Jerry Brainin – Piano
Tee Carson– Piano
Charles Colin – Trumpet
Forest B. Corley – Clarinet/Arranger
Wallace I. Curtis – Saxophone
Frank D’Elia – Piano
Paul K. Deneka – Piano
James Douglas – Clarinet
Otto J. Fischer – Saxophone/Arranger
Gene Harris – Piano
Hal Hyer – Violin
Gus Johnson, Jr. – Drums
Charles P. Koenig – Bass
Bernard Krane – Drums
Vincent D. Liota – Viola
Sidney Margolis – Guitar
Golde M. Meyer – Piano
Paul L. Montalbano – Guitar
Louis R. Mucci – Trumpet
Joey Nash – Saxophone
Al Puleo – Drums
Ronald Roseman – Oboe
Walter Rumpel – Cello
Murray Sandry – Viola
Nick Sans – Accordion
Myron Michael Selker – Violin
Peter Thompson – Piano
Lucien Thomson – Harp
Joseph Vitale – Drums
Jack H. Waters – Saxophone
Donald Tecumseh “Tee” Carson, 70, the jazz pianist who replaced Count Basie on piano in Basie’s big band after his death in 1984, died on Feb. 13. He had been an 802 member since 1980, and was also a member of Local 161-710 in Washington, D.C.
A native of Washington, D.C., Mr. Carson performed with some of the most renowned bands and singers of the last century. He led his own trio for decades, and also accompanied such vocalists as Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Pearl Bailey and Tony Bennett from the 1950s to the 1970s.
In the late 1970s, when Count Basie’s health problems began, Mr. Carson started to fill in occasionally as pianist. When Basie died in 1984 Mr. Carson became the band’s pianist, playing alongside such jazz luminaries as saxophonist Frank Foster and guitarist Freddie Green. In the late 1980s he recorded with the Basie band as well as with saxophonists Frank Wess and Richie Cole.
While working as a jazz pianist at night, he held a day job with the Justice Department as a U.S. marshal. After retiring from the Justice Department he moved to San Francisco, where he continued to perform and hosted radio jazz programs.
Mr. Carson is survived by his wife, Robin LaStofka Carson, daughters Ja Don and Jan, son Donald, sister Shirley and two grandchildren.
Charles Colin, 86, a world-renowned teacher, author and music publisher, died on Feb. 7. The founder of the N.Y. Brass Conference for Scholarships, he had been a member of Local 802 for 65 years.
Born and raised in Salem, Mass., he graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music and launched his career in New York in the early ’40s, playing with the WMCA House band and later with the Charlie Barnet Orchestra. But he soon found his calling and gained recognition as a trumpet teacher and coach for countless musicians, many of whom filled the brass sections of the famous big bands of Woody Herman, Raymond Scott, Louis Prima and other top bands of the era.
His lasting achievement would be as leading author and publisher of brass and jazz methods studied the world over. He was the first publisher of works and transcriptions by such jazz artists as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown, Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbeck, Art Farmer and Red Rodney. He also published brass methods by the great orchestral artists of the day, including Ernest S. Williams, Harry Glantz, Allen Ostrander, Albert Mancini, William Vacchiano and Mel Broiles. Several of his own books – like “100 Original Warm-ups” and “Lip Flexibilities” – have been the mainstay of trumpeters’ libraries for over 50 years.
In 1973 he founded the New York Brass Conference for Scholarships, a non-profit organization which presents an annual three-day festival highlighting every facet of brass music. Up-and coming talents perform side by side with classical and jazz celebrities, creating an inspirational experience for musicians and audience while providing scholarship awards for members.
The 28th Annual Brass Conference, to be held March 31-April 2 at the Lighthouse in NYC, will be highlighted with a memorial concert by the Empire Brass Quintet. Dr. Colin galvanized the original five to form the quintet 28 years ago, and featured them at the first Brass Conference.
He is survived by his wife, Irene, sons Allan and Charles, daughters Lois and Karen, and grandsons Zachary, Asher and Daniel.
Gene Harris, 74, a jazz pianist who joined Local 802 in 1945, died on Jan. 16 at his home in Idaho.
Born in Benton Harbor, Mich., Mr. Harris taught himself piano at age 9, influenced by boogie woogie players like Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson. He oined the Army in 1951, playing in the 82nd Airborne Division band and, after his discharge in 1954, toured the country with various band leaders.
In 1956 he formed his first band, the Four Sounds. One member left within a year and the group became the Three Sounds. They made several recordings throughout the 1960’s and 70’s on the Blue Note label. Mr. Harris also played on recordings with groups led by Stanley Turrentine, James Clay, Milt Jackson, Benny Carter and others.
In 1977 he announced his semi-retirement and moved to Boise. But after signing with Concord Records in the mid-80’s, he produced more than 22 albums. His album “Tribute to Count Basie” was nominated for a Grammy in 1988 in the category of best big band jazz instrumental.
He is survived by his wife Janie, daughters Beth and Niki, and son Gene.
Gus Johnson, Jr., 86, a drummer who played with the some of the most famous artists of the post-World War II era, and an 802 member since 1947, died on Feb. 6.
Mr. Johnson was born in Tyler, Texas. His musical career began in 1935, when he joined the Jo Jones sextet. He played with Jay McShann’s band in Kansas City from 1938 to 1943, then entered the Army.
After the war he played with several bands, including those led by Earl Hines and Cootie Williams. In 1949 he joined Count Basie, with whom he remained until 1954, playing in both the sextet Basie briefly led and then his powerful new-style big band.
He later freelanced, accompanying singers including Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald and playing on numerous club dates, concert and recording sessions with Buck Clayton, Jimmy Rushing, Woody Herman and the World’s Greatest Jazz Band. He traveled extensively, playing in Europe, Japan and South America. In 1968 he moved to Denver to be the drummer with the World’s Greatest Jazz Band. He stayed with the band for almost 10 years. He was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in Kansas City in 1970, and the Cincinnati Hall of Rock and Roll.
He is survived by his wife Mildred, daughters Michelle, Amelia and Marcia, son Gus, and four grandchildren.
Vincent D. Liota
Vincent D. Liota, 70, a violist and composer-arranger, died on Jan.29. He had been a member of Local 802 for almost 50 years.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, he received a B.S. in Music Education in 1951 from New York University. After serving in the army for two years during the Korean War, much of that time in active combat, Mr. Liota played viola in various symphony orchestras, including the Dallas Symphony (1955-’58), St. Louis Symphony (1959-’61) and Metropolitan Opera/New York State Opera and Ballet (1975-’80). He was a charter member of the Long Island Philharmonic, and played with that orchestra until last year.
Mr. Liota also worked as a freelance studio musician and orchestra member for thousands of live orchestral performances, Broadway musicals, film soundtracks and session recordings for artists including Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, Dizzy Gillespie, Johnny Mathis, Liberace and Elvis Presley.
As composer and arranger, he founded the Cameo String Quartet in 1973. He composed and performed original compositions with the quartet until his death. Mr. Liota spent much of his time working with the Gemini Youth Orchestras on Long Island, where he served as coach and board member from 1980 to 1999.
He is survived by his wife Marilyn, son Vincent, sister Jeanne Bilello, and grandchildren Robert and Ellie.
Sidney Margolis, 84, a guitarist and teacher and an 802 member since 1938, died on Jan. 27.
Mr. Margolis attended Stuyvesant High School in New York, planning to be an artist – but he taught himself to play the guitar while in high school and began his professional career after graduating. He performed on radio and television, appearing on the Arthur Godfrey and Jack Smith shows, among others; in New York City theatres and resorts in the Catskills. He went on the road with Frankie Carle’s orchestra and in 1946 made a movie with him, Carle Comes Calling. He also played with Johnny Long, among others.
Mr. Margolis was a fine teacher who instructed generations of students, including many who became professional musicians, in more than 40 years of teaching.
He is survived by his wife Ruth, daughter Gayle, son Jack and grandchildren Stacy and Pamela.
Ronald Roseman, 66, an oboist, composer and teacher, died on Feb. 10. He had been a member of Local 802 since 1952.
He started playing the oboe when he was 12, studying at the High School of Music and Art and the Henry Street Settlement, and later privately with Harold Gomberg. At Queens College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1950, he studied composition with Elliott Carter and Karol Rathaus, and he also studied privately with Ben Weber and Henry Cowell. Mr. Roseman’s compositions included works for orchestra, voice and various chamber music combinations.
In the late 1950s he played the shawm, a Renaissance wind instrument, in New York Pro Musica. But he was heard most frequently on the modern oboe and sometimes the English horn. Mr. Roseman was the Philharmonic’s acting principal oboist in the late 1970s and was also the principal oboist of several freelance orchestras, including Musica Sacra and the New York Chamber Symphony in its early years. He joined the New York Woodwind Quintet in 1961, and the Bach Aria Group in 1981. He made more than 50 recordings.
Mr. Roseman joined the faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in 1975. He also taught at Mannes College of Music, the Juilliard School, and the Yale School of Music.
He is survived by his wife Okkyu, daughter Remie, son John, and his mother, Florence Grippe.
Peter Thompson (Frank L., Jr.), 59, a pianist and member of Local 802 since 1980, died suddenly on Feb. 4.
Born and raised in St. Louis, he began studying the piano at six, then later the trombone. He entered Washington University, studying piano with Leigh Gerdine, and was soloist in Rhapsody in Blue with the W.U. Orchestra in 1961. He also played first trombone in the orchestra, was active in student affairs, a Phi Delta Theta member and graduated with a B.A. in Music in 1963. He then joined the Missouri Air National Guard Band, playing both trombone and French horn. He joined Local 2-197 in 1965, worked extensively in the St. Louis area, soloed with various orchestras and became a writer member of ASCAP in 1970.
In 1975 Mr. Thompson became associate musical director/pianist at The Crystal Palace theater restaurant in Aspen, Colo., and music director/pianist at The Crystal Palace in Dallas in the summers. He went briefly to California in 1979, joining Local 47, Los Angeles, but then returned to Aspen for one more season.
He came to New York in 1980, where he was much in demand as an accompanist, arranger and musical director, working with Eddie Fisher, Eartha Kitt and John Gary, among others, and performing frequently in New England summer music theatre. He was also musical director for AGVA’s senior citizen shows at the Actor’s Fund Home in Englewood, N.J.
He is survived by his wife, Lanie Dommu, sister Marilee Thompson and brother David Thompson.
Lucien Thomson, 86, a harpist and teacher who joined Local 802 in 1947, died on Jan. 1. He was a founding member of the American Harp Society and served as its national president from 1966 to 1968.
Born in Atlanta, Mr. Thomson attended Emory University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1934. He was a bandmaster in Canton, Ga. for a short time before coming to New York in 1938 to enroll in the Juilliard School, where he studied with Marcel Grandjany.
He became bandmaster at Peekskill Military Academy in 1941. Five years later, he moved back to New York to teach the Grandjany Harp technique, teaching privately at his home and at the Juilliard School. Mr. Thomson also created and directed the education program of the American Harp Society, developed a method for teaching harp to young beginners, and published several collections of simple pieces for the harp.