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Barney Bigard

Barney Bigard was probably one of the most distinctive clarinetists in jazz and a longtime asset to Duke Ellington’s orchestra. Although he got clarinet lessons with Lorenzo Tio, Bigard’s preliminary reputation was produced like a tenor saxophonist; actually, based on some of his recordings (especially people that have Luis Russell), Bigard was number 2 behind Coleman Hawkins in the middle-’20s. After dealing with many organizations in New Orleans, Bigard shifted to Chicago in 1924 where he used Ruler Oliver during 1925-1927. He’d also record with Jelly Move Morton, Johnny Dodds, and upcoming employer Louis Armstrong in the 1920s but, after brief stints with Charles Elgar and Luis Russell, Bigard discovered his true house with Duke Ellington’s orchestra, with whom he nearly exclusively performed clarinet. Between 1927-1942, he was well highlighted on a many recordings with Ellington, who known Bigard’s musical talents and composed to display him at his greatest. From “Disposition Indigo” (which he co-composed) to “Harlem Surroundings Shaft,” Bigard was a significant fixture from the Ellington orchestra. When he quit the music group in 1942 (because of tiring of the street), Bigard used Freddie Slack’s big music group, Child Ory’s New Orleans group, and made an appearance in the 1946 film New Orleans. Bigard after that joined up with the Louis Armstrong All-Stars, continuously traveling the globe during 1947-1955 and 1960-1961; he spent 1958-1959 with Cozy Cole’s music group. Bigard became generally semi-retired after 1962, but nonetheless played occasionally, recording with Artwork Hodes, Earl Hines, so that as a leader. Nevertheless, Barney Bigard, whose golf swing style was occasionally out-of-place with Armstrong, actually sounded at his greatest during his Duke Ellington years.

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