Thursday, October 08, 2009


Saxophonist Hal Singer was born on October 8, 1919 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Singer studied violin as a child, but as a teenager switched to clarinet and then tenor saxophone, which became his instrument of choice.

From the late 1930s he began playing in local bands, including that of Ernie Fields, before joining Jay McShann's orchestra in 1943 and then moving to new York. After working in various other bands, he joined Oran "Hot Lips" Page's band in 1947, and also began working as a session musician with King Records.

In early 1948 he left Page, formed his own small group, and was signed to Mercury Records where he cut his first single "Fine As Wine" with a B side "Rock Around the Clock" (not the same title made famous byBill Haley). For the Savoy label of Newwark, New Jersey he recorded the instrumental "Corn Bread", which made # 1 on the R & B charts in September 1948, and gave Singer a new popularity and nickname. His follow-up the following year, "Beef Stew", was a much smaller hit.

In the early and mid 1950s he recorded with Mercury, toured with R&B artists such as The Orioles and Charles Brown, and increasingly worked as a session musician. In 1958 he also began recording with Prestige Records as a jazz soloist, and performing at the Metropole Club in New York with leading jazz musicians such as Roy Eldrigde and Coleman Hawkins.

In 1965, after touring Europe with Earl "Fatha" Hines ' band, Singer stayed in France to settle near Paris. He continued to record and also toured extensively around Europe and Africa, performing with various bands including Charlie Watts' and the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

His 1969 album, Paris Soul Food, featuring himself on saxophone and singing; Robin Hemingway, vocals, arrangements and album production; and Manu Dibango, saxophone, organ & arrangements won a French Record Academy award for best international lp in 1969.
In 1974 he did a State Department tour of Africa with Horace Perlan.
Singer also appears on the 1981 live recording Rocket 88 with the UK-based boogie-woogie band Rocket 88.

He appeared as an actor in the award winning 1990 feature film Taxi Blues, and in 1992 was awarded the prestigious title of "Chevalier des Arts" by the French government.

Hal Singer plays.

Reference - Wikipédia

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