Charles Bell

Charles Bell was a musician, composer, recording artist and conductor. He also served as a bandleader, arranger and music educator. The Charles Bell Contemporary Jazz Quartet recorded acclaimed albums on the Atlantic and Columbia labels. They also toured Europe. Alex Burgnon and George Howard recorded his compositions, as well as Long John Balldry, Vinnie Vin, Long John Balldry, Long John Balldry, Long John Balldry, Long John Balldry, Long John Balldry, Long John Balldry, Long John Balltry, and Long John Balldry. Bell was influenced by John Lewis and Bela Bartok of the Modern Jazz Quartet. This is a synthesis between jazz improvisation and classical music. Bell was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony to compose a three-movement jazz symphony entitled “Concerto in Miniature Jazz Quartet and Orchestra”. This work was performed by the PSO in concert at Syria Mosque in 1963 by Dr. William Steinberg. Bell also composed and performed pieces for the Baltimore Symphony and Harlem Youth Symphony Orchestra. Bell was a music teacher in the New York City public schools and Hunter Collete. “Charles Bell had some great records in the mid- and early ’60s. Bell was influenced by soul-jazz and funky schools at the time. His playing was lively, exciting, and full of blues phrases, gospel phrases, and inflections. Charles Bell was born in Pittsburgh. Ada Bell was a Carnegie Tech stenographer. Bell was a teenager who studied classical piano. He graduated from Schenley High School. He studied composition and piano at Carnegie Tech under the renowned Russian romantic music composer/pianist Bell Nicholai Lopatnikoff. Bell composed his first compositions for string quartet and chamber orchestra at Carnegie Tech. At the age of 20, he became interested in jazz compositions. Bell earned his undergraduate degree in 1958. To continue his studies, he was awarded a John Hay Whitney Fellowship. In 1960, he received a Masters of Composition degree from Carnegie Tech. Bell was a teacher of music in the Pittsburgh Public Schools after he graduated. Charles Bell Contemporary Jazz Quartet – Charles Bell founded the Charles Bell Contemporary Jazz Quartet while Charles was at Carnegie Tech. In October 1958, the jazz ensemble performed Charles Bell’s original compositions at Carnegie Lecture Hall. For that first performance, the quartet consisted of vibraphonist Chuck Leroy and bassist Dicker Her as well as drummer Cecil Brooks. Brooks was replaced by Allen Blairman on the drums in 1958. They performed two-week engagements at Crawford Grill and other jazz clubs in the area. In addition, they appeared in concert at Carnegie Lecture Hall in January 1959 and October 1959. In 1960, the Charles Bell Quarter won Intercollegiate Jazz Festival. The group consisted of Charles Bell, Bill Smith, Mike Trafficante, Allen Blairman, and guitarist Bill Smith. The jury of Dave Brubeck and Jack Plies, John Hammond Jr. and John Hammond Jr. named them the Jazz Festival winners. They received a recording contract from Columbia Records, an appearance at Birdland Club, and an invitation for the Newport Jazz Festival. The Newport festival was cancelled in that year because of a riot. Columbia Records and Eurpean Tour The 1960 Columbia Records album, “The Charles Bell Contemporary Jazz Quartet”, was produced by John Hammond. Downbeat Magazine gave the recording a rare five-star rating. Neushi Ertegeun signed this quartet to Atlantic Records. Atlantic Records released “Another Dimension”, a second album by Charles Bell Quartet, with Ron Carter as bass. It was released in 1962. In 1962, the Quartet toured Finland and Sweden, Denmark, Denmark, and Scotland. Bell’s next two albums were released with a trio. His trio albums featured dense harmonies. Gateway Recording released the album “Charles Bell In Concert” in 1963. It featured Bell, Thomas Sewell, Jr. on base, and William Harris, Jr., on drums. It was recorded at Carnegie Lecture Hall on November 9, 1963. It was released under the title “Charles Bell in Concert with Thomas Sewell.”

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