Freddy Gardner with Rhythm Accordian

Born in London in 1910, Freddy Gardner was one of England's most popular saxophonists during the 1930s and '40s. He developed his technique by working in bands led by Syd Lipton, Billy Bissett, and Bert Firman. A skilled clarinetist, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophonist, Gardner stayed busy as a sessionman throughout his all-too-brief career and may be heard on numerous recordings by the Four Stars, the Six Swingers, Jay Wilbur, Benny Carter, Teddy Foster, Valaida Snow, Ray Noble, Ike "Yowse Suh" Hatch, Mario "Harp" Lorenzi, and the internationally famous team of pianist Buck Washington and singing tap dancer John "Bubbles" Sublett. A marvelous improviser comparable with Rudy Powell, Benny Carter, Alix Combelle, Russell Procope, Ken Mackintosh, or Willie Smith, Gardner performed regularly over the radio and from 1936 through 1939 recorded with his own small groups or his Swing Orchestra, a larger ensemble that included in its ranks trombonist and future bandleader Ted Heath. After serving in the Second World War he was featured as a soloist with Peter Yorke & His Concert Orchestra, and most certainly would have prospered as a name artist during the LP era had not fate intervened. Tragically felled by a stroke in 1950, Gardner passed away at the age of 39 on July 26, 1950. Originally released on the Interstate, Parlophone, and Rex labels, many of his recordings have now been pulled up out of the mothballs and reissued on compact disc. ~ arwulf arwulf

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