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James Mundell Lowe
Mundell Lowe
(April 21, 1922 – December 2, 2017) was an American jazz guitarist who worked often in radio, television, and film, and as a session musician. He produced film and TV scores in the 1970s, such as the Billy Jack soundtrack and music for Starsky and Hutch, and worked with André Previn's Trio in the 1990s.

Contents

1 Career 2 Awards and honors 3 Discography

3.1 As leader 3.2 Film soundtracks 3.3 TV scores 3.4 As sideman

4 References 5 External links

Career[edit] The son of a Baptist minister, Lowe grew up on a farm in Shady Grove, Mississippi, near Laurel. He started playing guitar when he was eight years old, with his father and sister acting as his first teachers. When he was thirteen, he began running away from home to play in bands.[1][2][3] Occasionally his father would find him, bring him home, and warn him about the dangers of whiskey. At sixteen, Lowe worked in Nashville on the Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry
radio program.[1][4] He was a member of the Jan Savitt
Jan Savitt
orchestra before serving in the military during World War II.[2] At basic training, he became friends with John Hammond, who organized weekend jam sessions. He performed in an Army dance band while in Guadalcanal. After his discharge, he called Hammond, looking for work, and Hammond sent him to Ray McKinley.[1] He spent two years with McKinley's big band in New York City.[2] He joined the Benny Goodman orchestra, then worked intermittently for the next few years at Café Society and other clubs in New York.[1] In 1950, he was hired by NBC
NBC
as a staff musician.[2] He and Ed Shaughnessy were members of the Today Show band for over ten years. Lowe acted in an episode of the Armstrong Circle Theatre television show that included Walter Matthau
Walter Matthau
and live music by Doc Severinsen.[1] On the weekends he played jazz, sometimes getting permission from NBC to leave for six-month periods. In the jazz world he played with Jimmy Dorsey and Tommy Dorsey, Bill Evans, Billie Holiday, Red Norvo, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, and Lester Young. He composed and arranged for NBC.[1][2] He was responsible for introducing pianist Bill Evans
Bill Evans
to record producer Orrin Keepnews, resulting in Evans's first recordings as a leader.[5] In 1965 he moved to Los Angeles and worked for NBC
NBC
as a staff guitarist, composer, and arranger.[6] He wrote music for the TV shows Hawaii Five-O, Starsky & Hutch, and The Wild Wild West, and the movies Billy Jack
Billy Jack
and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, But Were Afraid to Ask.[4] He recorded with Carmen McRae
Carmen McRae
and Sarah Vaughan. During the 1980s, he worked with André Previn, Tete Montoliu, and the Great Guitars.[2] He was a teacher at the Guitar Institute of Technology and the Grove School of Music. For several years, he was music director of the Monterey Jazz
Jazz
Festival.[6] During his career, he worked with Benny Carter, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Hodges, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Lee Konitz, Peggy Lee, Fats Navarro, Shirley Scott, Dinah Washington, and Ben Webster.[4] In the later decades of his life he collaborated often with flautist Holly Hoffman. At the age of 93, he released the album Poor Butterfly. Lowe was married to singer Betty Bennett, his third wife, for 42 years. In his last years, the couple lived in San Diego. He died on December 2, 2017, at the age of 95.[6] Awards and honors[edit] In 1998, he was inducted into the Mississippi Music Hall of Fame. In 1999, Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, gave him an honorary Doctorate of Arts.[citation needed] On July 17, 2009, he returned home to Laurel, Mississippi. In recognition of a lifetime of musical achievement he was given a key to the city and honored by Mayor Melvin Mack, who proclaimed July 18, 2009 Mundell Lowe
Mundell Lowe
Day. Discography[edit] As leader[edit]

1953: The Mundell Lowe
Mundell Lowe
Quintet (RCA Victor) 1955: The Mundell Lowe Quartet
The Mundell Lowe Quartet
(Riverside) 1956: Guitar Moods
Guitar Moods
(Riverside) 1956: New Music of Alec Wilder
New Music of Alec Wilder
(Riverside) 1957: A Grand Night for Swinging
A Grand Night for Swinging
(Riverside) 1958: Porgy & Bess (RCA Camden) 1959: TV Action Jazz!
TV Action Jazz!
(RCA Camden) 1960: Themes from Mr. Lucky, The Untouchables and Other TV Action Jazz (RCA Camden) 1974: California Guitar (Famous Door) with Roger Kellaway and Jimmy Rowles 1977: Souvenirs ( Jazz
Jazz
Alliance, 1977–92) 1978: The Incomparable (Dobre) 1989: Sweet 'n' Lovely (Fresh Sound) with Tete Montoliu 1996: The Return of the Great Guitars (Concord) with Charlie Byrd
Charlie Byrd
and Herb Ellis 2000: Mundell's Moods (Nagel-Heyer) 2000: This One's for Charlie with Lloyd Wells (Azica) 2007: Haunted Heart with Jim Ferguson 2015: Poor Butterfly with Lloyd Wells and Jim Ferguson

Film soundtracks[edit]

1962: Satan in High Heels 1967: A Time for Killing 1971: Billy Jack 1972: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) 1977: Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo

TV scores[edit]

The Wild Wild West Love on a Rooftop Hawaii Five-O Starsky and Hutch Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan B.A.D. Cats

As sideman[edit] With Tony Bennett

My Heart Sings (Columbia, 1961) Who Can I Turn To (Columbia, 1964)

With Gene Bianco

Harp, Skip & Jump (RCA Camden, 1958)

With Ruth Brown

Miss Rhythm
Miss Rhythm
(Atlantic, 1959) Late Date with Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown
(Atlantic, 1959)

With Benny Carter

Further Definitions
Further Definitions
(Impulse!, 1961–66) Live and Well in Japan (OJC, 1977)

With Rosemary Clooney

"On the First Warm Day" (Columbia, 1952)

With Al Cohn

Son of Drum Suite
Son of Drum Suite
(RCA Victor, 1960)

With Sammy Davis Jr.

Mood to Be Wooed (Decca, 1957)

With Blossom Dearie

Once Upon a Summertime (Verve, 1959)

With Don Elliott and Rusty Dedrick

Counterpoint for Six Valves
Counterpoint for Six Valves
(Riverside, 1955–56)

With Jimmy Forrest

Soul Street (New Jazz, 1962)

With Ella Fitzgerald

Rhythm Is My Business
Rhythm Is My Business
(Verve, 1962)

With Johnny Hodges

Blue Rabbit
Blue Rabbit
(Verve, 1964) with Wild Bill Davis Con-Soul & Sax (RCA Victor, 1965) with Wild Bill Davis

With Billie Holiday

"Weep No More" / "Girls Were Made to Take Care of Boys" (Decca, 1948) "My Man" / "Porgy" (Decca, 1948) "Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do" / "Baby Get Lost" (Decca, 1949)

With J. J. Johnson

Broadway Express (RCA Victor, 1965)

With Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones
Explores the Music of Henry Mancini (Mercury, 1964)

With Richie Kamuca

Richard Kamuca Quartet 1976 (Jazzz, 1976)

With Barry Manilow

2:00 AM Paradise Cafe (Arista, 1984)

With Herbie Mann

Herbie Mann
Herbie Mann
Plays The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd (Atlantic, 1965) Our Mann Flute
Our Mann Flute
(Atlantic, 1966)

With Carmen McRae

Carmen McRae
Carmen McRae
(Bethlehem, 1954) A Foggy Day (Stardust, 1955) By Special
Special
Request (Decca, 1955) Blue Moon (Decca, 1956) Birds of a Feather (Decca, 1959) Carmen McRae
Carmen McRae
Sings Lover Man and Other Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Classics (Harmony, 1961) Bittersweet (Focus, 1964)

With Joe Mooney

The Greatness of Joe Mooney (Columbia, 1963)

With Charlie Parker

The Legendary Rockland Palace Concert, Volume 1 ( Jazz
Jazz
Classics, 1952)

With André Previn

Uptown (Telarc, 1990) Old Friends (Telarc, 1992) Kiri Sidetracks: The Jazz
Jazz
Album (Polygram, 1992) with Kiri Te Kanawa

With Johnnie Ray

"Cry" (Okeh, 1951)

With Lalo Schifrin

New Fantasy
New Fantasy
(Verve, 1964)

With Shirley Scott

For Members Only
For Members Only
(Impulse!, 1963)

With Sarah Vaughan

Sarah Vaughan
Sarah Vaughan
in Hi-Fi (Columbia, 1949–50) After Hours (Roulette, 1961) with George Duvivier

With Ben Webster

The Soul of Ben Webster
Ben Webster
(Verve, 1957–58)

References[edit]

^ a b c d e f Carlton, Jim (2009). Conversations with Great Jazz
Jazz
and Studio Guitarists. Pacific, Missouri: Bill's Music Shelf. pp. 240–259. ISBN 9780786651238.  ^ a b c d e f Yanow, Scott (2013). The Great Jazz
Jazz
Guitarists. San Francisco: Backbeat. p. 124. ISBN 978-1-61713-023-6.  ^ Yanow, Scott. "Mundell Lowe". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 March 2011.  ^ a b c Varga, George (1 December 2008). "Mundell Lowe: Man of Few Notes, Many Stories". JazzTimes. Retrieved 23 November 2017.  ^ Myers, Marc (14 January 2008). "Mundel Lowe Interview". Jazzwax.  ^ a b c Varga, George (2 December 2017). " Mundell Lowe
Mundell Lowe
dead at 95. Guitar great played with Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Everly Brothers and more". San Diego Union Tribune. 

External links[edit]

Official site NAMM Oral History Interview April 8, 2002 Mundell Lowe
Mundell Lowe
on IMDb

v t e

Mundell Lowe

Studio albums

The Mundell Lowe Quartet
The Mundell Lowe Quartet
(1955) Guitar Moods
Guitar Moods
(1956) New Music of Alec Wilder
New Music of Alec Wilder
(1956) A Grand Night for Swinging
A Grand Night for Swinging
(1957) Porgy & Bess (1958) TV Action Jazz!
TV Action Jazz!
(1959) Themes from Mr. Lucky, The Untouchables and Other TV Action Jazz (1960)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 29718581 LCCN: n92027274 ISNI: 0000 0001 0856 3180 GND: 13458466X SUDOC: 059541687 BNF: cb13896827h (data) MusicBrainz: 7df5e236-c1c4-43b9-9cf3-5838c892bc43 SN

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