Red Norvo

Red Norvo was born Kenneth Norville on 31 March 1908 in Beardstown Illinois. He died at Santa Monica California on 6 April 1999. He was a Xylophonist as well as a vibraphonist. Norvo was the first to create a jazz instrument using the xylophone. He was also an uncommonly adventurous musician and one of the first to realize that a’swing group’ could be used for good music writing. Norvo created a trio consisting of vibes, guitar and bass in 1949 to help him find work on the West Coast. He brought in two new players after Red Kelly and Mundell Lowe, the original guitarist and bassist, left. Because of the demands of the trio, Tal Farlow was able to reach new levels of speed and harmonic richness. He became one of the most prominent post-War guitarists. Charles Mingus was a prominent bass player through this group. However, his reportoire didn’t reflect his major career as a composer. They recorded two albums for Savoy and the trio lasted until 1951. Norvo recorded throughout his career and toured until a stroke in mid-1980s forced them to retire. At the age of 91, he died in Santa Monica’s convalescent home. Text contributed by users is available under Creative Commons By–SA License. It may also be available under GNU FDL.

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