A decent tenor saxophonist and a much more erratic clarinetist, Bingie Madison was a solid section player during the swing era. He actually started out as a pianist, playing locally in Des Moines and visiting both California and Canada in 1921. After stints on piano with Bobby Brown (1922-25) and Bernie Davis, Madison became strictly a reed player. He alternated between leading his own bands and playing with Cliff Jackson, Lew Henry and Elmer Snowden (1931). After short periods with Sam Wooding, Lucky Millinder and Billy Fowler, Madison joined Luis Russell in 1932 and stayed with the group for eight years, including the period when it became the backup band for Louis Armstrong. Madison's associations after 1940 with Edgar Hayes, Ovie Alston, Alberto Socarras and Hank Duncan were mostly out of the spotlight, although he recorded with Duncan in 1944. Madison, who never headed his own record date, continued leading his own groups into the 1960s, but by then he was largely forgotten by the greater jazz world.
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