Carl Kress

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Carl Kress
Carl Kress, June 1947 (Gottlieb 13331).jpg
Carl Kress, c. June 1947
Background information
Born(1907-10-20)October 20, 1907
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Died(1965-06-10)June 10, 1965
Reno, Nevada
GenresJazz
Occupation(s)Musician
InstrumentsGuitar
Years active1926–1965
Associated actsDick McDonough, George Barnes, Paul Whiteman, Eddie Lang

Carl Kress (October 20, 1907 – June 10, 1965) was an American jazz guitarist.

Music career[edit]

Kress started on piano before picking up the banjo. Beginning in 1926, he played guitar during his brief time as a member of Paul Whiteman's orchestra. For most of his career, he was a studio musician and sideman buried in large orchestras, and his name was little known. His work in the 1920s and 1930s included sessions with The Boswell Sisters, The Dorsey Brothers, Bix Beiderbecke, Hoagy Carmichael, Miff Mole, Red Nichols, Adrian Rollini, and Frankie Trumbauer.[1]

Outside of orchestras, Kress played in several guitar duets with Eddie Lang (1932), Dick McDonough (1934, 1937), Tony Mottola (1941), and George Barnes (1961–1965). In 1938 and 1939 he made some solo recordings, the songs "Peg Leg Shuffle", "Helena", "Love Song", "Sutton Mutton", and "Afterthoughts". During the 1940s, he played Dixieland jazz with Bobby Hackett, Pee Wee Russell, and Muggsy Spanier.[1]

Kress was married to Helen Carroll, a native of Bloomington, Indiana, who moved to New York City to become a singer. She was a member of the Satisifiers and sang with Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, and Jo Stafford. Carl and Helen Kress lived in Manhasset, New York.[2] Carl Kress died of a heart attack in 1965 while he was on tour in Reno, Nevada.[1]

Technique[edit]

Like many early jazz guitarists, Kress played on the banjo before switching to guitar. The tenor banjo tunes its consecutive strings in intervals of fifths,

C-G-D-A,

and Kress adapted this all-fifths tuning for his guitar

B-F-C-G-D-A,[3][4][5]

although he down-tuned the A-string an octave.[4]

Before switching to fifths tuning, Kress had used other tunings on the banjo and tenor guitar.[5] His fifths-tuning gave Kress's playing "fuller chords and baselines", according to Lieberson (1996, p. 42). When Kress's duets with Dick McDonough were published, they were transposed from his fifths tuning to standard tuning.[6]

All-fifths tuning is used by other instruments besides tenor banjos. For example, it is used by mandolins, violins, mandolas, violas, mandocellos, and cellos.[7]

Discography[edit]

Songs

  • "Afterthoughts" (Kress)
  • "Chicken a la Swing" (Kress/McDonough)
  • "Danzon" (Kress)
  • "Feeling My Way" (Kress/Lang)
  • "Pickin' My Way" (Kress/Lang)
  • "Love Song" (Kress)
  • "Peg Leg Shuffle" (Kress)[8]

As sideman[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Yanow, Scott (2013). The Great Jazz Guitarists. San Francisco: Backbeat. pp. 113–114. ISBN 978-1-61713-023-6.
  2. ^ "Helen Kress". Seacoast Online. 6 March 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  3. ^ Lucas & Obrecht (1996, p. 12): Lucas, Nick; Obrecht, Jas (1996). "Nick Lucas". In Sallis, James. The Guitar in Jazz: An Anthology. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 12–19. ISBN 978-0-8032-4250-0.
  4. ^ a b Lieberson (1996, p. 47): Lieberson, Richard (1996). "The jazz guitar duet: A fifty year history". In Sallis, James. The Guitar in Jazz: An Anthology. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 45–53. ISBN 978-0-8032-4250-0.
  5. ^ a b Lieberson (1996a, p. 92): Lieberson, Richard (1996a). "Swing Guitar: The Acoustic Chordal Style". In Sallis, James. The Guitar in Jazz: An Anthology. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 89–112. ISBN 978-0-8032-4250-0.
  6. ^ Lieberson (1996, p. 46)
  7. ^ Sethares, Bill (2001). "Regular Tunings". Alternate Tuning Guide (.pdf). Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Department of Electrical Engineering. pp. 52–67. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Carl Kress | Songs". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Carl Kress | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 August 2017.