You are on page 1of 4

BIX BEIDERBECKE

The virtuoso Leon Bix Beiderbecke was born in 1903 and died young in 1931. Though his life was short, Bix¶s legacy was long-live. He was raised in Davenport, Iowa, by his mother Agatha and father Bismark. He was the youngest of the German middle class family, his father owned a lumber & coal company in east davenport while his mother was a pianist. As a boy, Bix Beiderbecke had a few piano lessons, but he was self-taught on cornet and developed an unorthodox technique by playing. He was blessed with the gift of a musical ear which helped him greatly throughout his career because he was not able to read music very well. Growing up Bix found his passion, which was to become a musician, it seemed that he would not let anything stop him from achieving his goal. His family disapproved of his interest and sent him to Lake Forest Academy in which they hoped it would control and change him to become discipline and successful. Bix headstrong in following through with his goal led him to start skipping class to go hear the musicians play in Chicago. Soon after bix was expelled from Lake Forrest and began to his career as a full time musician. Beiderbecke arrived on Chicago's "hot" jazz scene at about the same time as musicians such as King Oliver and Louis Armstrong. In Chicago Beiderbecke was already gaining a reputation for his improvisational "play around the note" style and his unique tone, and he found work, first with The Wolverines and then with the respected Jean Goldkette Orchestra. This was a good job, but he lost it after only a few months because he couldn't read music well enough to keep up with a hectic professional band's recording schedule. This is where Bix gift for his musical ear could not help him. Attempting to remedy the situation, he enrolled at the University of Iowa, signing up for several music classes. But he refused to take a required religion and

"Ol' Man River" would be the first of 41 number one hits for Bing Crosby during his career. Beiderbecke's influence can be heard in the trumpeter styles of Red . and parallel 7th and 9th chords reflect his interest in impressionist harmonic language. was number one for one week. and Rex Stewart exactly reproduced some of his solos on recordings. and picked a drunken fight with a college football player. "Ramona". He played and gave the audiences another option to listen to. He had a unsual way of stringing together note choices.ethics course. ain't none of them play like him yet. and In the Dark. Louis Armstrong recognized in him a kindred spirit and said "Lots of cats tried to play like Bix. whereas Bix played in a more subdued manner with low and melodic notes. Bix was way ahead of his time and influence many people for the next couple of decades. Flashes. By contrast. Beiderbecke developed a beautiful and original style. Beiderbecke also played and composed at the piano throughout his working life. Biederbecke was known for putting solos and creating a fluid sound. Bix Beiderbecke played cornet on four number one hit records in 1928 recorded with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra: "Together". Within a month he was expelled. Bix music was truly amazing for his time. and "Ol' Man River". number one for six weeks. his style was completely opposite Louis Armstrong. with Bing Crosby on vocals. "My Angel". Miles Davis is also known to have tried to find people that played with bix Beiderbecke. noted for its brilliant phrasing and its clarity of tone. his famous pieces include In a Mist. consistently missed classes. Their use of pandiatonicism. number one for two weeks. Armstrong played was usually ³hot´ and played loudly with high notes.". Candlelights. Beiderbecke's originality made him one of the first white jazz musicians to be admired by black performers. Louis Armstrong did not have any number one records in the 1920s. whole-tone scales. number one for three weeks. His cornet playing.

Years of bootleg liquor and hard years on the road put him in state of poor health. aged only 28. and Rex Stewart. . He still having a impact on today¶s world. Bix Biederbecke was one of the most influential musicians of his time. He will always be remembered for the way he played and not for his life style. and he soon descended into alcoholism. Bunny Berigan. Beiderbecke suffered several breakdowns and bouts of pneumonia. he started drinking in the early morning and didn't stop till he passed out at night. he would apparently drink pure alcohol mixed with lemon drops. Although he was largely unknown to the general public at the time of his death. In a profession where hard drinking was routine his alcohol consumption was legendary. one of which finally killed him. When he couldn't get corn-mash whisky or gin. Davenport holds an annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival where people come to remember and hear his music. he acquired an almost legendary aura among jazz musicians and enthusiasts. Weakened by his excesses. Bix brought a different side to jazz the side that completely opposite of what everyone was listening to at the time which shows greatness.Nichols. Beiderbecke began to have to take time off from playing with Whiteman . a testament to his brilliant musicianship.though the bandleader kept a place for him and continued to pay him. which was the other thing Beiderbecke was known for.

Sudhalter and Philip R.com/biographies/1608000175/Bix-Beiderbecke.org/wiki/Bix_Biederbecke http://www. by Richard M. Arlington House Publishers. 1974 . Man And Legend.musicianguide.BIBLIOGRAPHY http://everything2.wikipedia.html http://www.org/templates/story/story.com/title/Bix%2520Beiderbecke http://en.redhotjazz.php?storyId=4557901 http://www. Evans.com/bix.html Bix.npr.