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Capp, Frank

juggernaut band bands bob

Capp, Frank, big band and small ensemble drummer; b. Worcester, Mass., Aug. 20, 1931. He was 19 when he replaced Shelly Manne in the Stan Kenton band in 1951. He then joined the bands of Neal Hefti, Billy May, Benny Goodman, and Bob Florence. He also worked and/or recorded with major jazz stars, including Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Andre Previn, Art Pepper, and Turk Murphy, and played in bands of the Mew Griffin, Red Skelton, and Steve Allen TV shows.

Always in demand as a studio musician, he is known for laying down a solid beat while accenting the melody of each song. He worked for Warner Bros. Studio and fueled combos for vocalists Peggy Lee and Shirley Horn, pianist Roger Kellaway, trumpeter Ruby Braff, and trombonists Al Grey and Rob McConnell. He performs in small combos at jazz parties and festivals around the nation, as well as leading the Frank Capp Juggernaut big band. Juggernaut effectively emulates the tight section work and exciting solos of the Basie bands, and has earned fans and record-chart recognition via tours to England and Japan. Juggernaut originated as a one-nighter in 1975 when he was contracting for the Neal Hefti band and the leader decided to break up the orchestra. He has continued to lead Juggernaut after Pierce’s death in 1992, with Gerald Wiggins at the piano. Vocalists Joe Williams, Ernie Andrews, and Ernestine Anderson have performed with Juggernaut, but the main focus is on instrumental power and polish. The band’s changing cast of musicians has included trumpeters Blue Mitchell, Snooky Young, Conte Candoli, Bobby Shew, Bill Berry, Carl Saunders and Frank Szabo; saxophonists Marshal Royal, Red Holloway, Bob Cooper, Lanny Morgan, Plas Johnson, Richie Kamuca, Pete Christlieb, Jack Nimitz, Jackie Kelso and Rickey Woo-dard; trombonists Buster Cooper, Thurman Green and George Bohanon; and bassists Chuck Berghofer and Bob Maize.

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