are two critical resources.   Newspapers such as The New York Times, and magazines such as Time and Life, may be consulted for more information about the musicians.

Jazz Musician
Subject Area Books
Web Sites

Louis Armstrong
(1901-1971)
1947
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Weather Bird"

Louis Armstrong, An American Genius

Louis Armstrong, In His Own Words

Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

Schomberg Center: Louis Armstrong Jazz Oral History Project

The Red Hot Jazz Archive

Count Basie
(1904-1984)
1946-48
William P. Gottlieb   Hear "Lester Leaps In"

Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie

The World of Count Basie

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

NEA Jazz Masters

The Duke Jazz Archive: Basie

Sidney Bechet
(1897-1959)
1946
William P. Gottlieb   Hear "Blue Horizon"

Sidney Bechet: The Wizard of Jazz

Treat it Gentle

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

The Red Hot Jazz Archive

Jazz Pioneers: Bechet

Barney Bigard
(1906-1980)
193?
William P. Gottlieb   Hear "The New East St. Louis Toodle-Oo"

Jazz Masters of the Thirties

All Music Guide to Jazz

Who's Who of Jazz! Storyville to Swing Street

The Red Hot Jazz Archive

VH1.com : Barney Bigard : Biography

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Ray Brown
(1926-2002)
1946-1948
William P. Gottlieb   Hear "Stella By Starlight "

Bebop: The Music and its Players

Friends Along The Way: A Journey Through Jazz

NPR's Jazz Profiles: Ray Brown

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

The Hard Bop Homepage

Buck Clayton
(1911-1991)
1938-1948
William P. Gottlieb   Hear "Jumpin' At The Woodside"

Buck Clayton's Jazz World

All Music Guide to Jazz

Reading Jazz: A Gathering of Autobiography, Reportage, and Criticism from 1919 to Now

Jazz Artists: Buck Clayton

NEA Jazz Masters

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Nat King Cole
(1917-1965)
1947
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Just You, Just Me"

Nat King Cole

Unforgettable: The Life and Mystique of Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole Society

Nat "King" Cole - The Early Years, 1936-42

Alabama Music Hall of Fame: Nat "King" Cole

Miles Davis
(1926-1991)
1947
William P. Gottlieb
  Here "Boplicity"

Miles Davis: A Biography

Miles, the Autobiography

Milestones

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

The Official Miles Davis Web Site

NEA Jazz Masters

Roy Eldridge
(1911-1989)
1946
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Rockin' Chair"

Roy Eldridge: Little Jazz Giant

The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, 1930-1945

Who's Who of Jazz! Storyville to Swing Street

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

NEA Jazz Masters

RollingStone.com - Roy Eldridge Biography

Duke Ellington
(1899-1974)
1946
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Ko-Ko"

Beyond Category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington

Duke: A Portrait of Duke Ellington

Ellington: The Early Years

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

Official Site of Duke Ellington

The Duke Ellington Society

Ella Fitzgerald
(1928-1996)
1946
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To"

Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography of the First Lady of Jazz

First Lady of Song: Ella Fitzgerald for the Record

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

Ella Fitzgerald Official Website

Ella Fitzgerald, 1917 - 1996

Dizzy Gillespie
(1917-1993)
1946
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "KoKo"

Dizzy Gillespie and the Be-Bop Revolution

Groovin' High: The Life of Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie: His Life & Times

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

Dizzy Gillespie Page

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Benny Goodman
(1909-1986)
1946
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Body And Soul BG"

Benny Goodman and the Swing Era

Swing, Swing, Swing: The Life & Times of Benny Goodman

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

The Red Hot Jazz Archive

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Sonny Greer
(1895-1982)
1946
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Ko-Ko"

Reading Jazz: A Gathering of Autobiography, Reportage, and Criticism from 1919 to Now

Jelly Roll, Jabbo, and Fats : 19 Portraits in Jazz

All Music Guide to Jazz

harlem.org: great day in harlem: Sonny Greer

Sonny Greer Pictures and Biography

All Music Guide: Sonny Greer

Coleman Hawkins
(1904-1969)
1946
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Body and Soul Hawk"

The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, 1930-1945

Jazz Portraits : The Lives and Music of the Jazz Masters

Masters of Jazz Saxophone

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

The Red Hot Jazz Archive

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Earl Hines
(1903-1983)
1947
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Weather Bird"

The World of Earl Hines

The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, 1930-1945

Who's Who of Jazz! Storyville to Swing Street

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

The Red Hot Jazz Archive

Britannica Online: Hines, Earl (Kenneth)

Johnny Hodges
(1907-1970)
193?
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "In A Mellotone"

The History of Jazz

Jazz Portraits : The Lives and Music of the Jazz Masters

All Music Guide to Jazz

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

BBC - Radio 3 - Jazz Profiles Johnny Hodges

Encyclopaedia Britannica: Hodges, Johnny

Billie Holiday
(1915-1959)
1947
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "He's Funny That Way"

Billie Holiday

Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday

Wishing on the Moon: The Life and Times of Billie Holiday

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

The Official Web Site of Billie Holiday

PBS American Masters: Billie Holiday

Milt (Milton) Jackson
(1923-1999)
1946-1948
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Django"

All Music Guide to Jazz

Jazz Masters of the Fifties

Bebop: The Music and its Players

Milt Jackson @ The Jazz Files

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Detroit Free Press: Obituaries

James P. Johnson
(1894-1955)
1946
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Carolina Shout"

Early Jazz: Its Roots and Musical Development

Black Bottom Stomp: Eight Masters of Ragtime and Early Jazz

Who's Who of Jazz! Storyville to Swing Street

The Red Hot Jazz Archive

Harlem Stride Piano: James P. Johnson

Jazz Roots: James P Johnson

James P. Johnson: A Composer Rescued

Stan Kenton
(1912-1979)
1947 or 1948
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "All About Ronnie"

Stan Kenton: The Man and His Music

Stan Kenton: Artistry in Rhythm

Straight Ahead: The Story of Stan Kenton

The Stan Kenton Collection at the University of North Texas

Stan Kenton Orchestra Index

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Lee Konitz
(1927- )
1947
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Subconscious Lee"

All Music Guide to Jazz

Jelly Roll, Jabbo, and Fats : 19 Portraits in Jazz

Bebop: The Music and its Players

Lee Konitz Biography

Billy Taylor's Jazz | Guest Artist Lee Konitz

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

John Lewis
(1920-2001)
1946-1948
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Django"
Jazz Portraits : The Lives and Music of the Jazz Masters

All Music Guide to Jazz

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

NEA Jazz Masters

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Thelonious Monk
(1917-1982)
1947
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Criss-Cross"

Straight, No Chaser: The Life and Genius of Thelonious Monk

Jazz Heroes

Jazz: My Music, My People

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

The Duke Jazz Archive: Monk

Gerry Mulligan
(1927-1996)
1980s
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Boplicity"

Listen, Gerry Mulligan: An Aural Narrative in Jazz

Jazz Portraits : The Lives and Music of the Jazz Masters

Jazz Heroes

Library of Congress: Gerry Mulligan Collection

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Gerry Mulligan: The Life of A Great Jazz Musician

Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton
(1904-1946)
1940
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Ko-Ko"
Jazz Masters of the Thirties

All Music Guide to Jazz

The History of Jazz

Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton

All Music Guide: Joe Tricky Sam Nanton

The Historical Evolution of the Jazz Trombone

Fats Navarro
(1923-1950)
1946-1948
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Lady Bird"

Bebop: The Music and its Players

Jazz Portraits : The Lives and Music of the Jazz Masters

All Music Guide to Jazz

Nostalgia: A Tribute to the Great Fats Navarro

Biography of Fats Navarro

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Charlie Parker
(1920-1955)
1947
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "KoKo"

Bird Lives; The High Life and Hard Times of Charlie (Yardbird) Parker

Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker

Yardbird Suite: A Compendium of the Music and Life of Charlie Parker

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

Charlie Parker: Jazz at the Philharmonic 1946

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Max Roach
(1924- )
1947
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "KoKo"

The Drummer's Time: Conversations With the Great Drummers of Jazz

Jazz Lives: 100 Portraits in Jazz

Jazz Portraits : The Lives and Music of the Jazz Masters

The Duke Jazz Archive: Roach

NEA Jazz Masters

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Art Tatum
(1910-1956)
1946-1948
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Willow Weep For Me"

Art Tatum, A Guide to His Recorded Music

Too Marvelous for Words: The Life and Genius of Art Tatum

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

Britannica Online: Tatum, Art

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Claude Thornhill
(1909-1965)
1947
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "He's Funny That Way"

The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, 1930-1945

All Music Guide to Jazz

Who's Who of Jazz! Storyville to Swing Street

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Solid! -- Claude Thornhill

VH1.com : Claude Thornhill : Biography

Lennie Tristano
(1919-1978)
1947
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Subconscious Lee"

The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, 1930-1945

All Music Guide to Jazz

The Lennie Tristano Experience

Creative Music Archive

All Music Guide: Lennie Tristano

Sarah Vaughan
(1924-1990)
1946
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "All Alone"

Louis' Children: American Jazz Singers

Reading Jazz: A Gathering of Autobiography, Reportage, and Criticism from 1919 to Now

The Oxford Companion to Jazz

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Sarah Vaughn

Dicky(ie) Wells
(1907/09?-1985)
1947
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Taxi War Dance"

The Night People; Reminiscences of a Jazzman

All Music Guide to Jazz

Who's Who of Jazz! Storyville to Swing Street

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Britannica Online: Wells, Dicky

harlem.org: great day in harlem: Dicky Wells

Cootie Williams
(1908?-1985)
1938-1948
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "In A Mellotone"

The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, 1930-1945

All Music Guide to Jazz

Who's Who of Jazz! Storyville to Swing Street

Britannica Online: Williams, Cootie

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Cootie Williams biography - theiceberg.com

Teddy Wilson
(1912-1986)
1940
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Body And Soul BG"

The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, 1930-1945

All Music Guide to Jazz

Who's Who of Jazz! Storyville to Swing Street

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

World Book || Teddy Wilson

NEA Jazz Masters

Lester Young
(1909-1959)
1946
William P. Gottlieb
  Hear "Lester Leaps In'

Lester Young

You Just Fight for Your Life: The Story of Lester Young

Lester Leaps in: the life and times of Lester "Pres" Young

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography

MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

Lester Young Biography: Bibliography & Recordings

Jazz Essay Assignment created by Cynthia E. Saylor,
Assistant Dean fo Research Services and Systems, Mary Livermore Library, UNC Pembroke
Updated: