His innovative playing initially received greater attention and appreciation among European critics than those in the country of his birth. Bill Challis, an arranger who had also worked in this capacity for Jean Goldkette, was particularly sympathetic in writing scores with Beiderbecke in mind, sometimes arranging entire ensemble passages based on solos that Bix played. By the following summer his parents Bismarck and Agatha Beiderbecke felt they had lost their son. Both Beiderbecke and Armstrong were key figures in this evolution, as can be heard on their earliest recordings. The Bix Beiderbecke Story: The Jazz Musician in Legend, Fiction, and Fact; A Study of the Images of Jazz in the National Culture 1930–the Present. Biopic of troubled jazz musician/composer Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931), who played with the Paul Whiteman band, among others. [27] While historians have traditionally suggested that his parents sent him to Lake Forest to discourage his interest in jazz,[28] others believe that he may have been sent away in response to his arrest. [19] From these records, Beiderbecke learned to love hot jazz; he taught himself to play cornet by listening to Nick LaRocca's horn lines. Born to parents Bismark Herman and Agatha Jane (Hilton) Beiderbecke in Davenport, Iowa on March 10, 1903, Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke emerged from the Quad-Cities to become one of the most renowned and influential jazz musicians of the roaring 1920s. He was buried there on August 11, 1931, in the family plot at Oakdale Cemetery. All five of his piano compositions were published by Robbins Music during his lifetime. Five years later, he was the subject of an admiring article in the Davenport Daily Democrat that proclaimed, "Seven-year-old boy musical wonder! There is disagreement over whether Beiderbecke was christened Leon Bix or Leon Bismark and nicknamed "Bix". Beiderbecke's solo on the latter heralded something new and significant in jazz, according to biographers Richard M. Sudhalter and Philip R. Evans: Both qualities—complementary or "correlated" phrasing and cultivation of the vocal, "singing" middle-range of the cornet—are on display in Bix's "Jazz Me Blues" solo, along with an already discernible inclination for unusual accidentals and inner chordal voices. The Whiteman period marked a precipitous decline in his health due to his increasing use of alcohol. Lion, p. 203; Sudhalter and Evans, p. 264. His colorful life, quick rise and fall, and eventual status as a martyr made him a legend even before he died. In 2003, the 100th anniversary of Beiderbecke's birth, he received support from Chris Beiderbecke, Bix's grand-nephew, who lives in Illinois. Some critics have highlighted "Jazz Me Blues", recorded with the Wolverines on February 18, 1924, as being particularly important to understanding Beiderbecke's style. Wrote and recorded some of the landmark music in the early history of jazz; inspired a generation of soloists; overcame obstacles, including a lack of family support; died young after a brilliant career; and struggled with self-destructive impulses. Paul Whiteman ’ s Society Orchestra. During this time, Beiderbecke also took piano lessons from a young woman who introduced him to the works of Eastwood Lane. The ledger went on to state that Beiderbecke and the girl "were in an auto in the garage and he closed the door on the girl and she hollered," attracting the attention of two young men who were across the street. Sudhalter and Evans, pp. For example, see Carmichael, Condon, and Mezzrow. Beiderbecke joined the Wolverine Orchestra late in 1923, and the seven-man group first played a speakeasy called the Stockton Club near Hamilton, Ohio. At two years of age, Bix was already showing signs of musical precociousness. [113] Those inventive harmonies, on both cornet and piano, pointed the way to future developments in jazz, particularly bebop, which abandoned melody almost entirely.[114]. His life has often been portrayed as that of a jazz musician who had to compromise his art for the sake of commercialism. Associated With. Big Al … He was playing the piano by three, and soon, he could play by ear after hearing the piece once. Lion, pp. He was the first major white jazz soloist. The magazine's editor, Edgar Jackson, was equally fulsome in his praise: "Bix has a heart as big as your head, which shines through his playing with the warmth of the sun's rays" (September 1927 issue); "The next sixteen bars are a trumpet solo by Bix, and if this doesn't get you right in the heart, you'd better see a vet…."[85]. [63], The Paul Whiteman Orchestra was the most popular and highest paid dance band of the day. Second PS: "PS Have you heard the Candlelight program?" Bix was born on Tuesday evening March 10, 1903, the son of Bismark Herman and Agnes Jane (Aggie, Agatha Hilton) Beiderbecke. Just weeks before his death in the summer of 1931, Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke wrote to his parents that he was planning to marry a young lady named Alice O’Connell, mother’s maiden name Weiss. In this version, in which Hoagy Carmichael also plays a role, the Rick Martin character lives. The young men "went over [to the garage] and the girl went home." Critic Frank Murphy argues that many of the same characteristics that mark Beiderbecke on the cornet are also reflected in his piano playing: the uncharacteristic fingering, the emphasis on inventive harmonies, and the correlated choruses. [16] His sister recalls that he stood on the floor and played it with his hands over his head. The band toured widely and famously played a set opposite Fletcher Henderson at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City in October 1926. Hotels near Bix Beiderbecke Museum & Archive: (0.08 km) The Current Iowa, Autograph Collection (0.15 km) Radisson Quad City Plaza Hotel (0.32 km) Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection (0.82 km) Beiderbecke Bed and Breakfast (6.31 km) Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Davenport; View all hotels near Bix Beiderbecke Museum & Archive on Tripadvisor Beiderbecke was portrayed as a tragic genius along the lines of Ludwig van Beethoven. "[104] The tune's laid-back emotions hinted at what would become, in the 1950s, the cool jazz style, personified by Chet Baker and Bill Evans. Leon Bix Beiderbecke was born in Davenport, Iowa to a middle-class family. Depending on the source. He made his greatest recordings in 1927. He drinks and you'll have a hard time handling him. … Whiteman's violinist Matty Malneck said "The work was so hard, you almost had to drink"[69] adding "He didn't get to play the things he loved with the Whiteman band because we were a symphonic band and we played the same thing every night, and it got to be tiresome. During an engagement at the Cinderella Ballroom in New York in September–October 1924, Bix tendered his resignation with the Wolverines,[50] leaving to join Jean Goldkette and his Orchestra in Detroit, but Beiderbecke's tenure with the band proved to be short-lived. On January 26, 1925, they set two tunes to wax: "Toddlin' Blues", another number by LaRocca and Shields, and Beiderbecke's own composition, "Davenport Blues", which subsequently became a classic jazz number, recorded by musicians ranging from Bunny Berigan to Ry Cooder and Geoff Muldaur. [40], In some respects, Beiderbecke's playing was sui generis,[41] but he nevertheless listened to, and learned from, the music around him: from the Dixieland jazz as exemplified by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band; to the hotter Chicago style of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and the south-side bands of King Oliver and other black artists; to the classical compositions of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.[42]. It was widely believed, for many years, that Beiderbecke's real name was Leon Bismark Beiderbecke. "If you had any talent at all he made you play better. [76] Bing Crosby, who sang with Whiteman, also cited Beiderbecke as an important influence. "We […] were amazed, angry, morose, and bewildered," Rex Stewart, Fletcher's lead trumpeter, said of listening to Beiderbecke and his colleagues play. Berton (p. 24) writes there is "no evidence" the two met in Davenport, while Kenney (p. 123) writes that the two may have met in Louisiana, Missouri. Louis Armstrong also provided a source of inspiration, though Beiderbecke's style was very different from that of Armstrong, according to The Oxford Companion to Jazz: Where Armstrong's playing was bravura, regularly optimistic, and openly emotional, Beiderbecke's conveyed a range of intellectual alternatives. "His story is a good story, quite humble and right. According to Lion, he was not expelled, but quit (pp. In 1936 Victor’s Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Album became the first album-form reissue in jazz ... originally assembled by Bix’s parents in the ’20s and ’30s, has passed to her and now forms the cornerstone of the museum collection. Beiderbecke's parents enrolled him in the exclusive Lake Forest Academy, north of Chicago in Lake Forest, Illinois. New York, New York. Treatment for alcoholism in rehabilitation centers, with the support of Whiteman and the Beiderbecke family, failed to stop his decline. [64] A number of Beiderbecke partisans have criticised Whiteman for not giving Bix the opportunities he deserved as a jazz musician.[65]. [59], Although the Goldkette Orchestra recorded numerous sides for Victor during this period, none of them showcases Beiderbecke's most famous solos. His colorful life, quick rise and fall, and eventual status as a martyr made him a legend even before he died. 1 Replies 63 Views Last post by mgconlan Nov 14, 2020 2020-09-20T12:09. For years, aficionados and historians searched for her, hoping to learn more about Bix from one of the last people to know him. "Don't think I'm getting hard, Burnie," he wrote to his brother, "but I'd go to hell to hear a good band. Bix Beiderbecke was one of the greatest jazz musicians of the 1920s. 16–17; Sudhalter and Evans, p. 26. They had given encouragement. [72] He then spent the summer with Whiteman's band in Hollywood in preparation for the shooting of a new talking picture, The King of Jazz. He left the Whiteman band in 1929 and in the summer of 1931 he died in his Sunnyside, Queens, New York apartment at the age of 28.[3]. Bix was one of the greatest Cornet players of his (or any other) time. Trevor tries to buy some jazz records but this leads to meeting a "dazzlingly beautiful platinum blond", a suspicious detective sergeant and a strange pair of men running a junior football team. 132–163). [82] The official cause of death, as indicated on the death certificate, was lobar pneumonia. Teachout, "Homage to Bix", p. 65. On April 22, 1921, a month after he turned 18, Beiderbecke was arrested by two Davenport police officers on an accusation that he had taken a five-year-old girl named Sarah Ivens into a neighbor's garage and committed a lewd and lascivious act with her—a statutory felony in Iowa. Most jazz trumpet players cite one of two main influences: the hot, flashy Louis Armstrong or the cool, thoughtful Bix Beiderbecke. They joined his orchestra in Indianapolis on October 27. Bix Beiderbecke, in full Leon Bismark Beiderbecke, (born March 10, 1903, Davenport, Iowa, U.S.—died August 6, 1931, Long Island, New York), American jazz cornetist who was an outstanding improviser and composer of the 1920s and whose style is characterized by lyricism and purity of tone. Possessor of a lovely, distinctive tone along with a strikingly first improvising … Opening in 2017 in the basement of the River Music Experience, the Bix Museum is the premiere location to learn about the life and legacy of Bix Beiderbecke. The parents weren’t professional musicians, but music was often heard in the home. For the asteroid named in Bix Beiderbecke's honor, see. Another newcomer was Sylvester Ahola, a schooled trumpeter who could play improvised jazz solos and read complex scores. 1 for 6 weeks, "Louisiana" [Take 1], recorded on April 23, 1928 in New York and released as Victor 21438, "Tain't So, Honey, 'Tain't So", recorded on June 10, 1928 in New York and released as Columbia 1444-D, "Because My Baby Don't Mean "Maybe" Now", recorded on June 18, 1928 in New York and released as Columbia 1441-D, "Oh! He first recorded with Midwestern jazz ensemble The Wolverines[2] in 1924, after which he played briefly for the Detroit-based Jean Goldkette Orchestra before joining Frankie "Tram" Trumbauer for an extended engagement at the Arcadia Ballroom in St. Louis, also under the auspices of Goldkette's organisation. Davenport High School show, circa 1920. For while the Beiderbecke sound is filled with joy--and it is hot and it is swinging--it often … By the following summer his parents Bismarck and Agatha Beiderbecke felt they had lost their son. It is a pioneer record, introducing a musician of great originality with a pace-setting band. Bix Beiderbecke was one of the greatest jazz musicians of the 1920s. The headmaster informed Beiderbecke's parents by letter that following his expulsion school officials confirmed that Beiderbecke "was drinking himself and was responsible, in part at least, in having liquor brought into the School. His real name was Leon Bix Beiderbecke. This was perhaps the most fruitful year of his short career. The surviving official documents concerning the arrest and its aftermath - including two police entries and Preston Ivens' grand jury testimony – were first made available in 2001 by Professor Albert Haim on the Bixography website. In September 1921, Beiderbecke enrolled at the Lake Forest Academy, a boarding school north of Chicago in Lake Forest, Illinois. Told in stunning illustrations, Bix is a near-wordless graphic exploration highlighting the career of Leon Bix Beiderbecke, one of the most innovative jazz soloists of the 1920s next to the legendary Louis Armstrong. By ten years of age, Bix was … As a boy Beiderbecke was expelled from Lake Forest Academy in suburban Chicago. In 2003, to mark the hundredth anniversary of his birth, the Greater Astoria Historical Society and other community organizations, spearheaded by Paul Maringelli and The Bix Beiderbecke Sunnyside Memorial Committee, erected a plaque in Beiderbecke's honor at the apartment building in which he died in Queens. Shapiro and Hentoff, p. 151. Although it was one of his earliest recordings, the hallmarks of his playing are evident. These themes were repeated by Beiderbecke's friends in various memoirs, including The Stardust Road (1946) and Sometimes I Wonder (1965) by Hoagy Carmichael, Really the Blues (1946) by Mezz Mezzrow, and We Called It Music (1947) by Eddie Condon. He spent a month, from October 14 until November 18, at the Keeley Institute in Dwight, Illinois. [57] When Trumbauer organized a band for an extended run at the Arcadia Ballroom in St. Louis, Beiderbecke joined him. They had taken delight in their young son's amazing ability to create a little quick music at the piano. His piano style reflects both jazz and classical (mainly impressionist) influences. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. In pursuit of the former, Beiderbecke often visited Chicago to listen to jazz bands at night clubs and speakeasies, including the infamous Friar's Inn, where he sometimes sat in with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. Bing … Beiderbecke's parents enrolled him in the exclusive Lake Forest Academy, north of Chicago in Lake Forest, Illinois. Jill Swinburne teaches English and wants to help save the planet. See Spencer, pp. "[88] He was "this big overgrown kid, who looked like he'd been snatched out of a cradle in the cornfields", Mezzrow wrote. [84], Critical analysis of Beiderbecke's work during his lifetime was sparse. [47] Indeed, Beiderbecke had met Hardy and the clarinetist Leon Roppolo in Davenport in 1921 when the two joined a local band and played in town for three months. Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke (March 10, 1903 – August 6, 1931) was an American jazz cornetist, pianist, and composer. Bix probably would have experienced a similar pattern regardless of his parents' resistance or encouragement. Evans and Evans, pp. After his death, he also became one of the first cult celebrities of the 20th century. [80] On the evening of August 6, at about 9.30 pm, his rental agent, George Kraslow, heard noises coming from across the hallway. He later had piano lessons, but managed to avoid learning to read music very well, preferring instead to "improvise" on the scores he was being taught. [101] Armstrong was a virtuoso on his instrument, and his solos often took advantage of that fact. Beiderbecke remains the subject of scholarly controversy regarding his full name, the cause of his death and the importance of his contributions to jazz. 94–95). Lane's piano suites and orchestral arrangementswere sel… Brendan Wolfe, the author of Finding Bix, spoke of Beiderbecke's lasting influence on Davenport, Iowa: "His name and face are still a huge part of the city's identity. Paul Whiteman: Pioneer in American Music, … Updates? With Bryant Weeks, Emile B. Levisetti, Julia Ewing, Mark Collver. Beiderbecke earned co-writing credit with Trumbauer on "For No Reason at All in C", recorded under the name Tram, Bix and Eddie (in their Three Piece Band). This bittersweet quality, often not noticed when one first begins listening to Bix, may be the most intriguing ingredient. Letter from Bix to his parents, dated March 4, 1931. Beiderbecke's parents enrolled him in the exclusive Lake Forest Academy, north of Chicago in Lake Forest, Illinois. Pianists. We do that through facilitating performances of jazz music annually through our festival and also through our Bix Youth Band, a scholarship program that teaches young musicians … It had a reputation for producing ranks of the model citizens the Beiderbeckes wished their son to join. If the item is retained, the headmaster's florid prose needs to be replaced with something consise. "[110] Richard Hadlock describes Beiderbecke's contribution to "Jazz Me Blues" as "an ordered solo that seems more inspired by clarinetists Larry Shields of the ODJB and Leon Roppolo of the NORK than by other trumpet players. In 2014, the 1930 recording of "Georgia on My Mind" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[75]. And it astonished even the Wolverines themselves. 403–472; and Lion, pp. Gioia points to "a characteristic streak of obstinacy" in Beiderbecke that provokes "this chronic disregard of the tried-and-true." In the April 1927 issue, bandleader Fred Elizalde stated: "Bix Bidlebeck (sic) is considered by Red Nichols himself and every other trumpet player in the States, for that matter, as the greatest trumpet player of all time". [26] Earlier biographies had not reported the alleged incident. "[36] A subsequent gig at Doyle's Dance Academy in Cincinnati became the occasion for a series of band and individual photographs that resulted in the image of Beiderbecke—sitting fresh-faced, his hair perfectly combed and his cornet resting on his right knee.[37]. Possessor of a beautiful, distinctive tone and a strikingly original improvising style, Beiderbecke's only competitor among cornetists in the '20s was Louis Armstrong but, because of their different sounds and styles, you can't … Beiderbecke and Trumbauer joined Goldkette's main band at the Graystone Ballroom in Detroit in 1926. He called the experience "most humiliating". Bix had the names of Alice’s father and mother … Unofficially, edema of the brain, coupled with the effects of long-term alcoholism, have been cited as contributory factors. Beiderbecke switched between cornet and piano on that number, and then in September played only piano for his recording of "In A Mist". Whiteman was perhaps best known for having premiered George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue in New York in 1924, and the orchestrator of that piece, Ferde Grofé, continued to be an important part of the band throughout the 1920s. It is now known that this — like so many other myths about Beiderbecke — is untrue. Filmed partially in the Beiderbecke home, which Avati had purchased and renovated, Bix was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. In Blackboard Jungle, a 1955 film starring Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier, Beiderbecke's music is briefly featured, but as a symbol of cultural conservatism in a nation on the cusp of the rock and roll revolution. [11] More recent research — which takes into account church and school records in addition to the will of a relative — suggests he was named Leon Bismark. For the blues influence on Armstrong, see Brothers, especially Chapter 7, "Ragtime and Buddy Bolden" (pp. His whole body was trembling violently. On February 18, 1924, the Wolverines made their first recordings. Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke (March 10, 1903 – August 6, 1931) was an American jazz cornetist, pianist, and composer. [86], One of the first serious, analytical obituaries to have been published in the months after his death was by the French jazz writer Hugues Panassié. In the early morning hours of May 20, 1922, he was caught on the fire escape to his dormitory, attempting to climb back into his room. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. .mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}, He pulled me in and pointed to the bed. [60], Under financial pressure, Goldkette folded his premier band in September 1927 in New York. No. Bix Beiderbecke Fans Also Viewed . Here’s the basic shorthand on Beiderbecke: He was born in 1903 in Davenport to middle-class, second-generation German parents (“good, oompah-loving Presbyterians,” Wolfe writes). --Philcha 18:27, 30 November … The Roseland promoted a "Battle of the Bands" in the local press and, on October 12, after a night of furious playing, Goldkette's men were declared the winners. The parentheses are dishonest - either you take responsibility their content and for the space they take in section. Suffering from insomnia, Beiderbecke played the piano late into the evenings, both to the annoyance and the delight of his neighbors. Beiderbecke's most influential recordings date from his time with Goldkette and Whiteman, although he also recorded under his own name and that of Trumbauer's. He shares his insights with the radio audience: “In 1922 Bix was 19 years old and causing his parents a lot of grief over his love affair with jazz. Louis Armstrong and the drummer Baby Dodds claimed to have met Beiderbecke when their excursion boat stopped in Davenport. These feature specially written arrangements that emphasize Beiderbecke's improvisational skills. Bix Beiderbecke was born on March 10, 1903, in Davenport, Iowa, the son of Bismark Herman and Agatha Jane (Hilton) Beiderbecke. Pisces Pianist #18. Miss Hannah", recorded on May 4, 1929 in New York and released as Columbia 1945-D, "I Don't Mind Walking in the Rain" / "I'll Be a Friend with Pleasure", recorded on September 8, 1930, in New York and released as Victor 23008, 1971, Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society established in Davenport, Iowa; founded annual jazz festival and scholarship, 1977, Beiderbecke's 1927 recording of "Singin' the Blues" inducted into the, 1979, inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame, 1980, Beiderbecke's 1927 recording of "In a Mist" inducted into the, 1993, inducted into the International Academy of Jazz Hall of Fame, 2004, inducted into the inaugural class of the Lincoln Center's Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, 2006, the 1927 recording of "Singin' the Blues" with Frankie Trumbauer and Eddie Lang was placed on the U.S. Library of Congress, 2007, inducted into the Gennett Records Walk of Fame in Richmond, Indiana, 2014, the 1930 recording of "Georgia on My Mind" by Hoagy Carmichael and His Orchestra, featuring Beiderbecke on cornet, inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, Blumenthal, Bob. The inspiration for Dorothy Baker’s 1938 jazz novel, Young Man With a Horn, was Bix Beiderbecke, an outstanding jazz player, improviser, and composer. Such recordings as “I’m Coming, Virginia” and “Singin’ the Blues,” both recorded with Trumbauer’s group in 1927, remain jazz classics. For other uses, see, "Beiderbecke" redirects here. By ten years of age, Bix was spending time at … [70] "He cracked up, that's all", trombonist Bill Rank said. Beiderbecke was largely, although not completely, self-taught, and the constraints imposed by that fact were evident in his music. Bix Beiderbecke's grave (left) is positioned near the Beiderbecke family marker (right) at Oakdale Cemetery in, Recorded on May 6, 1924, and released as Gennett 5453B and Claxtonola 40336B, duration is 2:31, For summaries of Beiderbecke's life, see Lion, Sudhalter and Evans, and the documentary film. His father was Manager of the East Davenport Lumber and Coal Company. Front right is Bix Beiderbecke. 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Chaplin teaches woodwork and likes to listen to jazz from the riverboats that in., 30 November … Bix Beiderbecke was christened Leon Bismark ( and nicknamed `` Bix '', trombonist Bill said!, recorded February 4, 1931 ) was a wildness in it, and his plenty... The rest would play and exchange ideas on the film, leaving Beiderbecke and signed! This email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and his solos on seminal recordings … is... ( pp was simple—a series of related phrases they met Beiderbecke when their boat! Lobar pneumonia remained limited to music and sports for Gennett Records between February and October.. A Mississippi riverboat captain guitarist Eddie Lang and violinist Joe Venuti, who played piano she! It had a reputation for producing ranks of the original legends of jazz but his straight-laced parents experienced he been! Mark Collver the meaning, origin, variations, and popularity of the 1920s `` if you have any.. More difficult to find more complex music and sports Bix [ 10 ] the! Have a built-in streak of melancholy in his health due to his increasing use alcohol! P. 48, say age two ; Fairweather, p. 264 love of drink the works of Eastwood.!