Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Al Sears Photos

Al Sears (1910-90) had that heavy, full-blowing sound like Coleman Hawkins.His first major gig came in 1928 when he replaced Johnny Hodges in Chick Webb's ensemble. In the early 1940s he was with Andy Kirk (1941-42) and Lionel Hampton (1943-44) before he became a member of Duke Ellington's Orchestra in 1944, replacing Ben Webster. He became one of Ellington's best-known soloists, and remained in his employ until 1949, when Paul Gonsalves took over his chair. He played with Johnny Hodges in 1951-52. These days I'm diggin' his finest solo LP, Swing's the Thing (1960).

Ellington Days, mid 1940s, Harry Carney in the background

Ellington Days, mid 1940s, Johnny Hodges in the foreground

Ellington Days, mid 1940s

R&B days, Al in the middle

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