born on 21/2/1917 in Cleveland, OH, United States
died on 8/3/1965 in New York City, NY, United States
Tadley Ewing Peake Dameron (February 21, 1917 – March 8, 1965) was an American jazz composer, arranger, and pianist. Saxophonist Dexter Gordon called him the "romanticist" of the bop movement, while reviewer Scott Yanow wrote that Dameron was the "definitive arranger/composer of the bop era".
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Dameron was the most influential arranger of the bebop era, but also wrote charts for swing and hard bop players. The bands he arranged for included those of Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Jimmie Lunceford, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstine, and Sarah Vaughan. He and lyricist Carl Sigman wrote "If You Could See Me Now" for Sarah Vaughan and it became one of her first signature songs. According to the composer, his greatest influences were George Gershwin and Duke Ellington.
In the late 1940s, Dameron wrote arrangements for Gillespie's big band, who gave the première of his large-scale orchestral piece Soulphony in Three Hearts at Carnegie Hall in 1948. Also in 1948, Dameron led his own group in New York, which included Fats Navarro; the following year Dameron was at the Paris Jazz Festival with Miles Davis. From 1961 he scored for recordings by Milt Jackson, Sonny Stitt, and Blue Mitchell.
Dameron also arranged and played for rhythm and blues musician Bull Moose Jackson. Playing for Jackson at that same time was Benny Golson, who was to become a jazz composer in his own right. Golson has said that Dameron was the most important influence on his writing.
Dameron composed several bop standards, including "Hot House", "If You Could See Me Now", "Our Delight", "Good Bait" (composed for Count Basie) and "Lady Bird". Dameron's bands featured leading players such as Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, and Wardell Gray.
After forming another group of his own with Clifford Brown in 1953, Dameron developed an addiction to narcotics toward the end of his career. He was arrested on drug charges in 1957 and 1958, and served time (1959–60) in a federal prison hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. After his release, Dameron recorded a single notable project as a leader, The Magic Touch, but was sidelined by health problems; he had several heart attacks before dying of cancer in 1965, at the age of 48.
Dameron has been the subject of many tributes since his death:
- In the 1980s, Philly Joe Jones, drummer for the Miles Davis Quintet, and trumpeter Don Sickler founded Dameronia, a tribute band to Dameron.
- Continuum: Mad About Tadd: The Music of Tadd Dameron is an album released in 1982 by a group consisting of Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Ron Carter, Art Taylor, Kenny Barron. The LP has since been reissued on CD.
- In 1975, jazz pianist Barry Harris recorded Barry Harris Plays Tadd Dameron for Xanadu Records.
- In 2007, pianist Richard "Tardo" Hammer recorded Look Stop and Listen: The Music of Tadd Dameron for Sharp Nine Records.
- In 2015, drummer Ferit Odman recorded Dameronia With Strings as a tribute to Tadd Dameron for Equinox Music & Entertainment
As leader or co-leader
- 1948: The Dameron Band (Featuring Fats Navarro) (Blue Note)
- 1949: Anthropology (Spotlite)
- 1949: Cool Boppin'
- 1949: The Miles Davis and Dameron Quartet in Paris – Festival International du Jazz, May 1949 (Columbia)
- 1953: A Study in Dameronia (Prestige)
- 1956: Memorial - Clifford Brown Prestige (1956)
- 1956: Fontainebleau (Prestige)
- 1956: Mating Call with John Coltrane (Prestige)
- 1962: The Magic Touch (Riverside)
As arranger or conductor
For Blue Mitchell
- Smooth as the Wind (Riverside, 1961)
For Milt Jackson
- Big Bags (Riverside, 1962)
For Sonny Stitt
- Sonny Stitt & the Top Brass (Atlantic, 1962)
- Nisenson, Eric (1996). 'Round About Midnight: A Portrait of Miles Davis. Da Capo Press. p. 65. ISBN 0-306-80684-3.
- Yanow, Scott (2008), "Tadd Dameron biography", AllMusic.
- "Tadd Dameron | American musician and composer". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
- Hound, Music (1998-01-01). Jazz: The Essential Album Guide. Music Sales Corporation. ISBN 978082567-2538.
- "Jazz Standards Songs and Instrumentals (If You Could See Me Now)". www.jazzstandards.com. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
- Gioia, Ted (2011-05-09). The History of Jazz. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199831876.
- "Sarah Vaughan | About Sarah Vaughan | American Masters | PBS". American Masters. 2005-10-08. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
- Rosenthal, David, H. Hard Bop: Jazz and Black Music 1955-1965. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-505869-0.
- Harrison, Max. "Dameron, Tadd." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. April 2, 2011.
- Carr, Ian; Fairweather, Digby and Priestley, Brian, Rough Guide to Jazz, Rough Guides, 2004. ISBN 1-84353-256-5, ISBN 978-1-84353-256-9.
- Combs, Paul. (2012). Dameronia: The Life and Music of Tadd Dameron (Jazz Perspectives). University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0472114139.
- Tadd Dameron biographical information at the Dameron/Damron Family Association web page.