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Bix Beiderbecke

Bix Beiderbecke (Cornet)

Born: 10th March 1903, Davenport, Iowa, U.S.

Died: 6th August 1931, Sunnyside, Queens, New York

Nationality: American

Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke was an American jazz cornetist, pianist, and composer.

Beiderbecke was one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920s, a cornet player noted for an inventive lyrical approach and purity of tone, with such clarity of sound that one contemporary famously described it like "shooting bullets at a bell". His solos on seminal recordings such as "Singin' the Blues" and "I'm Coming, Virginia" (both 1927) demonstrate a gift for extended improvisation that heralded the jazz ballad style, in which jazz solos are an integral part of the composition. Moreover, his use of extended chords and an ability to improvise freely along harmonic as well as melodic lines are echoed in post-WWII developments in jazz. "In a Mist" (1927) is the best known of Beiderbecke's published piano compositions, and the only one that he recorded.

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