Posts Tagged ‘Bio’

Ornette Coleman bio

In Bio on June 23, 2015 at 5:58 pm

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Randolph Denard Ornette Coleman (March 9, 1930 – June 11, 2015) was an American jazz saxophonist, violinist, trumpeter and composer. He was one of the major innovators of thefree jazz movement of the 1960s, a term he invented with the name of an album. Coleman’s timbre was easily recognized: his keening, crying sound drew heavily on blues music. He was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship (the so-called “genius grant”) in 1994. His album Sound Grammar received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for music.


Early life

Coleman was born in 1930 in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was also raised. He attended I.M. Terrell High School, where he participated in band until he was dismissed for improvising during “The Washington Post.” He began performing R&B and bebop initially on tenor saxophone, and started a band, the Jam Jivers, with some fellow students includingPrince Lasha and Charles Moffett.Seeking a way to work his way out of his home town, he took a job in 1949 with a Silas Green from New Orleans traveling show and then with touring rhythm and blues shows. After a show in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he was assaulted and his saxophone was destroyed.

He switched to alto saxophone, which remained his primary instrument, first playing it in New Orleans after the Baton Rouge incident. He then joined the band of Pee Wee Crayton and travelled with them to Los Angeles. He worked at various jobs, including as an elevator operator, while continuing to pursue his musical career.

From the beginning of his career, Coleman’s music and playing were in many ways unorthodox. His approach to harmony and chord progression was far less rigid than that of bebopperformers; he was increasingly interested in playing what he heard rather than fitting it into predetermined chorus-structures and harmonies. His raw, highly vocalized sound and penchant for playing “in the cracks” of the scale led many Los Angeles jazz musicians to regard Coleman’s playing as out-of-tune. He sometimes had difficulty finding like-minded musicians with whom to perform. Nevertheless, pianist Paul Bley was an early supporter and musical collaborator.

In 1958, Coleman led his first recording session for Contemporary, Something Else!!!!: The Music of Ornette Coleman. The session also featured trumpeter Don Cherry, drummer Billy Higgins, bassist Don Payne and Walter Norris on piano.

The Shape of Jazz to Come

1959 was a notably productive year for Coleman. His last release on Contemporary was Tomorrow Is the Question!, a quartet album, with Shelly Manne on drums, and excluding the piano, which he would not use again until the 1990s. Next Coleman brought double bassist Charlie Haden – one of a handful of his most important collaborators – into a regular group with Cherry and Higgins. (All four had played with Paul Bley the previous year.) He signed a multi-album contract with Atlantic Records who released The Shape of Jazz to Come in 1959. It was, according to critic Steve Huey, “a watershed event in the genesis of avant-garde jazz, profoundly steering its future course and throwing down a gauntlet that some still haven’t come to grips with.” While definitely – if somewhat loosely – blues-based and often quite melodic, the album’s compositions were considered at that time harmonically unusual and unstructured. Some musicians and critics saw Coleman as an iconoclast; others, including conductor Leonard Bernstein and composer Virgil Thomson regarded him as a genius and an innovator.

Coleman’s quartet received a lengthy – and sometimes controversial – engagement at New York City’s famed Five Spot jazz club. Such notable figures as the Modern Jazz Quartet,Leonard Bernstein and Lionel Hampton were favorably impressed, and offered encouragement. (Hampton was so impressed he reportedly asked to perform with the quartet; Bernstein later helped Haden obtain a composition grant from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.) Opinion was, however, divided. Trumpeter Miles Davis famously declared Coleman was “all screwed up inside”, although Davis later recanted this comment and became a proponent of Coleman’s musical innovations.Roy Eldridge stated, “I’d listened to him all kinds of ways. I listened to him high and I listened to him cold sober. I even played with him. I think he’s jiving baby.”

Coleman’s unique early sound was due in part to his use of a plastic saxophone. He had first bought a plastic horn in Los Angeles in 1954 because he was unable to afford a metal saxophone, though he didn’t like the sound of the plastic instrument at first. Coleman later claimed that it sounded drier, without the pinging sound of metal. In later years, he played a metal saxophone.

On the Atlantic recordings, Coleman’s sidemen in the quartet are Cherry on cornet or pocket trumpet, Haden, Scott LaFaro, and then Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Higgins or his replacement Ed Blackwell on drums. The complete released recordings for the label were collected on the box set Beauty Is a Rare Thing.

Free Jazz

In 1960, Coleman recorded Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation, which featured a double quartet, including Cherry and Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Eric Dolphy on bass clarinet, Haden and LaFaro on bass, and both Higgins and Blackwell on drums. The record was recorded in stereo, with a reed/brass/bass/drums quartet isolated in each stereo channel. Free Jazz was, at nearly 40 minutes, the lengthiest recorded continuous jazz performance to date, and was instantly one of Coleman’s most controversial albums. The music features a regular but complex pulse, one drummer playing “straight” while the other played double-time; the thematic material is a series of brief, dissonant fanfares. As is conventional in jazz, there are a series of solo features for each member of the band, but the other soloists are free to chime in as they wish, producing some extraordinary passages of collective improvisation by the full octet. In the January 18, 1962 issue of Down Beat magazine, in a special review titled “Double View of a Double Quartet,” Pete Welding awarded the album Five Stars while John A. Tynan rated it No Stars.

Coleman originally intended “Free Jazz” as simply an album title, but his growing reputation placed him at the forefront of jazz innovation, and free jazz was soon considered a new genre, though Coleman has expressed discomfort with the term. Among the reasons Coleman may not have entirely approved of the term ‘free jazz’ in that his music contains a considerable amount of composition. His melodic material, although skeletal, strongly recalls the melodies thatCharlie Parker wrote over standard harmonies, and in general the music is closer to the bebop that came before it than is sometimes popularly imagined.[16] (Several early tunes of his, for instance, are clearly based on favorite bop chord changes like “Out of Nowhere” and “I Got Rhythm”.) Coleman very rarely played standards, concentrating on his own compositions, of which there seemed to be an endless flow. There are exceptions, though, including a classic reading (virtually a recomposition) of “Embraceable You” for Atlantic, and an improvisation on Thelonious Monk’s “Criss-Cross” recorded with Gunther Schuller.


After the Atlantic period and into the early part of the 1970s, Coleman’s music became more angular and engaged fully with the jazz avant-garde which had developed in part around his innovations.

Coleman at the Enjoy Jazz Festival, Heidelberg, October 2008

His quartet dissolved, and Coleman formed a new trio with David Izenzon on bass, and Charles Moffett on drums. Coleman began to extend the sound-range of his music, introducing accompanying string players (though far from the territory of Charlie Parker with Strings) and playing trumpet and violin (which he played left-handed) himself. He initially had little conventional musical technique and used the instruments to make large, unrestrained gestures. His friendship with Albert Ayler influenced his development on trumpet and violin. Haden would later sometimes join this trio to form a two-bass quartet.

Between 1965 and 1967 Coleman signed with Blue Note Records and released a number of recordings starting with the influential recordings of the trio At the Golden Circle Stockholm.

In 1966, Coleman was criticized for recording The Empty Foxhole, a trio with Haden, and Coleman’s son Denardo Coleman – who was ten years old. Some regarded this as perhaps an ill-advised piece of publicity on Coleman’s part and judged the move a mistake. Others, however, noted that despite his youth, Denardo had studied drumming for several years. His technique – which, though unrefined, was respectable and enthusiastic – owed more to pulse-oriented free jazz drummers like Sunny Murray than to bebop drumming. Denardo has matured into a respected musician, and has been his father’s primary drummer since the late 1970s.

Coleman formed another quartet. A number of bassists and drummers (including Haden, Garrison and Elvin Jones) appeared, and Dewey Redman joined the group, usually on tenor saxophone.

He also continued to explore his interest in string textures – from Town Hall, 1962, culminating in Skies of America in 1972. (Sometimes this had a practical value, as it facilitated his group’s appearance in the UK in 1965, where jazz musicians were under a quota arrangement but classical performers were exempt.)

In 1969, Coleman was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.

Later career

Coleman performing inToronto in 1982

Coleman, like Miles Davis before him, took to playing with electrified instruments. Albums like Virgin Beauty and Of Human Feelings used rock and funk rhythms, sometimes called free funk. The 1976 albumDancing in Your Head, Coleman’s first recording with the group which later became known as Prime Time, prominently featured electric guitars. While this marked a stylistic departure for Coleman, the music maintained certain similarilties to his earlier work. These performances had the same angular melodies and simultaneous group improvisations – what Joe Zawinul referred to as “nobody solos, everybody solos” and what Coleman called harmolodics – and although the nature of the pulse was altered, Coleman’s own rhythmic approach did not.

Jerry Garcia played guitar on three tracks from Coleman’s 1988 album Virgin Beauty: “Three Wishes”, “Singing in the Shower”, and “Desert Players”. Coleman joined the Grateful Dead on stage once in 1993 during “Space”, and stayed for “The Other One”, “Stella Blue”, Bobby Bland’s “Turn on Your Lovelight”, and the encore “Brokedown Palace”. Another collaboration was with guitarist Pat Metheny, with whom Coleman recorded Song X (1985); though released under Metheny’s name, Coleman was essentially co-leader (contributing all the compositions).

In 1990, the city of Reggio Emilia in Italy held a three-day “Portrait of the Artist” featuring a Coleman quartet with Cherry, Haden and Higgins. The festival also presented performances of his chamber music and the symphonic Skies of America.

In 1991, Coleman played on the soundtrack for David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch; the orchestra was conducted by Howard Shore. It is notable among other things for including a rare sighting of Coleman playing a jazz standard: Thelonious Monk’s blues line “Misterioso”. Two 1972 (pre-electric) Coleman recordings, “Happy House” and “Foreigner in a Free Land” were used in Gus Van Sant’s 2000 Finding Forrester.

The mid-1990s saw a flurry of activity from Coleman: he released four records in 1995 and 1996, and for the first time in many years worked regularly with piano players (either Geri Allen or Joachim Kühn). He was awarded aMacArthur Fellowship (genius grant) in 1994.


In 2001 Coleman was awarded a Praemium Imperial (World Culture Prize in Memory of His Imperial Highness Prince Takamatsu), an international art prize by the imperial family of Japan on behalf of the Japan Art Association. The prize recognises outstanding contributions in the development, promotion and progress of the arts in the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and theatre/film—arguably one of the most prestigious art prizes in the world. Coleman was the second and latest jazz musician to receive the Praemium Imperial, after Oscar Peterson in 1999.

In 2004 Coleman was awarded the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the richest prizes in the arts, given annually to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.”

In September 2006 he released a live album titled Sound Grammar with his newest quartet (Denardo drumming and two bassists, Gregory Cohen and Tony Falanga). This was his first album of new material in ten years, and was recorded in Germany in 2005. It won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for music, Coleman being only the second jazz artist to win the prize.

On February 11, 2007, Coleman was honored with a Grammy award for lifetime achievement, in recognition of this legacy.

On July 9, 2009, Coleman received the Miles Davis Award, a recognition given by the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal to musicians who have contributed to continuing the tradition of jazz.

On May 1, 2010, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of Michigan for his musical contributions.

Jazz pianist Joanne Brackeen (who had only briefly studied music as a child) stated in an interview with Marian McPartland that Coleman had been mentoring her and giving her semi-formal music lessons in recent years.

Coleman continued to push himself into unusual playing situations, often with much younger musicians or musicians from radically different musical cultures. An increasing number of his compositions, while not ubiquitous, have become minor jazz standards, including “Lonely Woman”, “Peace”, “Turnaround”, “When Will the Blues Leave?”, “The Blessing”, “Law Years”, “What Reason Could I Give” and “I’ve Waited All My Life”. He has influenced virtually every saxophonist of a modern disposition, and nearly every such jazz musician, of the generation that followed him. His songs have proven endlessly malleable: pianists such as Paul Bley and Paul Plimley have managed to turn them to their purposes; John Zorn recorded Spy vs Spy (1989), an album of extremely loud, fast, and abrupt versions of Coleman songs. Finnish jazz singer Carola covered Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” and there have even been progressive bluegrass versions of Coleman tunes (by Richard Greene).

Personal life and death

Coleman married poet Jayne Cortez in 1954. The couple divorced in 1964. They had one son, Denardo, born in 1956, who became a notable jazz drummer in his own right.

Coleman died of a cardiac arrest at the age of 85 in New York City on June 11, 2015.

Warne Marsh, Documentary movie project

In Bio on December 10, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Hello all,marsh

For those who knew, met and appreciated Warne Marsh, in this part of the world, his son, K.C  is leading a project to publish a documentary about his father, to spread the news or to help or just for more information, please go and visit: seedandpsark

Message: Hello there!
K.C. Marsh here, son of tenor sax man, Warne Marsh.  I’ve been working on a documentary about my father and am just spreading the word to the Jazz community.  This doesn’t look like something you’d share on your blog but I’d certainly love any help you’d be willing to give spreading the word in any form.  At the end of the day I just want to connect Warne fans with a project that seeks to illuminate the man and his music….
Hope this finds you well and keep up the great work with your music and projects!  It’s such a beautiful art form.

K.C. Marsh

Marco Valle (bio)

In Bio, Summer Samba on December 28, 2013 at 11:24 am

Marcos Kostenbader Valle (born 14 September 1943 in Rio de Janeiro) is a Brazilian singer, instrumentalist, songwriter and record producer. He has produced works in many musical styles, including bossa nova, samba, and fusions of rock, soul, jazz, and dance music with Brazilian styles.


Valle’s talent was evident from his high school years, which coincided with the explosion of the bossa nova movement in Rio. His classmates included future legends such as Edu Lobo and Dori Caymmi, and his composition “Sonho de Maria” was included on the Avanco album by the influential Tamba Trio in 1963. With his brother Paulo Sergio Valle as his lyricist, he had already built an impressive portfolio of songs, prompting Odeon Records (a subsidiary of EMI) to sign him as a singer. His debut album Samba “Demais”, was released in April 1964. His reputation quickly spread, and his fellow musicians (including Wilson Simonal, Elis Regina, and Nara Leão) lined up to record his songs. A second album, O Compositor e o Cantor, followed in 1965, and featured what would become his most recognisable song, “Samba De Verão” – known in English as “So Nice (Summer Samba)” – along with other hits such as “Deus Brasileiro,” “Gente”, and “A Resposta”.

Nineteen sixty-six brought Valle’s first trip to the United States, where he and his then-wife Anamaria briefly teamed up with Sérgio Mendes in an early version of what would later become Brasil ’66. The threat of being drafted and sent to Vietnam caused Valle to return quickly to Brazil, although the following year saw him back to the United States and enjoying some success, including the release of his U.S. debut album, Braziliance!, on Warner Bros. Records, and several appearances on the Andy Williams TV show. Following session work on Verve Records releases by compatriots Walter Wanderley and Astrud Gilberto, the label released Valle’s Samba ’68 featuring English-language versions of songs from his earlier Brazilian releases.

Shortly thereafter, feeling homesick, Valle returned to Brazil and entered a new creative phase. Viola Enluarada (1968) was more mature and introspective, far removed from the frothy feel of Samba ’68. The title track was a duet with Milton Nascimento and became one of Valle’s signature compositions in Brazil. It also betrayed a political consciousness largely absent from Valle’s previous work – he would become more overtly political in the years to come. The album as a whole pointed to a broader range of musical influences (particularly the Northeastern Brazilian styles he had enjoyed listening to since his childhood days) that moved him out of the “strictly ‘bossa nova artists’ club.”

This process continued on 1969’s Mustang Cor de Sangue ou Corcel Cor de Mel, another leap forward that incorporated rock, soul and pop idioms, all stamped with Valle’s own melodic style. His work on the album reflected the sophisticated pop approach of American songwriters such as Jimmy Webb and Burt Bacharach as well as the inescapable influence of The Beatles.

Around this time, Valle began writing music for TV programs and telenovelas (soap operas), which over the next few years would become one of the main outlets for his work, along with advertising jingles. Marcos Valle (1970) (often referred to as The Bed Album due to its cover shot of Valle in bed) contained his most adventurous as well as his most rock-influenced and psychedelic music up to that point. Backed by Milton Nascimento’s band Som Imaginario, Valle explored a more eccentric approach, with a number of futuristic tracks and an extended instrumental suite not unlike the work of U.S. composer and producer David Axelrod. Garra (1971) was a career highpoint that summed up his music and still stands as one of the finest pop albums of the era, Brazilian or otherwise. Its effervescent pop, jazz, soul, bossa, and film soundtrack stylings were matched by lyrics that attempted to reconcile Valle’s hippie leanings with his status as a wealthy young musician who was also a successful businessman because of his successful novela soundtracks and corporate advertising accounts. Telenovelas he provided some or all of the music for during this period included O CafonaUma Rosa com AmorMinha Doce Namorada,Pigmalião 70Os Ossos do Barão, and, most prominently, Selva de Pedra. He also wrote the score for the film O Fabuloso Fittipaldi (1973).

Vento Sul (1972) found Valle long-haired and bearded, and backed by the progressive rock band O Terço. His most experimental effort to date (he even flirted with heavy metal on the song “Mi Hermoza”), it was a sales flop, although it has acquired admirers over the ensuing decades. The following year’s innovative Previsão do Tempo fared better. It was made in conjunction with the band that initially formed to back Valle at live shows and named itself after one of his songs, Azimuth (soon to change the spelling to Azymuth). This album had a notable jazz fusion feel thanks to Valle’s enthusiasm for the Fender Rhodes piano and Azymuth keyboardist Jose Roberto Bertrami’s expertise on the Hammond organ and assorted synthesizers such as the Mini-Moog and the ARP Soloist. This sound would prove a decisive influence on the acid jazz scene in Europe twenty years later.[1] Another innovation in Previsão do Tempo was the use of vocal percussion on the track “Mentira”, ten years before hip-hop artists introduced beatboxing. Valle emulates a drum kit with his voice to perform a pattern and a fill.

From 1972 to 1974, Valle provided the music for Vila Sésamo, Brazil’s version of Sesame Street. In 1974, he also released his final album for Odeon, again self-titled. This album differed yet again from its predecessors in pursuing a piano-pop sound reminiscent in turns of Elton John, Todd Rundgren and Bread, and replete with elaborate vocal arrangements.

Later careersosamba

At this point, Valle had grown tired of the strictures of living and working under Brazil’s military dictatorship, then in its darkest and bleakest phase. He therefore decided to return to the U.S., where he spent the rest of the decade. Settling in Los Angeles, he entered into collaborations with artists as diverse as Sarah Vaughan, Chicago, and R&B singer and songwriter Leon Ware. Valle and Ware found themselves especially compatible, and wrote many songs together, Valle appearing on several of Ware’s Elektra Records releases.

Valle returned to Brazil in late 1980 and completed two albums, 1981’s Vontade de Rever Você, and 1983’s Marcos Valle. These albums had prominent boogie, soul and funk influences. These had been present in Valle’s work since the beginning of the 1970s and would be permanent influences on his music, also being solidified by his work with Leon Ware and Chicago. His single “Estrelar” (1982), a boogie dance track marketed as “workout music” at the time, proved to be his best-selling record ever with a total of about 90,000 copies sold. In 1984, he released another boogie single, “Bicicleta”, but his recording label (Som Livre) decided to dismiss its entire cast and concentrate on soap opera LPs and Marcos was unable to complete a new album. His final album from the eighties was 1986’s Tempo da Gente, after which he took a break from recording. Nevertheless he kept on playing gigs (something he did not do in his “Estrelar” days) and writing songs for many different artists such as Tim Maia, Roberto Carlos, and Ricky Martin.

In the meantime, many listeners had become acquainted with Valle’s work of the 1960s and 1970s, and his music started to find favour with European and American fans, as well as connoisseurs of dance music. Valle recorded a new album in 1999, Nova Bossa Nova, which reached back to his roots in bossa nova and added contemporary electronic influences to his music. At this point Valle had signed with the London-based Far Out Recordings, which specialised in Brazilian musicians such as Azymuth (his backing band on 1973’sPrevisão do Tempo) and Joyce. In 2001 Valle also produced two other discs, Live in Montreal with guitarist Victor Biglione and a backing band, and Bossa Entre Amigos, a release aimed at the Brazilian market that featured Valle sharing the bill with Braziilian guitarist and songwriter Roberto Menescal and singer-guitarist Wanda Sá.

Escape, and especially its follow-up, Contrasts (released in 2003), showed increased electronic influences, mediated by London-based producer Roc Hunter. Valle showed on these releases that he was able to stay true to the roots of his sound while remaining open to modern influences and integrating them into his style. On 2005, Valle released Jet Samba, an all-instrumental collection featuring reworked compositions from past albums, as well as several new songs.

In 2010, he released Estática, an album which saw him return to a more organic approach, albeit with the use of some analog synthesisers. The record features expansive horn and string arrangements and has been referred to as a “masterpiece” by some. In 2011, he collaborated with the Phenomenal Handclap Band to contribute a version of the song “Tudo o Que Você Podia Ser” to the Red Hot Organization’s fund-raising album Red Hot + Rio 2, proceeds from the sales of which were donated to fight AIDS/HIV. Valle continues to perform in Brazil and throughout Europe.


  • 1963: Samba “Demais” (Odeon)
  • 1965: O Compositor e o Cantor (Odeon)
  • 1966: Braziliance! (Warner/Odeon)
  • 1968: Samba ’68 (Verve)
  • 1968: Viola Enluarada (Odeon)
  • 1969: Mustang côr de Sangue (Odeon)
  • 1970: Marcos Valle (Odeon)
  • 1971: Garra (Odeon)
  • 1972: Vento Sul (Odeon)
  • 1973: Previsão do Tempo (Odeon)
  • 1974: Marcos Valle (Odeon)
  • 1981: Vontade de Rever Você (Som Livre)
  • 1983: Marcos Valle (Som Livre)
  • 1986: Tempo da Gente (Arca Som)
  • 1999: Nova Bossa Nova (Far Out)
  • 2001: Escape (Far Out)
  • 2001: Bossa Entre Amigos (with Roberto Menescal and Wanda Sá) (Albatroz) – also on DVD
  • 2003: Live in Montreal (with Victor Biglione) (Rob) – recorded in 2000
  • 2003: Contrasts (Far Out)
  • 2005: Jet Samba (Dubas)
  • 2008: Conecta: Ao Vivo no Cinematheque (live) (EMI) – also on DVD
  • 2009: Página Central (with Celso Fonseca) (Biscoito Fino)
  • 2010: Estática (Far Out)
  • 2011: Valle Tudo (EMI) – 11-CD box set – recorded 1963-1974
  • 2012: Anos 80 (Discobertas) – 3-CD box set – recorded 1981-1986
  • 2012: Ensaio (Warner) – recorded in 2001 – also on DVD
  • 2013: Ao Vivo (with Stacey Kent) (Sony/BMG)

Lee Morgan

In Bio, The Sidewinder on December 16, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Edward Lee Morgan (trumpeter) was born on July 10, 1938 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia and passed away on February 19, 1972 in New York City.

Lee Morgan was the youngest of Otto Ricardo and Nettie Beatrice Morgan’s four children. Originally interested in the vibraphone, he soon showed a growing enthusiasm for the trumpet. Morgan also knew how to play the alto saxophone. On his thirteenth birthday, his sister Ernestine gave him his first trumpet. His primary stylistic influence was Clifford Brown, who gave the teenager a few lessons before he joined the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band at 18, and remained a member for a year and a half, until the economic situation forced Dizzy to disband the unit in 1958. He began recording for Blue Note Records in 1956, eventually recording 25 albums as a leader for the company, with more than 250 musicians. He also recorded on the Vee-Jaylabel.

He was a featured sideman on several early Hank Mobley records, as well as on John Coltrane’s Blue Train (1957), on which he played a trumpet with an angled bell (given to him by Gillespie) and delivered one of his most celebrated solos on the title track.

Joining Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1958 further developed his talent as a soloist and composer. He toured with Blakey for a few years, and was featured on numerous albums by the Messengers, including Moanin’, which is one of the band’s best-known recordings. When Benny Golson left the Jazz Messengers, Morgan persuaded Blakey to hire Wayne Shorter, a young tenor saxophonist, to fill the chair. This version of the Jazz Messengers, including pianist Bobby Timmons and bassist Jymie Merritt, recorded the classic The Freedom Rider album. The drug problems of Morgan and Timmons forced them to leave the band in 1961, and the trumpeter returned to Philadelphia, his hometown. According to Tom Perchard, a Morgan biographer, it was Blakey who introduced the trumpeter to heroin, an addictive drug that impeded his career trajectory.


Lee_MorganOn returning to New York in 1963, he recorded The Sidewinder (1963), which became his greatest commercial success. The title track cracked the pop charts in 1964, and served as the background theme for Chrysler television commercials during the World Series. The tune was used without Morgan’s or Blue Note’s consent, and intercession by the label’s lawyers led to the commercial being withdrawn. Due to the crossover success of “The Sidewinder” in a rapidly changing pop music market, Blue Note encouraged its other artists to emulate the tune’s “boogaloo” beat. Morgan himself repeated the formula several times with compositions such as “Cornbread” (from the eponymous albumCornbread) and “Yes I Can, No You Can’t” on The Gigolo. According to drummer Billy Hart, Morgan said he had recorded “The Sidewinder” as filler for the album, and was bemused that it had turned into his biggest hit. He felt that his playing was much more advanced on Grachan Moncur III’s essentially avant-garde Evolution album, recorded a month earlier, on November 21, 1963.

After this commercial success, Morgan continued to record prolifically, producing such works as Search for the New Land (1964), which reached the top 20 of the R&B charts. He also briefly rejoined the Jazz Messengers after his successor, Freddie Hubbard, joined another group. Together with John Gilmore, this lineup was filmed by the BBC for seminal jazz television program Jazz 625.

As the 60′s progressed, he recorded some twenty additional albums as a leader, and continued to record as a sideman on the albums of other artists, including Wayne Shorter’s Night Dreamer; Stanley Turrentine’s Mr. Natural; Freddie Hubbard’s The Night of the Cookers; Hank Mobley’s Dippin’A Caddy for DaddyA Slice of the TopStraight No Filter; Jackie McLean’s Jackknife and Consequence; Joe Henderson’s Mode for Joe; McCoy Tyner’s Tender Moments; Lonnie Smith’s Think and Turning Point; Elvin Jones’ The Prime Element; Jack Wilson’s Easterly Winds; Reuben Wilson’s Love Bug; Larry Young’s Mother ShipLee Morgan and Clifford Jordan Live in Baltimore 1968; Andrew Hill’s Grass Roots; as well as on several albums with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.


He became more politically involved in the last two years of his life, becoming one of the leemorganleaders of the Jazz and People’s Movement. The group demonstrated during the taping of talk and variety shows during 1970-71 to protest the lack of jazz artists as guest performers and members of the programs’ bands. His working band during those last years featured reed players Billy Harper or Bennie Maupin, pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Jymie Merritt and drummers Mickey Roker or Freddie Waits. Maupin, Mabern, Merritt and Roker are featured on the well-regarded 3-disc, Live at the Lighthouse, recorded during a two-week engagement at the Hermosa Beach club, California, in July 1970.

Morgan was murdered in the early hours of February 19, 1972, at Slugs’, a jazz club in New York City’s East Village where his band was performing. Following an altercation between sets, Morgan’s common-law wife Helen More (a.k.a. Morgan), shot him in the chest onstage, killing him within moments. He was 33 years old.

Thelonious (Sphere) Monk

In Bio, In Walked Bud on November 22, 2013 at 10:43 pm

monk1Better know as  Thelonious Monk, he was born on 10 October 10th, 1917 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, USA, and died: 17 February 1982 in Weehawken, New Jersey, USA (aged 64).

Among the most influential musicians, especially amongst pianists, of the twentieth century.
Monk had a idiosyncratic improvisational style, both musically and visually, and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire. He is often regarded as one of the founders of bebop, though his playing later evolved away from that style.

Both his prolific compositions and improvisations are full of dissonant harmonies and angular melodic twists, consistent with Monk’s unorthodox approach to the piano, combining a highly percussive attack with abrupt, usually very dramatic, usage of silences and hesitations.

He was also renowned for his distinctively sartorial style in suits, hats and his trademark sunglasses. He was also well known for his actions on stage during performances. While the other musicians in the group continued playing, he would sometimes stop, stand up from the piano, dance for a few moments, and then return to the piano and continue playing. Whether this was part of his act or because he was entranced in his art form has never been substantiated in the few interviews with him.
One of his regular dances consisted of continuously turning counter-clockwise, which has drawn comparisons to ring-shout and Muslim Sufi whirling.

Monk is also one of only five jazz musicians to date to be featured on the cover of Time magazine (the other four being Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Wynton Marsalis, and Dave Brubeck).


Blue Note Records (1948–1952)

Main article: Thelonious Monk Blue Note Sessions

  • Genius of Modern Music: Volume 1 (1947 Blue Note recordings)
  • Genius of Modern Music: Volume 2 (1951–1952 Blue Note recordings)
  • Thelonious Monk Trio (Prestige 7027), 1952–4
  • Monk (Prestige 7053) recorded 1953-4
  • Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins (Prestige 7075), recorded 1953-4
  • Thelonious Monk plays the Music of Duke Ellington (1955)
  • The Unique Thelonious Monk (1955)
  • Brilliant Corners (1956 recording with Sonny Rollins and Clark Terry)
  • Thelonious Himself (1957)
  • Monk’s Music (1957)
  • Mulligan Meets Monk (1957, with Gerry Mulligan)
  • Thelonious in Action and Misterioso (1958, live at the Five Spot with Johnny Griffin)
  • The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall (1959, Charlie Rouse joined the band then)
  • 5 by Monk by 5 (1959)
  • Thelonious Alone in San Francisco (1959)
  • Thelonious Monk at the Blackhawk (1960, with Charlie Rouse)
  • Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane (1957 recordings, 1961 issue) – Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007.
  • Monk in France (recorded in 1961)
  • Thelonious Monk in Italy (recorded 1961, released 1963)
  • Thelonious Monk and the Jazz Giants (1987)
  • Thelonious Monk Quartet Live at the Five Spot: Discovery! (with Coltrane recorded 1957, released in 1993 on Blue Note)
  • Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall (1957, released 2005 on Blue Note.)
  • The Complete 1957 Riverside Recordings (2006 collection of the 1957 studio recordings with Coltrane)
  • Monk’s Dream (1963)
  • Criss-Cross (1963)
  • Monk in Tokyo (1963)
  • Miles & Monk at Newport (1963, with unrelated 1958 Miles Davis performance)
  • Big Band and Quartet in Concert (1963)
  • It’s Monk’s Time (1964)monk2
  • Monk. (1964)
  • Solo Monk (1964)
  • Live at the It Club (1964)
  • Live at the Jazz Workshop (1964)
  • Straight, No Chaser (1966)
  • Underground (1967)
  • Monk’s Blues (1968)
  • Prestige Records (1952–1954)
  • Riverside Records (1955–1961)
  • Columbia Records (1962–1968)

Other labels

  • Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk (Atlantic, 1958)
  • Thelonious Monk Nonet Live In Paris 1967 (France Concert LP FC-113, 1967)
  • The Giants of Jazz (Atlantic, 1971) with Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Al McKibbon, Sonny Stitt and Kai Winding

As sideman

With Coleman Hawkins

  • Bean and the Boys (Prestige 7824) 1944

With Milt Jackson

  • Wizard of the Vibes (Milt Jackson: 1948 Blue Note recordings)

With Miles Davis

  • Bags’ Groove (Prestige, 1954)
  • Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants (Prestige, 1954)

With Sonny Rollins

  • Moving Out (Prestige 7058) 1954 (on one track)
  • Sonny Rollins, Vol. 2 (Blue Note, 1957)

With Gigi Gryce

  • Nica’s Tempo (Savoy, 1955)

With Clark Terry

  • In Orbit (Riverside, 1958)


  • Monk’s Miracles (1966)
  • Monk’s Greatest Hits (Columbia, 1968)
  • Midnight at Minton’s (c.1941, issued 1973 under Don Byas’ name. Monk does not play on all tracks of this or the other two CDs of 1941 material)
  • After Hours (c.1941, issued 1973 under Charlie Christian’s name)
  • After Hours in Harlem c.1941, issued 1973 under Hot Lips Page’s name
  • April in Paris (Monk album)|April in Paris (1981 2-LP set of the April 18, 1961 Paris recordings)
  • Monk’s Classic Recordings (1983)
  • Blues Five Spot (1984, unissued recordings from 1958–61, with various saxophonists and Thad Jones, cornet)
  • Something in BlueNice Work in LondonBlue Sphere and The Man I Love (all 1971 recordings, collected in The London Collection 1988, three CDs)
  • The Complete Riverside Recordings of Thelonious Monk (1991, 15 CD, Riverside)
  • The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Thelonious Monk (1994, 4 CD, Blue Note)
  • Live at Monterey Jazz Festival ’63 (sept. 21–2, 1963, MFSL, 2 vols. issued 1996-7)
  • Monk Alone: The Complete Solo Studio Recordings of Thelonious Monk 1962–1968 (1998, 2 CD, Sony)
  • The Complete Prestige Recordings of Thelonious Monk (2000, 3 CD, Prestige)
  • The Columbia Years: ’62–’68 (2001, 3 CD, Sony)
  • The Complete Vogue Recordings/The Black Lion Sessions (1954–71) (3LP, Mosaic)
  • All Monk. The Riverside Albums (2010, 16 CD, Universal)
  • The Thelonious Monk Quartet Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection (2012, 6 CD, Sony)

Maceo Parker Biography

In Bio on February 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm

maceo1Maceo Parker (born February 14, 1943) is an American funk and soul jazz saxophonist, best known for his work with James Brown in the 1960s, as well as Parliament-Funkadelic in the 1970s. Parker was a prominent soloist on many of Brown’s hit recordings, and a key part of his band, playing alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. Since the early 1990s, he has toured continuously under his own name.

Parker was born in Kinston, North Carolina. His father played piano and drums; his mother and father both sang in church. His brother Melvin played drums and his brother Kellis trombone. He and his brother Melvin joined James Brown in 1964; in his autobiography, Brown says that he originally wanted Melvin as his drummer, but agreed to take Maceo under his wing as part of the deal. In 1970 Parker, his brother Melvin, and a few of Brown’s band members left to found Maceo & All the King’s Men, which toured for two years.

In 1974, Parker returned to James Brown. He also charted a single “Parrty – Part I” (#71 pop singles) with Maceo & the Macks that year. In 1975, Parker and some of Brown’s band members, including Fred Wesley, left to join George Clinton’s band Parliament-Funkadelic. Parker once again re-joined James Brown from 1984 to 1988.maceo2

In the 1990s, Parker began a solo career. To date, he has released eleven solo albums since 1990. His band has been billed as “the greatest little funk orchestra on earth” and the “million dollar support band”.

Maceo Parker at the Liri Blues Festival, Italy, in 2009

In 1993, Parker made guest appearances on hip hop group De La Soul’s album Buhloone Mindstate. In the late 1990s, Parker began contributing semi-regularly to recordings by Prince and accompanying his band, The New Power Generation, on tour. He also played on the Jane’s Addiction track “My Cat’s Name Is Maceo” for their 1997 compilation album Kettle Whistle. In 1998, Parker performed as a guest on “What Would You Say” on a Dave Matthews Band concert which also became one of their live albums, Live in Chicago 12.19.98.

In 2007, Parker performed as part of Prince’s band for Prince’s 21 nights at the O2 arena.

Parker’s album Roots & Grooves with the WDR Big Band is a tribute to Ray Charles, whom Parker cites as one of his most important influences. The album won a Jammie for best Jazz Album in 2009. Parker followed this up with another collaboration with WDR Big Band in 2012 with the album “Soul Classics”

In October 2011, Parker was inducted in the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.maceo-parker

In July 2012 Parker was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from Victoires Du Jazz in Paris.

He continues touring throughout the world, headlining many jazz festivals in Europe.

In 2012, Parker was a special guest on the Soul Rebels Brass Band’s sold out CMJ Highline Ballroom showcase.

Maceo plays a Selmer Mark VI, (which he has had goldplated) and a Brilhart Ebolin mouthpiece 3. He uses Vandoren Java 3 and a half reeds

Oliver Nelson Biography

In Bio, Stolen Moments on October 5, 2012 at 9:15 am

Oliver Edward Nelson (June 4, 1932 in St.Louis, Missouri – Ocotober 28.01975) was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, arranger and composer

Early life and career

Oliver Nelson’s family was musical: his brother was also a saxophonist who played with Cootie Williams in the 1940s, and his sister sang and played piano. Nelson began learning to play the piano when he was six, and started on the saxophone at eleven. From 1947 he played in “territory” bands around Saint Louis, before joining the Louis Jordan big band from 1950 to 1951, playing alto saxophone and arranging.

After military service in the Marines, Nelson returned to Missouri to study music composition and theory at Washington and Lincoln Universities, graduating in 1958. While back in his hometown of St. Louis, he met and married Eileen Mitchell; the couple had a son, Oliver Nelson Jr., but soon divorced. After graduation, Nelson married Audrey McEwen, a union which lasted until his death; they had a son, Nyles. Audrey was a native of St. Louis, Missouri.

Nelson moved to New York, playing with Erskine Hawkins and Wild Bill Davis, and working as the house arranger for the Apollo Theater in Harlem. He also played on the West Coast briefly with the Louie Bellson big band in 1959, and in the same year began recording as leader with small groups. From 1960 to 1961 he played tenor saxophone with Quincy Jones, both in the U.S. and on tour in Europe.

Breakthrough and afterwards

After six albums as leader between 1959 and 1961 for the Prestige label (with such musicians as Kenny Dorham, Johnny Hammond Smith, Eric Dolphy, Roy Haynes, King Curtis and Jimmy Forrest), Nelson’s big breakthrough came with The Blues and the Abstract Truth, on Impulse!, featuring the tune “Stolen Moments,” now considered a standard. This made his name as a composer and arranger, and he went on to record a number of big-band albums, as well as working as an arranger for Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Johnny Hodges,Wes Montgomery, Buddy Rich, Jimmy Smith, Billy Taylor, Stanley Turrentine, Irene Reid, Gene Ammons and many others. He also led all-star big bands in various live performances between 1966 and 1975. Nelson continued to perform as a soloist during this period, though increasingly on soprano saxophone.

In 1967, Nelson moved to Los Angeles. Apart from his big-band appearances (in Berlin, Montreux, New York, and Los Angeles), he toured West Africa with a small group. He also spent a great deal of time composing music for television (Ironside, Night Gallery, Columbo, The Six Million Dollar Man and Longstreet) and films (Death of a Gunfighter and he arranged Gato Barbieri’s music for Last Tango in Paris). He produced and arranged for pop stars such as Nancy Wilson, James Brown, the Temptations, and Diana Ross. Less well-known is the fact that Nelson composed several symphonic works, and was also deeply involved in jazz education, returning to his alma mater, Washington University, in the summer of 1969 to lead a five-week long clinic that also featured such guest performers as Phil Woods, Mel Lewis, Thad Jones, Sir Roland Hanna, and Ron Carter. Nelson died of a heart attack on 28 October 1975, aged 43.


Prestige Records

  • 1959: Meet Oliver Nelson
  • 1960: Taking Care of Business
  • 1960: Images
  • 1960: Screamin’ the Blues
  • 1960: Soul Battle
  • 1960: Nocturne
  • 1961: Straight Ahead
  • 1961: Main Stem
  • 1962: Afro/American Sketches

Impulse! Records

  • 1961: The Blues and the Abstract Truth
  • 1964: More Blues and the Abstract Truth
  • 1966: Oliver Nelson Plays Michelle
  • 1966: Sound Pieces
  • 1966: Happenings with Hank Jones
  • 1967: The Spirit of ’67 with Pee Wee Russell
  • 1967: The Kennedy Dream
  • 1967: Live from Los Angeles
  • 1968: Soulful Brass with Steve Allen
  • 197_: Three Dimensions (a compilation album)

Flying Dutchman Records

  • 1968: Soulful Brass No. 2
  • 1969: Black Brown and Beautiful
  • 1970: The Mayor and the People
  • 1970: Berlin Dialogue for Orchestra
  • 1970: Leon Thomas In Berlin with Oliver Nelson
  • 1971: Swiss Suite
  • 1974: In London with Oily Rags
  • 1975: Skull Session
  • 1976: A Dream Deferred

Other labels

  • 1962: Full Nelson (Verve)
  • 1962: Impressions of Phaedra (United Artists)
  • 1964: Fantabulous (Argo)
  • 1966: Leonard Feather’s Encyclopedia of Jazz (Verve)
  • 1966: Leonard Feather Presents the Sound of Feeling and the Sound of Oliver Nelson (Verve)
  • 1967: Jazzhattan Suite (Verve)
  • 1973: Fugue and Bossa
  • 1975: Stolen Moments (East Wind Records/Inner City Records)

As arranger

With Air Pocket

  • Fly On (1975, East Wind Records)

With Mel Brown

  • Chicken Fat (Impulse!, 1967)

With Ray Brown and Milt Jackson

  • Ray Brown / Milt Jackson (Verve, 1965)

With Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis

  • Trane Whistle (Prestige, 1960)

With Art Farmer

  • Listen to Art Farmer and the Orchestra (Mercury, 1962)

With Carmen McRae

  • Portrait of Carmen (Atlantic, 1967)

With Shirley Scott

  • For Members Only (Impulse!, 1963)
  • Great Scott!! (Impulse!, 1964)
  • Roll ‘Em: Shirley Scott Plays the Big Bands (Impulse!, 1966)

With Jimmy Smith

  • Bashin’: The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith (Verve, 1962)
  • Hobo Flats (Verve, 1963)
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Verve, 1964)
  • Monster (Verve, 1965)
  • Peter and the Wolf (Verve, 1966)

With Wes Montgomery

  • Goin’ Out of My Head (Verve, 1965)

With Count Basie

  • Afrique (Flying Dutchman, 1970)

As sideman

With Manny Albam

  • Jazz Goes to the Movies (Impulse!, 1962)

With Mundell Lowe

  • Satan in High Heels (soundtrack) (Charlie Parker, 1961)

With Quincy Jones

  • The Quintessence (Impulse!, 1961)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ronny Jordan biography

In Bio, So What on May 25, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Ronny Jordan est un guitariste anglais, emblématique du mouvement acid jazz du début des années 90. Sa reprise de So What de Miles Davis, extraite de son premier album The Antidote, a été très remarquée. Il est connu comme l’un des initiateurs d’une fusion entre jazz et hip hop. Il a d’ailleurs participé au tout premier volume de la série des “Jazzmatazz“, le projet jazz-rap du rappeur Guru, paru en 1993. Il s’est vu récompensé aux MOBO Awards et aux Gibson Guitar Awards et a obtenu une nomination aux Grammy Awards en 2000 pour son album “A Brighter Day“. Son style, au fil des années, a glissé de plus en plus vers un registre smooth jazz plus classique.


  • 1992 : The Antidote (Fourth & Bway)
  • 1993 : The Quiet Revolution
  • 2000 : A Brighter Day (Blue Note Records)
  • 2001 : Off the Record (Blue Note Records)
  • 2002 : The Collection (Universal)
  • 2003 : At Last (N-Coded Music
  • 2004 : After 8 (N-Coded Music)
  • 2009 : The Rough and The Smooth (Private & Public Music)

Ronny Jordan (né Ronald Laurence Albert Simpson, le 29/11/1962, Londres) est un guitariste de jazz anglais, très influent dans le développement de l’Acid jazz et du Smooth jazz.

Né de parents protestants jamaïcains (son père est diacre), il apprend la guitare en audodidacte dès l’âge de 4 ans, plongeant ses racines dans le gospel d’Andrae Crouch ou des Soul Stirrers.
Puis il découvre les courants Swing et Bop, à travers les influences de Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian, Grant Green, Roy Ayers ou Keith Jarrett.

So What (Ronny Jordan)

Sur son premier album, “The Antidote” (1992), Ronny Jordan est derrière tous les instruments (guitare, claviers, basse, batterie) et assure égalements certaines parties vocales. Les morceaux “After Hours” et “So what” sont tous deux très remarqués, l’un pour l’alliance du smooth et de l’acid jazz, l’autre pour l’originalité de l’interprétation du standard de Miles Davis.

En 1993, Ronny Jordan participe à un album emblématique de l’Acid jazz : “Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1” du rappeur Guru.

Cette même année, il signe également son deuxième album , “The Quiet Revolution”, où se mêlent hip-hop, rap, acid jazz, smooth jazz, pop, et même jazz mainstream.

L’album suivant, “Light To Dark”, sort en 1996. L’influence du smooth s’accroît, au détriment du rap et de l’acid jazz.

Puis, “A Brighter Day” sort en 2000, au label Blue Note. Jordan y assume un jazz léger et aérien, qu’on pourrait classer quelquepart entre Smooth et Cool jazz. Le disque est nomminé au Grammy Award du meilleur album de Jazz Contemporain.

L’album “After 8” paraît en 2004 chez N-Coded Music. Le guitariste y poursuit son cheminement éclectique, où le Smooth se teinte de Cool, de RnB, de Hip-hop, ou de reggae. A défaut d’un style précis, on retrouve le son de guitare sensuel et généreux de RJ, sa seule véritable marque de fabrique.

Marcus Miller Biography

In Bio, Chicago Song on February 18, 2012 at 12:16 am

Marcus Miller (born William Henry Marcus Miller Jr., June 14, 1959, Brooklyn, New York) is an American jazz composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. Miller is best known as a bassist, working with trumpeter Miles Davis, pianist Herbie Hancock, singer Luther Vandross, and saxophonist David Sanborn, as well as maintaining a prolific solo career. Miller is classically trained as a clarinetist and also plays keyboards, saxophone and guitar.

Life and career

Early life

Miller was born in 1959 and raised in a musical family that includes his father, William Miller (a church organist and choir director) and jazz pianist Wynton Kelly. By 13, Marcus was proficient on clarinet, piano and bass guitar, and already writing songs. Two years later he was working regularly inNew York City, eventually playing bass and writing music for jazz flautist Bobbi Humphrey and keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith. Miller soon became a first call session musician, gracing well over 500 albums, a short list of which includes Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock, Mariah Carey, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Frank Sinatra, Dr. John, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Grover Washington Jr., Donald Fagen, Bill Withers, Chaka Khan, LL Cool J, Me’shell Ndegé Ocello and Flavio Sala.

Professional career

Miller at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, 2007

Miller spent approximately 15 years performing as a sideman or session musician, observing how band leaders operated. During that time he also did a lot of arranging and producing. He was a member of the Saturday Night Live band 1978-1979. He wrote the intro to Aretha Franklin’s ‘I Wanna Make It Up To You’. He has played bass on over 500 recordings including those of Luther Vandross, Grover Washington Jr., Roberta Flack, Carly Simon, McCoy Tyner, Bryan Ferry andBilly Idol. He won the “Most Valuable Player” award, (awarded by NARAS to recognize studio musicians) three years in a row and was subsequently awarded “player emeritus” status and retired from eligibility. In the nineties, Miller began to make his own records, putting a band together to take advantage of touring opportunities.

Miller’s proficiency on his main instrument, the bass guitar, is generally well-regarded. Not only has Miller been involved in the continuing development of the technique known as “slapping”, particularly his “thumb” technique, but his fretless bass technique has also served as an inspiration to many, and he has taken the fretless bass into musical contexts and genres previously unexplored. The influences of some of the previous generation of electric bass players, such as Larry Graham, Stanley Clarke, and Jaco Pastorius, are audible in Miller’s playing. Early in his career, Miller was accused of being simply imitative of Pastorius, but has since more fully integrated the latter’s methodology into his own sound.

Miller has an extensive discography, and tours frequently and widely in Europe and Japan.

Between 1988 and 1990 he appeared in the first season and again toward the end as both the musical director and also as the house band bass player in the Sunday Night Band during the two seasons of the acclaimed music performance program Sunday Night on NBC late-night television.

As a composer, Miller wrote “Tutu” for Miles Davis, a piece that defined Davis’s career in the late 1980s, and was the title track of Davis’s album Tutu, upon which Miller wrote all the songs with only two exceptions, and one of those was co-written with Davis. He also composed “Chicago Song” for David Sanborn and co-wrote “‘Til My Baby Comes Home”, “It’s Over Now”, “For You to Love”, and “Power of Love” forLuther Vandross. Miller also wrote “Da Butt”, which was featured in Spike Lee’s School Daze.

Personal life

Miller has a wife and four children: two daughters and two sons, one of whom, Jon, recently graduated from Columbia Universityand now works for radio and television host Glenn Beck.

Grammy Awards

Miller has won numerous Grammy Awards as a producer for Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, David Sanborn, Bob James, Chaka Khan andWayne Shorter. He won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1992, for Luther Vandross’ “Power of Love” and in 2001 he won for Best Contemporary Jazz Album for his fourth solo instrumental album, M2.

Miller currently has his own band. In 1997 he played bass and bass clarinet in a band called Legends, featuring Eric Clapton (guitars and vocals), Joe Sample (piano), David Sanborn (alto sax) and Steve Gadd (drums). It was an 11-date tour of major jazz festivals inEurope.

In addition to his recording and performance career, Miller has established a parallel career as a film score composer. He has written numerous scores for films featuring Eddie Murphy, L.L. Cool J, Chris Rock, Matthew Perry, Samuel L. Jackson and others. He composed the musical score for the Chris Rock-created sit-com, Everybody Hates Chris, now in syndication on Nick-At Nite.

Instruments and gear

He plays a 1977 Fender Jazz Bass that was modified by Roger Sadowsky with the addition of a Bartolini preamp so he could control his sound in the studio. Fender currently produces a Marcus Miller signature Fender Jazz Bass in four- (made in Japan) and five-string (made in U.S) versions.


Solo period (1982–present)

  • 1983: Suddenly
  • 1984: Marcus Miller
  • 1993: The Sun Don’t Lie
  • 1995: Tales
  • 1998: Live & More
  • 2000: Best of ’82-’96
  • 2001:  (2002 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album)
  • 2002: The Ozell Tapes – Live 2001
  • 2005: Silver Rain
  • 2007: Free
  • 2008: Marcus[4]
  • 2008: Thunder (as SMV, with Stanley Clarke and Victor Wooten)
  • 2010: A Night in Monte Carlo – Live 2009
  • 2011: Tutu Revisited – Live 2010
  • 2012: tba

Luther Vandross period

  • 1983: “Busy Body”
  • 1985: “The Night I Fell In Love”
  • 1985: “‘Til My Baby Comes Home”
  • 1985: “It’s Over Now”
  • 1986: “I Really Didn’t Mean It”
  • 1986: “Never Too Much”
  • 1986: “She Won’t Talk To Me”
  • 1986: “Give Me the Reason”
  • 1987: “Stop to Love”
  • 1987: “See Me”
  • 1988: “Luther In Love – Megamix”
  • 1988: “Any Love”
  • 1989: “The Best of Love”
  • 1989: “Come Back”
  • 1991: “The Rush”
  • 1991: “Power of Love / Love Power (Uno Clio & Colin and Carl Remix)”
  • 1991: “Power of Love / Love Power”
  • 1991: “Power of Love”
  • 1993: “Never Let Me Go”
  • 1993: “Heaven Knows”
  • 1995: “This Is Christmas”
  • 1995: “Power of Love / Love Power (The Frankie Knuckles Mixes)”
  • 1996: “Your Secret Love”
  • 1996: “I Can Make It Better”
  • 1998: “I Know”
  • 2001: “Luther Vandross”
  • 2003: “Dance With My Father”
  • 2007: “Love, Luther”

Grover Washington jr period

  • 1984: Inside Moves

David Sanborn period (1975–2000)

  • 1977: Lovesongs
  • 1980: Hideaway
  • 1981: Voyeur
  • 1981: As We Speak
  • 1982: Backstreet
  • 1984: Straight to the Heart
  • 1987: Change of Heart
  • 1988: Close-Up
  • 1991: Another Hand
  • 1992: Upfront
  • 1994: Hearsay
  • 1995: Pearls
  • 1996: Songs from the Night Before
  • 1999: Inside

Miles Davis period (1980–1990)

  • 1981: The Man with the Horn
  • 1982: We Want Miles
  • 1983: Star People
  • 1986: Tutu
  • 1987: Music From Siesta
  • 1989: Amandla
  • 2002: The Complete Miles Davis at Montreux

The Jamaica Boys period (1986–1990)

  • 1987: The Jamaica Boys
  • 1989: The Jamaica Boys II: J. Boys

Film scores

  • 1990: “House Party” (featuring Kid & Play)
  • 1992: “Boomerang” (featuring Eddie Murphy)
  • 1994: “Above the Rim” (featuring Tupac Shakur)
  • 1994: “A Low Down Dirty Shame” (featuring Keenan Ivory Wayans)
  • 1996: “The Great White Hype” (featuring Samuel L. Jackson)
  • 1997: “The Sixth Man” (featuring Marlon Wayans)
  • 1999: “An American Love Story”
  • 2000: “The Ladies Man” (featuring Tim Meadows)
  • 2001: “The Trumpet of the Swan” (featuring Reese Witherspoon)
  • 2001: “The Brothers” (featuring Morris Chestnut)
  • 2001: “Two Can Play That Game” (featuring Vivaca Fox)
  • 2002: “Serving Sara” (featuring Matthew Perry)
  • 2003: “Deliver Us from Eva” (featuring L.L. Cool J)
  • 2003: “Head of State” (featuring Chris Rock)
  • 2004: “Breakin’ All the Rules” (featuring Jamie Foxx)
  • 2005: “King’s Ransom” (featuring Anthony Anderson)
  • 2006: “Save the Last Dance 2” (featuring Izabella Miko)
  • 2007: “I Think I Love My Wife” (featuring Chris Rock)
  • 2007: “This Christmas” (featuring Idris Elba)
  • 2008: “Thunder” (featuring Stanley Clark and Victor Wooten)
  • 2009: “Good Hair” (featuring Chris Rock as SMV)
  • 2009: “Obsessed” (featuring Beyoncé Knowles)

David Sanborn Biography

In Bio, Chicago Song on February 17, 2012 at 11:42 pm

David Sanborn (born July 30, 1945) is an American alto saxophonist. David SanbornThough Sanborn has worked in many genres, his solo recordings typically blend jazz with instrumental pop and R&B. He released his first solo album Taking Off in 1975, but has been playing the saxophone since before he was in high school. Sanborn has also worked extensively as a session musician, notably on David Bowie’s Young Americans (1975).

One of the most commercially successful American saxophonists to earn prominence since the 1980s, Sanborn is described by critic Scott Yannow as “the most influential saxophonist on pop, R&B, and crossover players of the past 20 years.” Sanborn is often identified with radio-friendly smooth jazz However, Sanborn has expressed a disinclination for both the genre itself and his association with it.


Early years

Sanborn was born in Tampa, Florida, and grew up in Kirkwood, Missouri. He suffered from polio in his youth, and began playing the saxophone on a physician’s advice to strengthen his weakened chest muscles and improve his breathing. Alto saxophonist Hank Crawford, at the time a member of Ray Charles’ band, was an early and lasting influence on Sanborn. Sanborn performed with blues musicians Albert King and Little Milton at the age of 14, and continued playing blues when he joined Paul Butterfield’s band in 1967, after attending the University of Iowa.

Although Sanborn is most associated with smooth jazz, he explored the edges of free jazz in his youth, studying with saxophonists Roscoe Mitchell and Julius Hemphill. In 1993, he revisited this genre when he appeared on Tim Berne’s Diminutive Mysteries, dedicated to Hemphill. Sanborn’s album Another Hand also featured leading avant garde musicians.

In his three and-a-half decade career, Sanborn has released 24 albums, won six Grammy awards and has had eight gold albums and one platinum album. He continues to be one of the most highly active musicians of his genre, with 2010 tour dates exceeding 150.


He has been a highly regarded session player since the late 1960s, playing with an array of well-known artists, such as James Brown, Bryan Ferry, Michael Stanley, Eric Clapton, Bobby Charles, Cat Stevens, Roger Daltrey, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Jaco Pastorius, the Brecker Brothers, Michael Franks, Kenny Loggins, Casiopea, Players Association, David Bowie, Todd Rundgren, Bruce Springsteen, Little Feat, Tommy Bolin, Bob James, James Taylor, Al Jarreau, Pure Prairie League, Kenny G, George Benson, Joe Beck, Donny Hathaway, Elton John, Gil Evans, Carly Simon, Guru, Linda Ronstadt, Billy Joel, Kenny Garrett, Roger Waters, Steely Dan, Ween, the Eagles, The Grateful Dead, the German group Nena, and Japanese pop star Utada Hikaru.

Sanborn has won numerous awards including Grammy Awards for Voyeur (1981), Double Vision (1986), a Change of Heart (Chicago Song) (1987) and the instrumental album Close Up (1988). In television, Sanborn is well known for his sax solo in the theme song for the NBC hit drama L.A. Law. He has also done some film scoring for films such as Lethal Weapon and Scrooged. In 1991 Sanborn recorded Another Hand, which the All Music Guide to Jazz described as a “return by Sanborn to his real, true love: unadorned (or only partly adorned) jazz” that “balanced the scales” against his smooth jazz material. The album, produced by Hal Willner, featured musicians from outside the smooth jazz scene, such as Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, and Marc Ribot. His more recent albums include Closer.

In 1994 Sanborn appeared in A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who, also known as Daltrey Sings Townshend. This was a two-night concert at Carnegie Hall produced by Roger Daltrey of English rock band The Who in celebration of his fiftieth birthday. In 1994 a CD and a VHS video were issued, and in 1998 a DVD was released.

In 1995 he performed in The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True a musical performance of the popular story at Lincoln Center to benefit the Children’s Defense Fund. The performance was originally broadcast on Turner Network Television (TNT), and issued on CD and video in 1996.

Broadcasting activities

Sanborn has performed on both radio and television broadcasts; he has also acted as a host. Since the late 1980s he has been a regular guest member of Paul Shaffer’s band on Late Night with David Letterman. From 1988-89, he co-hosted Night Music, a late-night music show on NBC television with Jools Holland. Following producer Hal Willner’s eclectic approach, the show positioned Sanborn with many famed musicians, such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Pharoah Sanders, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Lou Reed, Jean-Luc Ponty, Santana, Todd Rundgren, Youssou N’dour, Pere Ubu, Loudon Wainwright III, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and Curtis Mayfield. During the 1980s and 1990s, Sanborn hosted a syndicated radio program, The Jazz Show with David Sanborn. Sanborn has recorded many shows’ theme songs as well as several other songs for The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder.

More recent activities

In 2004, Sanborn was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. In 2006, he was featured in Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band’s album The Phat Pack on the track “Play That Funky Music”, a remake of the Wild Cherry’ hit in a big band style. Sanborn often performs at Japan’s Blue Note venues in Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo. He plays on the song “Your Party” on Ween’s 2007 release La Cucaracha. On April 8, 2007, Sanborn sat in with the Allman Brothers Band during their annual run at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

In 2010, Sanborn toured primarily with a trio featuring jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco where they played the combination of blues and jazz found in his latest album. “Only Everything”. In 2011, Sanborn will tour with keyboardist George Duke and bassist Marcus Miller as the group “DMS”.



As leader

  • Taking Off (1975)
  • Beck & Sanborn, with Joe Beck (1975)
  • David Sanborn (1976)
  • Promise Me the Moon (1977)
  • Heart to Heart (1978)
  • Hideaway (1979)
  • Voyeur (1981)
  • As We Speak (1981)
  • Backstreet (1982)
  • Straight to the Heart (1984)
  • Double Vision, with Bob James (1986)
  • A Change of Heart (1987)
  • Close Up (1988)
  • Another Hand (1991)
  • Upfront (1992)
  • Hearsay (1994)
  • The Best of David Sanborn (1994)
  • Pearls (1995)
  • Love Songs (1995)
  • Songs from the Night Before (1996)
  • Inside (1999)
  • The Essentials (2002)
  • Time Again (2003)
  • Closer (2005)
  • Original Album Classics (5 CD box set of 5 albums reissued in replica LP covers)
  • Here and Gone (2008)
  • Only Everything (2010)

As sideman

With Hubert Laws

  • The Chicago Theme (CTI, 1974)


  • Legends: Live at Montreux 1997 (Released: 2005)
  • The Legends of Jazz: Showcase (Released: 2006)



  • The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True (1995)
    Cast member in the TV musical
  • Scrooged (1988)
    Played a street musician
  • Sunday Night (1988)
    Was the host of this music show (later known as Michelob Presents Night Music)
  • Magnum P.I. (1986)
    Was guest saxophonist in the episode L.A.
  • Stelle Sulla Citta (1983)


  • Eric Clapton & Friends in Concert (1999)
  • Burt Bacharach: One Amazing Night (1995)
  • The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts (1996)
  • Forget Paris (1995)
  • Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who (1994)
  • Michael Kamen: Concert for Saxophone (1991)
  • Benny Carter: Symphony in Riffs (1989)
  • The 2nd Annual Soul Train Music Awards (1988)
  • The 1st Annual Soul Train Music Awards (1987)
  • One Trick Pony (1980)
  • Late Night with David Letterman / The David Letterman Show (occasionally, 1986)
  • Saturday Night Live (15 March 1980)
  • Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
  • Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
  • Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
  • Psycho III (1986)
  • Finnegan Begin Again (1985)
  • Stelle Sulla Citta (1983)
  • Moment to Moment (1975)
  • Forget Paris (1995)
  • Tequila Sunrise (1988)
  • Lethal Weapon (1987)
  • Psycho III (1986)
  • Murphy’s Romance (1985)
  • Saturday Night Live (1975)

Gear List

  • Saxophone
    Selmer Mark VI Alto Saxophone
    Manufacturer: Selmer
    Location: Paris, France
    Retail Value (approx): $6,000 (US)
  • Reeds
    Vandoren V16 reeds
    Each reed lasts David roughly a week.
  • Mouthpiece
    A modified Dukoff D8 Metal Alto Sax Mouthpiece
  • Ligature
    A Harrison Ligature
  • Bell Jar
    To keep his reeds humidified without over-soaking them, David soaks the reeds in water in a bell jar. First he soaks them for a couple of hours in the jar, and then empties out most of the water so that the reeds won’t get wet, but will still stay humid. He finds this technique extremely valuable.
  • References
  1. a b Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (1996) [1992]. The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (Third ed.). London: Penguin Group. pp. 1148–1149.ISBN 0-14-051368-X.
  2. ^ “Biography”. Official Community of David Sanborn. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
  3. ^ Yannow, Scott “David Sanborn — Biography” from, URL accessed 21 May 2011
  4. a b c Balfany, Greg (January/February 1989). “David Sanborn”. Saxophone Journal 13 (4): pp. 28–31
  5. ^ “Sessions”. Official Community of David Sanborn. Retrieved 2008-05-15
  6. ^ Wynn, Ron (1994). All Music Guide to Jazz. San Francisco: Miller Freeman. p. 567. ISBN 0879303085
  7. a b “Discography”. Official Community of David Sanborn. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  8. a b c d “Filmography”. Official Community of David Sanborn. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  9. ^ “Lethal Weapon (1987) Full cast and crew”. IMDB. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  10. ^ “Gear List”. Official Community of David Sanborn. Retrieved 2008-05-16.