lobar pneumonia

Leon Bismark “Bix” Beiderbecke (1903-1931)

Davenport Iowa born, Bix was a cornetist who had a special gift for improvisation and helped to invent the jazz ballad style. As all creative types, he was a bit of a troublemaker and left this life as one. On the night of his death he woke up his neighbors playing the piano and shouting hysterically. While the official cause of his collapse is known as lobar pneumonia, it is thought to have been brought about by his alcoholism. Bix was 28. 


Milvertons’ Jazz Favourites — 6 / 35 → Bix Beiderbecke

Leon Bismarck “Bix” Beiderbecke was a cornetist popular in the Dixieland jazz era. He worked with many other greats of that era, most notably the Paul Whitman orchestra. At the time, Beiderbecke’s sound was very unique and many contribute that to the fact that he was self-taught-which provided room for different fingering techniques. Along with Louis Armstrong, he is among the first of the jazz soloists and a massive influence in the genre. Unfortunately, he died in 1931 at the very young at the age of 28, of lobar pneumonia, an illness which many believe stemmed from alcoholism. What I love most about Beiderbecke was his tone. He stayed mostly in the middle range, rarely going too high or too low. It makes for tunes that satisfy my need for some early jazz without that often wild and frantic sound of the 20s, which sometimes, I’m just not in the mood for. 

Listen: 1. For No Reason at All in C 2. At the Jazz Band Ball 3. Sorry