Two Losses, One Gain

This week, jazz lost two artists who made substantial contributions to the music. The vibraharpist Peter Peter AppleyardAppleyard was one of Canada’s best known jazz musicians. Laurie Frink was a New York jazz community insider, honored as a masterly lead trumpeter, revered as a teacher. Born in England in 1928, Appleyard (pictured left) moved to Canada in his early twenties, established himself in Toronto’s jazz community and became a popular figure on Canadian television. He toured for nearly a decade as a featured soloist with Benny Goodman’s band. Go here for an obituary.

Ms. Frink, born in 1951, excelled as a trumpeter and as a teacher of trumpeters. In addition to her jazzLaurie Frink brass section work with Benny Goodman, Maria Schneider, Gerry Mulligan, the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis band and other bands, she was in demand in the orchestra pits of Broadway. Among her students were Dave Douglas, Randy Sandke and John McNeil. Nate Chinen’s New York Times obituary of Ms. Frink quotes Douglas as saying that getting together with her “was like a combination of therapy, gym instruction and music lesson.” To read the article, go here.

Kirchner facing rightThe gain: Bill Kirchner is going back on the air as a part of the Jazz From The Archives program originated by WBGO-FM in Newark, New Jersey, and streamed on the internet. After Kirchner’s move across the river to New York, his transportation needs resulted in his leaving the show in January. As he explains in his announcement, that situation has changed. His first program of the new era is about a splendid singer seldom heard these days:

Well, with a lotta help from two engineer friends, I’m back in the broadcasting saddle again. Recently, I taped my next one-hour show for Jazz From The Archives. Presented by the Institute of Jazz Studies, the series runs every Sunday on WBGO-FM (88.3).

Mary Ann McCall (1919-1994) is one of the nearly-forgotten great jazz singers. She had her greatest moment of fame in 1948-1949 with Woody Herman’s Second Herd. She then recorded four obscure albums beforeMary Ann McCall spending the rest of her career in Los Angeles, bartending and occasionally singing in airport lounges.

We’ll hear McCall with the Herman big band, and then on a 1958 album with an all-star rhythm section (Mal Waldron, Jimmy Raney, Oscar Pettiford, Jerry Segal) alternating with a chamber quartet (Walter Trampler, Charles McCracken, Raney, and George Duvivier) arranged by Bob Brookmeyer, Teddy Charles, Raney, and Bill Russo.

To fill out the hour, there will be two selections by the fine jazz-influenced cabaret singer (and Benny Carter protégée) Felicia Sanders (1922-1975).

The show will air this Sunday, July 21, from 11 p.m. to midnight, Eastern Daylight Time.

NOTE: If you live outside the New York City metropolitan area, WBGO also broadcasts on the Internet at

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  1. says

    Three losses. Add Carline Ray.

    In the late 1970s Melba Liston, a great trombonist and arranger (for Count Basie, Dizzie Gillespie, and others), put together Melba Liston & Co., an 8-piece band that included bassist and singer Carline Ray, trombonist Janice Robinson, saxophonist Erica Lindsay, pianist Francesca Tanksley, and drummer Dottie Dodgion. I caught the band at the Maryland Inn in Annapolis, D.C.’s Blues Alley, and an Arlington, Virginia, hotel. I also saw Carline in July 1983 in concert at the University of Maryland with a band led by saxophonist Willene Barton. I reviewed all of these performances for the Washington Post and had the opportunity to interview Melba and chat with her band members, including the most gracious and simpatica Carline Ray. My interview with Melba was worked into a profile for Ms. Magazine that was later included in my 1991 book The Jazz Scene.

    I saw Benny Goodman’s last big band — put together and taken on tour by him to honor Fletcher Henderson — at D.C.’s Kennedy Center four months before Benny died in 1986 at age 77. Laurie Frink was in the band and Benny took the mike at some point and, pointing to her, announced, “How proud I am to have trumpeter Laurie Frink in my band.” While he did provide the names of some soloists, he singled out no other musician with that sort of praise — and there were some stellar players on that stage!* The only other praise B.G. gave expression of was in tribute to Fletcher, saying how he had made outstanding contributions to jazz and how much he himself was indebted to him for the arrangements Fletcher had provided his (Benny’s) band. (I was reviewing the February 17 event for the Washington Post and that review is reproduced in The Jazz Scene, page 72.)

    *e.g., Randy Sandke, Ken Peplowski, Ted Nash, Ben Aranov, James Chirillo, Louie Bellson, Carrie Smith.

  2. Andrew Smith says

    I was very sorry to hear of the death of Peter Appleyard. I believe he came from North Lincolnshire (on the English East coast) which has always been my home. A local pub used to put on some great jazz evenings with the likes of Sonny Stitt or Sweets Edison, each backed by our very capable local piano trio.

    One night we were fortunate to sit there within touching distance of Peter Appleyard’s vibes. By this time he was Canadian-based and internationally recognised. He provided some great music, and he featured an entertaining interlude where he imitated the styles and mannerisms of other vibes players. Milt Jackson and Lionel Hampton immediately come to mind, and the musical vehicle for this was ‘The Lincolnshire Poacher’ a traditional folk-song which I think Peter used as his signature tune.