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Chick Webb

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Biography

William Henry Webb, usually known as Chick Webb (February 10, 1905 –June 16, 1939) was a jazz and swing music drummer as well as a band leader.

Chick Webb represented the triumph of the human spirit in jazz and life. Hunchbacked, small in stature, almost a dwarf with a large face and broad shoulders, Webb fought off congenital tuberculosis of the spine in order to become one of the most competitive drummers and band leaders of the big band era. Perched high upon a platform, he used custom-made pedals, goose-neck cymbal holders, a 28-inch bass drum and a wide variety of other percussion instruments to create thundering solos of a complexity and energy that paved the way for Buddy Rich (who studied Webb intensely) and Louie Bellson.

William Henry Webb bought his first set of drums with his earnings as a newsboy, and he began playing in bands on pleasure boats. After moving to New York in 1925, he led bands in various clubs before settling in for long regular runs at the Savoy beginning in 1931. Although Benny Carter and Johnny Hodges played with the band early on, the Webb band was oddly short on major soloists during its heyday from the mid-’30s onward; the young alto sax player Louis Jordan made the biggest impression after leaving the band. But the band made up for it with a crisp ensemble sound, Webb’s disciplined, ferociously driving drum pyrotechnics, trumpeter Taft Jordan’s impressions of Louis Armstrong, and most of all, a series of strong compositions and charts by Edgar Sampson (“Blue Lou” and “Stomping at the Savoy” among them).

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  • twajjo

    Chick Webb is amazing; but you wouldn't know it from the scrobbler plugin from LAST.fm because it never picks up my scrobbles. Thanks for nothing.

    15 Oct 4:40am Reply
  • RaulLipschitz

    Chick Webb is all heart! ("clap hands! here comes charlie" is furiously amazing)

    23 May 2012 Reply
  • Druid66

    I love that he fought so much health-related difficulty to rise to the top of his game, and his results are most persuasive.

    21 Sep 2011 Reply
  • SaloMusic

    какой позитивный чел!

    25 May 2010 Reply
  • deenn

    that harlem congo sure gets me shaking!

    22 Mar 2010 Reply
  • staytooned

    Mr. Webb, great.

    2 Apr 2009 Reply
  • perst

    Maybe he turns 100 years today (Feb 10). Hooray! (But actually his year of birth is not certain. See <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick_Webb>;.)

    9 Feb 2009 Reply
  • p_Kirpichenkova

    Сдаюсь перед "Moments To Remember". Где рождаются такие таланты?

    31 Jan 2009 Reply
  • p_Kirpichenkova

    Уже игрется Les Brown, а "сохранение" не выполняет своих задач!

    31 Jan 2009 Reply
  • p_Kirpichenkova

    Count Basie хорош, но опять тормозит предыдущее сохранение, КОТОРОМУ НЕ ВИДНО НИ КОНЦА , НИ КРАЯ.....

    31 Jan 2009 Reply
  • p_Kirpichenkova

    Что-то тормозит сохранение. Обратите внимание, товарищи англичане

    31 Jan 2009 Reply

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