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Kenny Wheeler

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Born: January 14, 1930; Toronto, Ontario, Canada  
Veteran trumpeter/flügelhornist Kenny Wheeler has long been one of the most advanced voices on his instrument. Blessed with a full, lovely tone and an astounding range, Wheeler sounds equally at home in fiery free jazz explorations or softer, more lyrical post-bop meditations. Wheeler was born in 1930 in St. Catherine's (near Toronto), Ontario, and began playing trumpet at age 12. After studying at Toronto's Royal Conservatory, he moved to London Read more in 1952, where he gigged with swing and dance bands. He appeared with John Dankworth's orchestra at the 1959 Newport Festival and remained with that group until 1965. In 1966, Wheeler discovered free jazz, and, fascinated, joined John Stevens' Spontaneous Music Ensemble for the next four years. In addition, he played jazz-rock fusion with the Mike Gibbs Orchestra from 1969-1975, and joined Tony Oxley's sextet (along with free jazz giants like Derek Bailey and Evan Parker) from 1969-1972. Through the latter, Wheeler was invited to join German pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach's groundbreaking free jazz big band the Globe Unity Orchestra in 1970, an association Wheeler maintained for years to come. During the first half of the '70s, Wheeler played with Anthony Braxton, which became his primary focus. In 1975, he signed with the ECM label and recorded the well-received Gnu High, which established him as a solo artist of note; the following year, he left Braxton and joined the trio Azimuth. Wheeler turned out a series of excellent ECM albums, including 1977's Deer Wan and 1983's Double, Double You (that year, Wheeler also began a four-year run with the Dave Holland Quintet). Several more generally fine outings followed in the '90s, including the ECM dates Music for Large and Small Ensembles and The Widow in the Window (both recorded in 1990), plus other recordings for Justin Time and Soul Note later in the decade. ~ Steve Huey Read less
Browse 1-2 of 2 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Wake, Awake! - Stravinsky, Hindemith, Bach, Hollenbeck
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 17352 Release Date: 12/03/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Hollenbeck,  Igor Stravinsky,  Kenny Wheeler,  Paul Hindemith  ... 
    Performer:  Kenny Wheeler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Chorus,  Bamberg Symphony Big Band
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 2.
    Prime Meridian / Meridian Arts Ensemble
    Label: Channel Crossings   Catalog: 8195 Release Date: 08/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Captain Beefheart,  Igor Stravinsky,  Frank London,  Herbie Hancock  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Grabois,  Benjamin Herrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Meridian Arts Ensemble
    On sale! $21.98
    CD: $19.99
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $21.98   CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart