Manny Albam

Albam, the son of Lithuanian immigrants and born in New York City when his mother gave birth to him in the Dominican Republic, was a child of Lithuanian immigrants. He grew up in New York City after hearing Bix Beiderbecke’s music. At sixteen, he dropped out of school to join Dixieland trumpeter-leader Muggsy Spaniar. But it was his participation in a Georgie Auld group that changed Albam’s life. Budd Johnson was the primary arranger of the Auld group. Johnson mentored Albam in his role as an arranger. Albam began to focus solely on writing, arranging and leading by 1950. He was known for his bebop-oriented style, which emphasized taut and witty writing while displaying a flair to distinguish shadings. The Albam trademark was the flute-led reed section. His work with Charlie Barnet and Charlie Spivak was his most well-known. He then went on to collaborate with jazzmen such as Stan Getz, Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie. Albam was also able to enter the world of classical music when he arranged Leonard Bernstein’s score for West Side Story 1957. According to, Bernstein was so impressed by Albam’s work that he invited Albam for a piece for the New York Philharmonic. This invitation led Albam, according to to continue studying classical music and eventually write Concerto for Trombone u0026 Strings. Albam was appointed musical director of Solid State Records in 1964. His jazz suite The Soul of the City appeared on the label two years later. Albam began to teach, which he did until his death from cancer in 2001. A few films and TV programs featured his score; Waking the Dead included a song from him. The Blues is Everybody’s Business and The Drum Suite are just a few of the Albam recordings still available. Jazz New York, Jazz Workshop, Something New, Something Blue, and Something New, Something Blue are also among them. Rayburn Wright encouraged Albam to teach summer workshops at Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, New York, in 1964. Later, he joined the faculty of Glassboro State College in New Jersey as well as the Manhattan School of Music. He helped to establish the BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop in 1988. This workshop was designed to help young composers and arrangers. In the end, he took over from Bob Brookmeyer as director. His list of former students includes musicians and higher education. bio from Wikipedia

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