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Carl Kress

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Biography

Carl Kress (October 20, 1907, Newark, New Jersey - June 10, 1965, Reno, Nevada) was an American jazz guitarist.

Carl Kress began his career with Paul Whiteman in 1926, and thereafter launched a successful career as a studio guitarist. He played in the late 1920s and 1930s with Bix Beiderbecke, Red Nichols, Eddie Lang, Miff Mole, Frankie Trumbauer, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, and Adrian Rollini. He played repeatedly with Dick McDonough as a duo in the 1930s. He later worked with Muggsy Spanier (1944), Pee Wee Russell (1945), Bobby Hackett and Tommy Dorsey (1949) and Pearl Bailey. He was also for a time a member of the Gordon Jenkins Orchestra alongside Louis Armstrong.

His last years were spent playing with George Barnes as a duo. He was also a record producer for Capitol Records in the 1940s, producing among others, the original 1946 version of “The Christmas Song” by The King Cole Trio.

At one point in his career he was a co-owner of the Onyx Club on 52nd Street in New York City. He died of a heart attack while on tour in 1965.

Carl Kress’ compositions included “Afterthoughts”, “Sutton Mutton”, “Helena”, “Pickin’ My Way” with Eddie Lang, “Danzon” with Dick McDonough, and “Chicken Ala Swing”.

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