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Duke Groner

Something of the institution for the Chicago jazz picture, Duke Groner hailed from Oklahoma where he was raised in a music family. His dad was selecting banjo and acoustic guitar, his mother performing, and his sister ticking the ivories. He started having a few violin lessons, which he evidently detested. By senior high school he was playing piano at dances. After finding a scholarship or grant to Wiley University in Tx, he joined the faculty quartet and in addition sang inside a university music group. He became a member of the Nat Towles music group like a vocalist after graduating. Somebody in both university as well as the Towles music group was the good tenor saxophonist Friend Tate, who referred to Groner as “a house-stopper…Duke utilized to sing…and women would just fallout.” Over time of effort with minimal monetary returns, Groner discovered himself section of a clutch of Towles’ music artists which were hijacked to NY by Horace Henderson. Additional people included trombonist Henry Coker, trumpeters N. R. Bates and Cash Johnson, and tenor saxophonist Bob Dorsey. The group performed week-long stints at both Apollo Movie theater and Savoy Ballroom, and were terminated by Henderson, right down to the man, departing everyone stranded in NY. Groner was driven never to crawl back again to Towles, as a number of the various other players do. He remained in NY and became a residence vocalist at Minton’s along with Betty Roche. The home music group at this membership included some quite heavy hitters such as for example Thelonious Monk on piano andKenny Clarke on drums. Groner viewed this among the essential intervals in his profession, despite the fact that his duties included the unpleasant job of waking Monk up each time an intermission was over. Henderson ultimately produced amends by obtaining Groner a gig using the Jimmy Lunceford music group which lasted almost a year, and Groner returned to Chicago. He rejoined Henderson in 1942, a gig that finished abruptly when THE GOVERNMENT drafted practically the complete Henderson music group. From his brand-new Chicago bottom Groner began dealing with music artists such as for example tenor saxophonist Buster Bennett, organist Crazy Costs Davis and a music group called Jelly Holt and His Four Blazers. Groner started playing the bass sometime in 1942, despite a distaste for the device. “I take advantage of to laugh on the bass players and have them why they didn’t figure out how to play a flute,” Groner stated in some archival interviews for the Chicago Jazz Institute. He shortly understood that as uncomfortable since it was having a bass around, an excellent bassist will be provided more work when compared to a vocalist. Close to the end from the ’40s he arranged his initial trio being a head with pianist Horace Hand and guitarist Emmett Spicer. He continuing in the ’50s with players such as for example Kirk Stuart on piano, Hurley Ramey on electric guitar, and Wallace Burton on sax. He also proved helpful being a sideman in groupings like the Four Blazes and the original jazz combo of Jim Beebe. Groner dropped into ill wellness gradually and finally was put into a nursing house. His musician enjoyed him a lot that they provided regular concerts there.

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