Albert Ayler-Cleveland Ohio saxophonist who was part of the free jazz movement in the 60`s,his wild playing made him a target of critics saying that he just wanted to make alot of noise.Tom Verlaine of Television said that he wanted his guitar to sound like Ayler; jazz saxmen over the past 30 years in the free jazz vein cite him as a big influence.He died in 1970 mysteriously,one story I heard was he was shot by a cop and pushed off a bridge.
album to check out-In Greenwich Village is a classic album of free jazz expression,one piece-"Truth Is Marching In" was played at John Coltrane`s funeral,Coltrane always supported Ayler.These live cuts come from 1966-67.Violinist Michel Sampson was a big influence on John Cale`s viola work in the Velvet Underground.
Chet Baker-trumpeter who played in what was called the "cool" style in California in the 50`s till his death in 1988 in Amsterdam,Baker also sang as well,his love for old standards and jazz standards was what he played the most.He was also well known for his drug addiction problems,something he never got over right up to his death.
album to check out-Chet from 1958-59 is a great album focussing on his trumpet playing,all the tunes are slow and mellow,with a 6 piece band.
Count Basie-one of swing music`s most well known band leaders,the Basie band got national attention in the 30`s in Kansas City,he eventually went to NY and became a top bandleader.Basie kept at it till his death in 1984,even after his death the band still lives on led by old bandmembers.
album to check out-any of the Decca recordings are worth checking out for real swing music from the 1930`s,saxman Lester Young was a key soloist.
Sidney Bechet-New Orleans clarinetist/saxophonist who spread jazz through Europe at the time jazz was becoming a huge phenomenom in the US in the late teens and 20`s.He recorded up to his death in 1959 and became a musical hero in France,where he spent much of his later life.He was a tough character,once challanged another musician to a gunfight because he thought the guy was saying that he played wrong.
album to check out-The Legendary Sidney Bechet is a great collection of 30`s and 40`s stuff,including an early example of overdubbing with Bechet playing all the instruments.