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Pee Wee Russell

Pee Wee Russell, although never a virtuoso, was among the giants of jazz. An extremely expressive and unstable clarinetist, Russell was generally grouped in Dixieland-type groupings throughout his profession, but his advanced and spontaneous solos (which frequently sounded as though he were considering aloud) defied classification. A specialist by enough time he was 15, Pee Wee Russell performed in Tx with Peck Kelley’s group (achieving Jack Teagarden) and in 1925 he was in St. Louis jamming with Bix Beiderbecke. Russell relocated to NY in 1927 and obtained some interest for his using Crimson Nichols’ Five Pennies. Russell freelanced through the period, making some significant information with Billy Banking institutions in 1932 that matched up him with Crimson Allen. He performed clarinet and tenor with Louis Prima during 1935-1937, showing up on many information and taking pleasure in the association. After departing Prima, he began dealing with Eddie Condon’s freewheeling organizations and would stay in Condon’s orbit on / off for another 30 years. Pee Wee Russell’s recordings with Condon in 1938 produced him a celebrity within the trad Chicago jazz globe. Russell was presented (but usually the butt of jokes) on Condon’s City Hall Concerts. Large drinking almost wiped out him in 1950, but Russell produced an unlikely return and became even more assertive in working his profession. He began leading his very own groupings (that have been more golf swing- than Dixieland-oriented), was a superstar over the 1957 tv special The Audio of Jazz, and by the first ’60s was playing within a piano-less quartet with valve trombonist Marshall Dark brown whose repertoire included music by John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman; he also sat along with Thelonious Monk on the 1963 Newport Jazz Celebration and used abstract painting. But following the loss of life of his wife in 1967, Pee Wee Russell accelerated his consuming and proceeded to go quickly downhill, loss of life less than 2 yrs later.

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