Monk Hazel (a.k.a. Arthur Hazel,
August 15, 1903, - Harvey,
Louisiana March 5, 1968, New Orleans.
Louisiana) was a jazz drummer.
In addition to being a well regarded drummer, Hazel occasionally took solos on brass instruments, notably cornet and melophone. Monk Hazel was a fixture on the
music scene for decades. Hazel's father was a drummer as well. Early on Monk
played drums with Emmett Hardy, who gave him his first cornet, and then with
In the 1920s, Hazel worked with many bands including those led by Abbie Brunies (the Halfway House Orchestra), Tony Parenti (with whom he recorded in 1925) and Johnny Wiggs. He led his own Bienville Roof Orchestra (which played for atop the Bienville Hotel at Lee Circle, and made recordings in 1928) and then spent time in New York playing with Johnny Wiggs, Jack Pettis and with his own group (1929–31).
Hazel was in
for a period (working with Gene Austin) but eventually came back to New
Orleans, performing with Joe Caprano (1937) and the
Lloyd Danton Quintet. Hazel spent 1942-43 in the Army and then worked for a
time outside of music. However during his final 20 years, Hazel was once again
quite active in New Orleans,
performing with Sharkey Bonano, George Girard, Mike Lala, Santo Pecora and
virtually every other important name in New Orleans
As a leader, Monk Hazel recorded four titles in 1928 for Brunswick Records and a full album for Southland Records in 1954; Pete Fountain and Al Hirt were among his sidemen on the latter recording.
Sharkey Bonano t, dir / Sidney Arodin cl, tin whistle / Hal Jordy as, bar / Freddy Newman p / Joe Capraro g / Luther Lamar bb / Monk Hazel d, mel, v.
Recorded in New Orleans in December, 1928.