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Al Sears

Albert Omega Sears (February 21, 1910 – March 23, 1990) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and bandleader, sometimes credited as Big Al Sears.

Sears was born in Macomb, Illinois, United States. His first major gig came in 1928 when he replaced Johnny Hodges in Chick Webb's ensemble. Following this he played with Elmer Snowden (1931–32), then led his own groups between 1933 and 1941. In the early 1940s he was with Andy Kirk (1941–42) and Lionel Hampton (1943-44) before he became a member of Duke Ellington's Orchestra in 1944, replacing Ben Webster. He remained with Ellington until 1949, when first Jimmy Forrest and then Paul Gonsalves took over his chair. He played with Johnny Hodges in 1951–52 and recorded the tune "Castle Rock" with him; the tune became a hit but was released under Hodges's name.

Sears was in Alan Freed's band when Freed did live shows, being introduced as "Big Al Sears." He played as a studio musician on R&B albums in the 1950s and recorded two albums for Swingville in 1960. He also owned several record labels, including Arock, Serock, and Gator.

In 1990, he died in St. Albans, New York, at the age of 80.

Birth and Death Data: Born February 22, 1910 (Macomb), Died March 23, 1990 (New York City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1929 - 1957

Roles Represented in DAHR: tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, alto saxophone

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 77 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor D5VB-0262 10-in. 5/11/1945 Caravan Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D5VB-0265 10-in. 5/14/1945 In a sentimental mood Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D5VB-0274 10-in. 5/16/1945 Every hour on the hour (I fall in love with you) Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra ; Al Hibbler Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D5VB-0518 10-in. 7/30/1945 Things ain't what they used to be Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D5VB-0662 10-in. 10/8/1945 Tell ya what I'm gonna do Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra ; Joya Sherrill Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D5VB-0663 10-in. 10/8/1945 Come to baby, do! Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra ; Joya Sherrill Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D5VB-0949 10-in. 11/26/1945 I'm just a lucky so-and-so Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra ; Al Hibbler Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D5VB-0951 10-in. 11/26/1945 The wonder of you Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra ; Joya Sherrill Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D6VB-2093 10-in. 7/9/1946 Rockabye river Duke Ellington Orchestra ; Duke Ellington Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D6VB-2095 10-in. 7/9/1946 Transblucency (a blue fog that you can almost see through) Duke Ellington Orchestra ; Duke Ellington Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D6VB-2096 10-in. 7/9/1946 Just squeeze me (but don't tease me) Duke Ellington Orchestra ; Duke Ellington Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D6VB-2113 10-in. 8/26/1946 Back home again in Indiana Duke Ellington Orchestra Piano solo, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D6VB-2114 10-in. 8/26/1946 Blue is the night Duke Ellington Orchestra Piano solo, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D6VB-2115 10-in. 8/26/1946 Lover man (Oh, where can you be?) Duke Ellington Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with piano and female vocal solo instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D6VB-2116 10-in. 8/26/1946 Just you, just me Duke Ellington Orchestra Piano solo, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D6VB-2117 10-in. 8/26/1946 Beale Street blues Duke Ellington Orchestra Piano solo, with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D6VB-2130 10-in. 9/3/1946 Swamp fire Duke Ellington Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Victor D6VB-2131 10-in. 9/3/1946 Royal garden blues Duke Ellington Orchestra ; Duke Ellington Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Chess U7372 10-in. 1947 My little brown book Al Hibbler instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Chess U7627 10-in. 1947 Fat and forty Harry Carney ; Jimmy Hamilton ; Al Hibbler instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Gennett 14718 10-in. 1/22/1929 Mandy Zach Whyte's Chocolate Beau Brummels Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone  
Gennett 14787 10-in. 2/11/1929 Shake it and break it Zach Whyte's Chocolate Beau Brummels Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone  
Gennett 14788 10-in. 2/11/1929 Hum all your troubles away Zach Whyte's Chocolate Beau Brummels Jazz/dance band, with vocal; without vocal instrumentalist, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone  
Gennett 14836 10-in. 2/26/1929 It's tight like that Zach Whyte's Chocolate Beau Brummels Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone  
Gennett 14837 10-in. 2/26/1929 West End blues Zach Whyte's Chocolate Beau Brummels Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone  
(Results 1-25 of 77 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Sears, Al," accessed June 17, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109665.

Sears, Al. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 17, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109665.

"Sears, Al." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 17 June 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109665

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