Volume CIV, No. 7/8July, 2004
Elden “Buster” Bailey –Percussion
Irving Barnett – Clarinet
Ray Charles – Piano
Harrison Cooper – Piano
Anthony Del Casino – Trombone
John A. Di Janni – Viola/Conductor
Bill Doar – Piano/Arranger/Copyist
Joseph Hugh Dumas – Bass
Lise Elson – Violin
Santo J. Folino – Saxophone
Arthur Frye – Saxophone
Andrew Galos – Violin
Rod Hausen – Orchestrator/Conductor/Arranger/Copyist
Daphne Hellman – Harp
Bart Howard – Piano
Elvin Jones – Drums
Milton Kestenbaum – Bass
John D. La Porta – Clarinet
Hyman Lader – Violin
Don Leight – Trumpet
Burt Levine – Piano
Alfio Micci – Violin
Abraham Pearlstein – Trombone
Joseph J. Porcelli – Drums
Donald Rigney – Drums
Thomas Rotella – Saxophone
Moe Sadwick – Trombone/Conductor/Arranger/Copyist
Arthur C. Statter – Trumpet
James L. Styles – Bass
Sam Waldman – Saxophone
David Walter – Bass
Elden “Buster” Bailey
Elden C. “Buster” Bailey, 81, a percussionist and an 802 member since 1947, died on April 13.
Mr. Bailey was born in Portland, Maine. He attended the New England Conservatory and graduated from Juilliard.
During World War II he was a member of the U.S. Army 154th Ground Force Band.
Mr. Bailey was a member of the New York Philharmonic for 42 years and a percussion teacher at Juilliard for 24 years. He was one of the original members of both the Little Orchestra Society and the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra.
He wrote two books on percussion instruments and was a member of the Percussive Arts Society’s Hall of Fame.
Mr. Bailey was an avid fan of circus music and was a member of Windjammers Unlimited, an organization devoted to music of the circus.
He is survived by his wife Barbara, sisters Joyce and Elaine, six nieces and nephews and eight grandnieces and grandnephews.
Ray Charles, 73, a pianist and rhythm-and-blues singer and composer, died on June 10. He had been a Local 802 member since 1946.
When Mr. Charles was 5 he began losing his sight; he became completely blind by the time he was 7. But he began to learn piano, at first from a local boogie-woogie pianist in Greenville, Fla., Wylie Pitman; he also soaked up gospel music at the Shiloh Baptist Church and rural blues from musicians including Tampa Red.
He attended the St. Augustine School for the Deaf and the Blind from 1937 to 1945. There he started formal piano lessons. He learned to write music in Braille and played Chopin and Art Tatum; he also learned to play clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet and organ. On the radio he listened to swing bands, country-and-western singers and gospel quartets.
He left school at 15, after his mother died, and went to Jacksonville, Fla., to earn a living as a musician. He played where he could as a sideman or a solo act, taking jobs all over the state.
“I’ve Got a Woman,” recorded in a radio-station studio in Atlanta with his seven-piece band, became Mr. Charles’s first national hit in 1955, starting a string of bluesy, gospel-charged hits, among them “A Fool for You,” “Drown in My Own Tears” and “Hallelujah I Love Her So.” In the mid-1950’s he expanded his band to include the Raelettes, female backup singers who provided responses like a gospel choir, and they became a permanent part of his music.
At the same time Mr. Charles recorded an album with Milt Jackson of the Modern Jazz Quartet in 1958 and appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival.
In 1959 a late-night jam session turned into “What’d I Say.” Although some radio stations banned it, it became a Top 10 pop hit and sold a million copies.
By 1961, Mr. Charles had reached a larger pop audience with songs including two No. 1 hits, his version of “Georgia on My Mind” (one of his first songs to win a Grammy) and “Hit the Road Jack.”
By the mid-1970’s, his presence on the pop charts had dwindled, but he was still widely respected. In 1971 he joined Aretha Franklin for the concert she recorded as “Aretha Live at Fillmore West.” His version of Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City” won a Grammy in 1975. His autobiography became a best seller in 1978. In 1979 his version of “Georgia on My Mind” was named the official state song of Georgia, and in 1980 he appeared in the movie “The Blues Brothers.”
During the 1980’s Mr. Charles returned to the charts, this time in the country category. He signed to CBS Records’s Nashville division and made “Friendship,” an album of duets with 10 country stars, which included songs with George Jones and Willie Nelson that reached the country Top 10 in 1983. He sang “America the Beautiful” at the Republican National Convention in 1984.
In 1986 Mr. Charles was one of the first musicians inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He received a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement in 1987, and in 1989 he appeared on Quincy Jones’s album “Back on the Block,” winning another Grammy in 1990 for a vocal duet with Chaka Khan on “I’ll Be Good to You.” All in all he won a dozen Grammys for his recordings, as well as the achievement award. Also in 1990 he turned up in television ads for Diet Pepsi, singing, “You got the right one, baby, uh-huh!”
Among his numerous awards were the Presidential Medal for the Arts, in 1993, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986.
He had recently recorded an album of duets with such performers as Norah Jones, B. B. King, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Michael McDonald and James Taylor that was planned for an August release. A movie, tentatively titled “Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Story,” starring Jamie Foxx and directed by Taylor Hackford, has been completed, but its producers say they are uncertain if it will be released this year or next.
Mr. Charles was divorced twice, and leaves behind 12 children, 20 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
Joseph Hugh Dumas
Joseph Dumas, 77, a bassist and an 802 member since 1953, died on March 26.
Mr. Dumas had fought in World War II with the 82nd Airborne. He was a pilot and played in the Army band.
After leaving the Army he attended and graduated from the Manhattan School of Music and did postgraduate work at the Eastman School of Music. Mr. Dumas joined the CBS orchestra where he worked with many celebrities of the day. He went on to compose for film, and to arrange and conduct for a number of stars on various television shows, Broadway productions and recording sessions while continuing to perform with artists such as Frank Sinatra, Engelbert Humperdinck, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, Carol Channing, Pearl Bailey, Sammy Davis, Jr., Eartha Kitt, Anthony Newley, Della Reese, Dinah Shore, Bobby Darin, Mary Martin, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme and many others.
Mr. Dumas composed an original work for the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, featuring Toots Thielemans as soloist. He was an assistant conductor on a production of “Hellzapoppin” at the 1967 Expo in Montreal. He played bass on the film scores for two James Bond films, including “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” the score on which Louis Armstrong also performed.
Mr. Dumas was also the choral director for the Atlanta Opera Company.
He is survived by his wife Flora, five children from a previous marriage and three grandchildren.
Andrew Galos, 86, a violinist and an 802 member since 1946, died on June 20.
Dr. Galos began studying violin in Hungary at the age of five and played professionally until his death. He was a scholarship graduate of Juilliard where he earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees and Columbia where he earned his M.A. and Ed.D.
After a full time performance career in New York including stints as first violinist in the NBC Symphony under Arturo Toscanini and concertmaster of Broadway shows including “Guys and Dolls,” he turned his career toward education as a professor of violin and conducting. He taught at ten universities, producing hundreds of professional classical musicians.
While teaching, he maintained an orchestral and solo performance career. During this time he performed as soloist with the Boston Pops under Fiedler and with dozens of other symphonies. He was the concertmaster of symphonies in Maine, Ohio, Georgia, Florida and Oklahoma.
Dr. Galos was a first violinist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra for fifty summer seasons and performed a 50th anniversary quartet concert during the 2003 season. He was a member of Chautauqua’s Mischakoff Quartet and the Chautauqua Quartet and a member of the Chautauqua Music School faculty, teaching both violin and viola.
After moving to the Seattle area, he continued with commercial recordings and performances with his string quartet. He also taught dozens of local students and at workshops around the western U.S.
He is survived by his wife Ruth Fishberg, son Michael, daughter-in-law Brandy, and niece Eileen Perry.
Elvin Jones, 76, a drummer and a member of 802 since 1957, died on May 18.
Mr. Jones was the third Jones brother to become a major jazz musician, following Hank, a legendary pianist who is still active, and Thad, a cornetist, composer, arranger and bandleader, who died in 1986. They all grew up in Pontiac, Mich.
After spending three years in the Army he joined his brothers as a fixture on the busy Detroit jazz scene of the early 1950’s. As the house drummer at a local nightclub, the Bluebird Inn, he worked with local musicians like Tommy Flanagan and Kenny Burrell as well as visiting jazz stars like Charlie Parker and Miles Davis.
In 1956 after briefly touring with the bassist Charles Mingus and the pianist Bud Powell, Mr. Jones moved to New York, where he was soon in great demand as an accompanist. He occasionally sat in with Miles Davis, and in 1960 joined John Coltrane’s group. He can be heard on Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” and “Coltrane Live at the Village Vanguard.”
Mr. Jones left the group in March 1966. He spent two weeks with Duke Ellington’s big band and briefly worked in Paris before returning to the United States, where he formed a trio with bassist Jimmy Garrison, who had also recently left Coltrane, and the saxophonist Joe Farrell. That group was short-lived, but Mr. Jones continued to lead small groups for the rest of his life.
Over the years many exceptional musicians passed in and out of the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine, as the ensemble came to be known in all its various incarnations, and the group performed regularly all over the world and recorded prolifically.
Mr. Jones came to see it as his mission to offer training and experience to promising young musicians, and in recent years he gave early exposure to budding jazz stars like the saxophonist Joshua Redman, the trumpeter Nicholas Payton and the trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis. A particularly noteworthy addition to the Jazz Machine lineup in the 1990’s was the saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, John’s son.
Mr. Jones’s survivors include his wife, Keiko, who also managed his career and composed several of the pieces in his band’s repertory, and his brother Hank.
Some of the information for this obituary came from the New York Times.
Abraham Pearlstein, 87, a trombonist and baritone horn player, died on March 9. He had been a Local 802 member since 1936.
While a scholarship student at Juilliard, Mr. Pearlstein was asked to play the baritone horn solo in “Pictures at an Exhibition” with the New York Philharmonic under Arturo Toscanini. He later joined the New York Philharmonic in 1939.
He served in World War II as a member of the Naval-Marine band and played at President Roosevelt’s funeral. He was a member of the NBC Symphony from 1948-1954.
While at NBC, he played with the first Tonight Show band and on the Sid Caesar Show. He also played with the Symphony of the Air, the Little Orchestra Society, the Brooklyn and Westchester philharmonics and the American Opera Society.
He also performed in many Broadway shows, including “My Fair Lady,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “She Loves Me.” He performed on the recording of Richard Rogers’ “Victory at Sea.”
After moving to Florida in the 1980’s, he came back to New York regularly to play in the Goldman and Seuffert bands. In retirement, he kept active, playing in bands and brass ensembles well into his 80’s.
He is survived by his wife Marion, son Dennis, daughters Leslie and Cheryl Packnowski and granddaughter Tamari Packnowski.