A reliable pianist who was continually overshadowed during his long association with Eddie Condon's Chicago jazz bands, Gene Schroeder was a talented if subtle player. Schroeder, whose mother was a pianist and father was a trumpeter, studied at the Wisconsin School of Music. When he was 11 he was playing now and then with his father's band, and he doubled on clarinet in his high school orchestra a few years later. After a year at the University of Wisconsin Music School, Schroeder moved to Milwaukee. He led his own band and played with local musicians (including Wild Bill Davison). He moved to New York in 1939, was briefly with the Wes Westerfield Trio, headed a combo, and spent a year apiece as a member of the groups of Joe Marsala and Marty Marsala. In the summer of 1942, Schroeder worked with Wild Bill Davison then (beginning in 10 1943) at Nick's with Miff Mole. After becoming Eddie Condon's regular pianist, he played at the opening of the club Condon's in 12 1945. Schroeder was with Condon most of the time from then on up to 1962 (appearing on many recordings), he had a stint with the Dukes of Dixieland (1961-1964) and worked in the late '60s with Tony Parenti. Despite his busy activity, Gene Schroeder only led one recording session in his career, four songs cut in 1944 for the Black & White label with a trio.
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