July 2, 1927 (age 93)
A talented alto-saxophonist best-known for his solos with Gene Krupa's big band, Charlie Kennedy's early retirement from music has resulted in him becoming an obscure name in jazz history. He started playing clarinet when he was 12, growing up in New Jersey, before switching to alto and occasional tenor. Kennedy's first major job was with Louis Prima's big band in 1943. In 1945 he had his one opportunity to lead his own date, resulting in five titles (plus an alternate take) cut for Savoy in which Kennedy (the only horn) played effective swing tenor. His association with Krupa during 1945-48 (which found Kennedy taking numerous alto solos on the drummer's records) was his one period in the spotlight. He also recorded during that era with Charlie Ventura, Chubby Jackson and (in 1952) with Chico O'Farrill, Flip Phillips and Herbie Fields. Kennedy eventually moved to the West Coast, played with Med Flory, Bill Holman's Orchestra and most notably Terry Gibbs' Dream Band (1959-62) before he largely dropped out of music in the mid-1960's. Influenced by Charlie Parker, Charlie Kennedy in later years developed a cooler West Coast-type sound. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
Versace Fall/Winter 2016 | Charlie Campaign
Charlie Kennedy JSCC Rockingham 2015
Jscc Charlie Kennedy highlights 2014
Something Sweet (feat. Xavier)
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