JazzWax List: Giants of Jazz - JazzWax

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August 13, 2010


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Bill Forbes

Mr Five By Five (aka Jimmy Rushing, vocals)
Big Nick Nicholas (tenor)
Fats Sadi (French vibist)
Big Maybelle (vocals)

Claude Neuman

Can your band use a girl singer of Jurassic dimension ?


(Pun originated here : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041716/quotes?qt0427479 )

P.S. : Fats Sadi was belgian


How about Mr. 5x5, Jimmy Rushing.

Ed Leimbacher

Nice joke adding Hefti to the list. Does that mean that the great Saxophone Colossus--a giant among mere mortals--accordingly tops all? He may no longer be as tall as in younger days but as a musician he just keeps gaining in stature.

don frese

Of course, there is also the ironic "Tiny" Kahn, the marvelous drummer who weighed over 300 lbs.

Don Brown

And for an emcee you could use Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman, AFRS announcer on broadcasts intended for black members of the Armed Forces during World War II. Whitman, who was an enormous man, was usually introduced as 'the stomach that walks like a man".

Bob Miller

Not necessarily a jazz player, but one of the great names in barrelhouse pianist Big Tiny Little (Jr).

Mike Vax

Another that comes to mind immediately is Big Tiny Little on piano who passed away not too long ago.
Mike Vax

Jon-Erik Kellso

Big Chief Russell Moore, trombonist

John P. Cooper

Velma Middleton
Paul Whiteman
Manny Pounze
"Fat Slacks" Jackson
Chu Berry

barry block



Everyone has forgotten about Cannonball Adderley?

Steve Provizer

Cannonball Adderly, Jelly Roll Morton, Fathead Newman


"Little Jazz" Roy Eldridge, Oran "Hot Lips" Page, "Mighty Flea" Gene Connors (or Conners), Thomas "Fats" Waller, Edward Kennedy "The Duke" Ellington, William "The Count" Basie, "Pres" Lester Willis Young ... All giants, though not physically spoken of course; with the exception of Mr. Waller.

Jack Gallagher

If Neal Hefti can be counted, then I'd add Jim Rotondi. (I know it's "rotund" and a stretch.....)

Jack Gallagher

.....Fats Navarro

Vince Offrete

Little Jazz? Hot Lips? Duke?

Don't really get the concept, do ya? And Fats Waller is in Marc's list in the article (it helps to read the article).

I laughed out loud at the Hefti citation - now THAT was funny.

Thanks for another fun list.

Joel Lewis

Bullmooose Jackson?

Jaffa The Cat

Walter "Phatz" Morris !



Johnny Griffin aka "The Little Giant" should be mentioned too; or let's include another great player, clarinetist Mr. http://usuarios.multimania.es/albertsystem/Irving%20Fazola.gif ---> Irving "Faz" Fazola.

Another man with a giant sound: "Big T" Weldon Leo "Jack" Teagarden.

Not exactly jazz but big rocks 'n' rolls with Fats Domino. The blues lists loads of big types, little big men, and other mighty fellows:

Big Maceo (Merriweather), and Big Bill Broonzy come to my mind.

By the way: "Fats", "Phats", "Faz" -- How many different spellings for one and the very same dress size ... ;)

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of Calif. Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax was named the 2015 "Blog of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association.
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