Volume CII, No. 3March, 2002
Nicholas Caliendo – Drums
Jerry Carr – Alto Saxophone
Dan Franklin – Arranger/Copyist
Sidney Harris – Trombone
Lawrence E. Henderson – Saxophone
Donald W. Johnston – Piano/Composer/Arranger
Etta Jones – Vocals
Anthony Karboski, Jr. – Trumpet
Jack H. Knitzer – Bassoon
Ida Kullick – Piano
Moisey Leytman – Violin/Arranger/Copyist
Ben A. Martini – Piano
James Morris – Saxophone
Ramon G. Padilla – Guitar
Lester J. Parker – Tenor Sax
Joseph A. Romanelli – Piano
Herbert V. Schultz, Jr. – Violin/Conductor
Bertram E. Stevens – Piano/Composer/Educator
Ralph Sutton – Piano
Gene Taylor – Bass
Robert Turner – Piano/Educator
Winston Welch – Drums
John Zuccheri – Drums
Donald W. Johnston
Donald W. Johnston, 57, a pianist, orchestrator, composer and arranger and an 802 member since 1877, died on Jan. 7.
Mr. Johnston composed chamber music, woodwind quintets and sonatas for piano and violin, as well as children’s music. A graduate of Yale University, where he studied theory and composition, he received his master’s degree from the Yale School of Music in 1959.
Mr. Johnston was widely known for his scoring of Broadway musicals. He arranged the dance music for the original production of 42nd Street in 1980 and was the conductor and musical director for the show in 1987 and 1988. He was also credited with additional arrangements and orchestration in the current revival at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts.
Mr. Johnston also wrote dance arrangements and orchestrations for Marilyn: An American Fable and was the musical director for The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Cyrano de Bergerac, Much Ado About Nothing and other productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1980s.
He is survived by his wife Diane, two sons from a previous marriage, Evan and Adam, his father, Donald Johnston, and sister Suzanne.
Etta Jones, 72, a renowned jazz vocalist, died on Oct. 16 in New York. She had been a member of Local 802 since 1960.
Born in South Carolina, she grew up in New York City and began her singing career as a teenager in Buddy Johnson’s band. She began recording in 1944 and, from 1949 until 1952, performed and recorded with such artists as Earl “Fatha” Hines, Kenny Burrell, Charles Brown, Milt Jackson and Cedar Walton. Her 1960 recording, “Don’t Go With Strangers,” won her a gold record and led her to making several albums for the Prestige label as a leader, from 1960-65, and with Gene Ammons in 1962. Ms. Jones toured the Far East with Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers, was featured in Carnegie Hall along with Illinois Jacquet, and performed at Town Hall with Dr. Billy Taylor.
Her work is heard on dozens of albums. Beginning in the mid-1970s, she recorded regularly for Muse, often with her husband, the tenor-saxophonist Houston Person, also an 802 member. Her last recording, “Etta Jones Sings Lady Day,” was released by HighNote records.
Ms. Jones was the recipient of many awards, including the gold record for “Don’t Go With Strangers,” a Grammy nomination for “My Buddy: The Songs of Buddy Johnson,” and one for “Save Your Love for Me.” She received the Eubie Blake Jazz Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Women in Jazz Foundation.
Herbert V. Schultz, Jr.
Herb Schultz, 66, a violinist and conductor and an 802 member since 1974, died on Dec. 14.
Mr. Schultz’ musical career took place mostly in northern New Jersey. He served as concert master of the North Bergen Opera (later to become Family Opera) from 1965 until the company’s demise in 1998. He met his longtime companion, violinist Peggy Reynolds (also an 802 member), at one of their rehearsals in 1979.
Together, over the last 20 plus years, they produced the Bentley String Quartet, a/k/a “Four Hearts in Three-Quarter Time,” which played at weddings and grand openings, gallery openings in Soho, and senior centers all over the New York metropolitan area, plus appearances in California and Maryland.
Mr. Schultz joined the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, which performs out of the John Harms Center in Englewood, in 1982, beginning as section violinist, then advancing to associate concert master. Over the last year and a half he had assumed the responsibilities of contractor and business manager, while continuing to play in the orchestra.
He is survived by his wife Peggy, two sons from a previous marriage, Eric and Peter, and sister Claire Foley.
Bertram E. Stevens
Bert Stevens, 96, a composer, performer and teacher, and a Local 802 member for nearly 75 years, died on Christmas morning, 2001.
Mr. Stevens was a living example of what it means to have a successful lifelong career in music, and he was one of the last links to the great era of early jazz in America. During a career that spanned more than 70 years, he played with and composed for some of the greatest jazz and popular artists of the 20th century. His many compositions included “Symphonic Raps,” made a classic by Louis Armstrong; “The Whistler’s Mother-In-Law,” performed by Bing Crosby and Woody Herman; and the theme music for Paul Whiteman’s big band. Over the course of his career he, at one time or another, played with Henry Busse and his orchestra, the Dorsey Brothers, Bix Beiderbecke and many others.
He was a decorated veteran who served in active duty in the Pacific Fleet during World War II. One of his duties on the U.S. Independence was to play piano for the troops.
Mr. Stevens also performed for decades as a soloist and with his own quartet in countless clubs in New York City and the Hamptons. In addition to his lengthy career as a performer and composer, he taught countless young pianists.
He joined Local 802 in 1927 and was also a member of ASCAP for over 35 years. He continued to compose and play piano until shortly before his death.
He is survived by his stepdaughter, two granddaughters and three great-grandchildren.
Ralph Sutton, 79, a pianist and an 802 member since 1947, died on Dec. 30.
Mr. Sutton was one of the last pianists to specialize in the style known as Harlem “stride” piano. He became the leading interpreter of the keyboard music of Fats Waller, as well as being recognized as an outstanding soloist and band musician.
Born in Missouri, he played in his father’s country dance band from the age of eleven and was strongly influenced by a St. Louis radio program, Harlem Rhythm, which featured Waller’s piano playing. Late in 1942 he moved from St. Louis to play with Jack Teagarden’s band in New York. He was drafted in 1943.
He returned to New York in 1947 and the following year became the intermission pianist at Eddie Condon’s Club, a position he held for nearly eight years. He seldom played with Condon’s band at the club but he recorded with them and also played on Rudi Blesh’s radio programme, This Is Jazz. During his vacations he took a trio or quartet to the West Coast as a leader in his own right. Eventually he moved to California, working with the trumpeters Lee Collins and Bob Scobey, and recording with Bing Crosby.
In the mid-’60s he joined The World’s Greatest Jazz Band, which toured widely and introduced him to an international audience. He went on to appear regularly on the world’s club and festival circuit, both with bands and as a soloist. He visited Britain almost annually from the mid-1980s, and played and recorded in Germany. His biography, “Piano Man,” by James D. Schachter, was published in 1975 and reissued as “Loose Shoes” in 1994.
He is survived by his second wife, Sunnie, and by three sons of his first marriage.
Calvin Eugene Taylor, 72, a bassist and an honor member of Local 802, died on Dec. 22 in Sarasota, Florida.
Born in Toledo, Ohio, he moved to Detroit in 1936 and began his career there, playing sousaphone and piano before taking up double bass. Serving in the Army in the early ’50s, he played in the 8Oth Army Band in Germany. His career in New York began after he was introduced to Horace Silver. Mr. Taylor toured and recorded with the Horace Silver quintet (1958-62), Blue Mitchell Quintet (1962-65), singer Nina Simone (1966-68) and folksinger Judy Collins (1968-’76). His tours spanned the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Israel and Morocco. He wrote the lyrics and music of the song “Why? (The King of Love is Dead),” written in memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. Recorded by Nina Simone, it was included in a documentary film on Dr. King’s life and was shown in theatres and on television around the world. Television appearances included the Mike Douglas, Dick Cavett, and Johnny Carson shows among others, with Judy Collins and Nina Simone.
Mr. Taylor also had short-term engagements with Billy Taylor, Thelonius Monk, Teddy Wilson, Howard McGee, Lou Donaldson, Junior Mance, T -Bone Walker, Barry Harris, Cedar Walton, Stanley Turrentine, Duke Jordan, Roy Eldridge, Illinois Jacquet, Frank Foster, Kenny Dorham, Johnny Hartman, Philly Joe Jones and Charli Persip. With Billy Taylor in 1978, he performed with the Phoenix Symphony. In 1980 he played at Carnegie Hall.
He taught music in New York public schools beginning in 1985, and moved to Sarasota around 1990. Mr. Taylor was preceded in death by his wife, Paula Mandel. Survivors include his brother-in-law, Robert Mandel, and many cousins.
Robert Turner, 87, a pianist and teacher and a 65-year member of Local 802, died on Nov. 28.
Mr. Turner was a child prodigy who soloed with the NBC Orchestra at the age of 14, accompanied such stars as Ezio Pinza, and coached three generations of students to win scores of competitions and establish international careers.
He studied piano from an early age and as a teenager performed regularly on the radio and in orchestras on both coasts. At 16 he won a fellowship to study at Juilliard Graduate School, then earned a master’s in composition at Princeton, studying with Roger Sessions. He studied conducting at the Curtis Institute with Fritz Reiner. Mr. Turner served in military intelligence during World War II, then served on the faculty of Biarritz American University in France, teaching soldiers who were waiting to return home after V-E Day.
He made his New York recital debut in 1947 and presented recitals across the country. In 1969 he founded the Repertoire Chamber Orchestra to showcase young Los Angeles-area soloists, serving as music director and conductor through 1981. From 1949 until 1967 he wrote the program notes for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Mr. Turner was considered the leading piano teacher in the Western United States for more than 40 years. He maintained a teaching studio in Santa Monica from 1946 until his death and, in addition to giving private lessons, taught at UCLA, USC, UC San Diego and the University of Washington.
He is survived by his wife Jane, sons Robert, James and Mark, daughter Susan, and four grandchildren.
Winston Welch, 72, a drummer who joined Local 802 in 1952 and worked on the union staff for many years, died on Jan. 27.
Born in Kansas City, Kansas, he worked as a professional drummer from the time he was 17. Among the artists he played for were Carol Channing, Sid Caesar, Jerry Lewis, Larry Kert and Robert Morse. During the 1950s he played with the Claude Thornhi11 Orchestra. He also played at the Copacabana for five years, in the Roseland Ballroom Band, and on many Broadway shows. After his retirement in 1992, he continued to work for Local 802.
He is survived by his wife Barbara, daughter Roseanne Maria Meyer, son Christopher and four grandchildren. The family has requested that donations in his memory be made to the American Cancer Society