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Don Lamond: 1920-2003
Don Lamond

Born: August 18, 1920 in Oklahoma City, OK
Died: December 23, 2003 in Orlando, FL

Great Herman Herd drummer

by Todd S. Jenkins
Copyright © 2003 Todd S. Jenkins

Don Lamond, an outstanding and versatile swing drummer best remembered for his contributions to Woody Herman's First and Second Herds, died of a brain tumor in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday, December 23, 2003. He was 82 years of age.

Donald Douglas Lamond studied at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore before beginning his pro career with brassman Sonny Dunham's band in 1943. Lamond worked in Boyd Raeburn's explorative big band for one year before joining the Herman orchestra in 1945 as a replacement for the dynamic Dave Tough. The job only lasted another year before Herman dissolved the First Herd, but Lamond was soon rehired for the second incarnation (Road Band, 1948, Hep).

During his time with Herman, Lamond sidelined occasionally with beboppers like Charlie Parker ("Relaxin' at Camarillo" from the famed Dial sessions) and Serge Chaloff, the latter a Herman cohort. From 1950, when Herman again folded the Herd, through the 60s Lamond kept busy with studio work and a wide range of jazz gigs: the traditional bent of Ruby Braff, Willie "The Lion" Smith and Jack Teagarden, bebop with Zoot Sims and Stan Getz, swing with Benny Goodman, and George Russell's early avant-garde musings, among others.

Upon his selection for George Wein's Newport All-Stars in the late 60s, Lamond experienced a career resurgence. Records with Braff, Red Norvo, Maxine Sullivan, Bucky Pizzarelli, and the dual violins of Joe Venuti and Stephane Grappelli followed. He married his wife Terry, a jazz singer, around the same time. In the 70s the Lamonds relocated to Florida where he founded his Big Swing Band, built upon promising local talents (Extraordinary, 1977, Progressive). Lamond continued to perform and support touring artists until about five years ago.

Don Lamond is survived by his wife, Terry; son, Donald III of Merritt Island, Fla.; two daughters, Cathy Ramstad of Seattle, and Marta Lamond of Brevard, N.C.; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Todd S. Jenkins
Todd S. Jenkins is a member of the JJA, author of Free Jazz and Free Improvisation: An Encyclopedia (Greenwood Press, 2004) and I Know What I Know: The Music of Charles Mingus (Praeger, 2006), and a contributor to Down Beat, All About Jazz, American Songwriter and Route 66 Magazine.


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With 1 reader comment, posted February 28, 2006