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Cless, (George) Rod(erick)

played club chicago hodes

Cless, (George) Rod(erick), jazz clarinetist, saxophonist; b. Lenox, Iowa, May 20, 1907; d. N.Y., Dec. 8, 1944. He was a brother–in–law of Bud Freeman. He played in his first band while attending Drake Univ., later played in The Varsity Five at Iowa State Univ. He left in 1925, moved to Des Moines, Iowa, and met Frank Teschemacher there. Two years later he moved to Chicago and played with “Tesch” in Charlie Pierce’s Orch. and various other bands. In late 1928 he toured the South (including New Orleans). He returned to Chicago, played residency at the Wig–Warn Club, then joined the Louis Panico Band (1929). He was briefly with Jess Stacy’s quartet, then did commercial work (mostly on sax.) at various clubs in Chicago, including long stay at the High Hat. He played in Frank Snyder’s Rhythm Kings in 1936; the next three years he worked mainly at Silhouette Club and Winosa Gardens: he also taught clarinet. In April 1939 he joined Muggsy Spani–er’s Ragtimers in Chicago, remaining until they disbanded in N.Y. in December 1939. He was with Art Hodes (1940–1) and Marty Marsala (1941); also toured Canada with Ed Farley’s Band in late 1941. He was with Art Hodes, Georg Brunis, and Bobby Hackett in 1942, briefly with “Wild Bill” Davison early in 1943, then again worked with Art Hodes. He worked in Canada (early 1944); from mid–1944 he played at the Pied Piper Club in N.Y. with Max Kaminsky. On December 1944, after leaving that club, he suffered grave injuries as a result of falling over apartment railings; he died four days later in St. Vincent’s Hospital, N.Y

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