Correspondence: Mutes

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Following the recent post about plunger mutes, Rifftides reader Deborah Hendrick sent a reqest: Would you give us a history lesson sometime, on the origin of mutes. “Jazz” seems to be played with muted brass more often than not. I’ve always wondered why, and how the practice began. Aside from the plunger, mutes for brass instruments are not primarily specific to jazz, and they go back much further. I can give you no better history of mutes than this brief one on a website devoted … [Read more...]

Sonny Igoe, 1923-2012

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Sonny Igoe, who played drums with a succession of prominent leaders, died this week at the age of 88. In 1939 when Igoe was 16, he won the first Gene Krupa drum competition. After four years in the United States Marine Corps in World War Two, he worked briefly in a band of former Marines, then began a career that included work with Les Elgart, Ina Ray Hutton, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Chuck Wayne and Charlie Ventura. Herman's featuring Igoe on "New Golden Wedding" in 1951 brought the drummer … [Read more...]