Saxophonist, composer, singer and teacher, Hal Singer is a great figure in the history of jazz. He has played all over the world with many jazz legends : Roy Eldridge, Duke Ellington, Coleman Hawkins...
Born in 1919 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Harold "Hal" Singer began playing the violin at a very early age, and later took up the clarinet and tenor saxophone.
He began his professional career at the end of the 1930s in the great black orchestras of the time, notably those of Lloyd Hunter and Jay McShann. He moved to New York a few years later and quickly became a regular at 52nd Street. He played with Roy Eldridge, Don Byas, Red Allen and Billie Holiday, before being hired in Duke Ellington's band in 1948.
With his newfound fame, the following year he composed a song that would become a real hit and make him a star: Cornbread. He then formed his own group, which was acclaimed all over the world for almost ten years. During his career, he also had the opportunity to play with Coleman Hawkins, Ray Charles, Dinah Washington…
In the 1960s, he decided to settle near Paris, where the album Blue Stompin' won the Hot Club de France's World Jazz Record Award. Regularly invited to radio, television, theaters and clubs, he continues to release successful albums such as Milt and Hal (1968), Paris Soul Food (1969), Soul of Africa (1975). He also befriended the Selmer family who offered him a Super Action 80 Series II saxophone engraved with his name.
In 1992, he received the title of “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” from the French government. He released his last album in 2010 with David Murray, before quietly enjoying his retirement with his family. In October 2019, this jazz legend celebrated his 100th birthday.
The Henri SELMER Paris teams warmly thank Hal and his partner Arlette, who sent us these magnificent archival photos. Find more content on the website http://www.halsingergroup.com/
Photo credits: James J. Kriegsmann - www.halsingergroup.com - Martine Thomas
The 'Super Action 80 Series II' Tenor has earned a solid reputation thanks to its very different personality. It enables the production of an open sound, very rich in harmonics and an excellent projection power.