Al Casey (jazz guitarist)

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Al Casey
Al Casey and Eddie Barefield, Cafe Society, New York City, c. 1947 Photograph by William P. Gottlieb
Al Casey and Eddie Barefield, Cafe Society, New York City, c. 1947
Photograph by William P. Gottlieb
Background information
Birth nameAlbert Aloysius Casey
Born(1915-09-15)September 15, 1915
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
DiedSeptember 11, 2005(2005-09-11) (aged 89)
New York City
GenresJazz, swing
Years active1934 – 2004

Albert Aloysius Casey (September 15, 1915 – September 11, 2005) was an American jazz guitarist who was a member of Fats Waller's band during the 1930s and early 1940s.


Casey was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School in New York City and studied guitar.[1]

He was a child prodigy who first played violin, then switched to ukulele. He began playing guitar in 1930 and met Fats Waller in 1933. The following year, at the age of eighteen, he became a member of Waller's band, making many recordings with the band, and he is known for having played the solo in "Buck Jumpin'". After Waller's death in 1943, he led his own trio. For two consecutive years in the 1940s, he was voted best guitarist in Esquire magazine.[2][3]

From 1957, he was a member of a rhythm and blues band led by King Curtis.[2][3] Four years later he dropped out of music, though he returned in the 1970s to record with Helen Humes and Jay McShann. Another absence followed until 1981, when he returned to music to play with the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band. He died of colon cancer on September 11, 2005.[2][3][4]

During his career, Casey worked with Louis Armstrong, Chu Berry, Coleman Hawkins, Lionel Hampton, Billie Holiday, Billy Kyle, Frankie Newton, Clarence Profit, Art Tatum, and Teddy Wilson.[2][3]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]


  1. ^ Voce, Steve (15 September 2005). "Al Casey". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2012-11-04. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Ankeny, Jason. "Al Casey". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Yanow, Scott (2013). The Great Jazz Guitarists. San Francisco: Backbeat. pp. 41–42. ISBN 978-1-61713-023-6.
  4. ^ "Al Casey Dies at 89; Early Jazz Guitarist". The New York Times. 13 September 2005. Retrieved 7 September 2017.

External links[edit]