Foto © 1999 Peter Bastian
Charles Gayle has been playing sax since the late 1950's. Originally from Buffalo, New York, he came to New York City in the late 60's to play music. Unable to find any clubs willing to book him or even musicians willing to hire him, he began playing the streets and subways of New York.
For the next 20-odd years, he not only played on the streets, he lived on them.
Gayle credits the Knitting Factory with giving him his first real break. Over the last five years he's not only played numerous gigs at the New York club, but has performed sporadically up and down the East Coast and in Europe as well. In addition to "Repent" and "More Charles Live", he has released three CD's on Sweden's Silkheart label and another on Germany's FMP. He has performed or recorded with Sonny Murray, Milford Graves, Andrew Cyrille, Sirone, Rashid Ali, Reggie Workman, and Cecil Taylor.
Despite his recent success, Gayle continues to play on the streets of New York. Playing for hours every day (except Sunday), Gayle literally lives and breathes his music.
With a Zen-like quality, Gayle takes his playing to the depths of his soul. He plays music not only because he loves it, but because he's driven to play. "Even when times where really tough", Gayle says, "I never wanted to quit".
What are Charles Gayle's goals for the future?
"I want to be freer, more liberated musically. I've got to play with my own voice. And I just want to keep playing, no matter what".
Born Norris Jones, 28 September 1940, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Master bassist and occasional trombonist Sirone (more or less "Norris" backwards) has one of tthe most exceptional resums of any New Jazz musician, having played with John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, and Bill Dixon - i.e., all of the most important innovators. In the 70s he commuted between the Cecil Taylor Unit and the Revolutionary Ensemble and was the pivot of innumerable New York "loft scene" sessions but, by the mid-80s, work opportunities had reduced greatly. Since 1986, Sirone's major gig has been with the group Phalanx, an all-star aggregate also featuring James "Blood" Ulmer, George Adams and Rashied Ali.
Revolutionary Ensemble Leroy Jenkins, Sirone, Jerome Cooper
siehe auch CD Charles Gayle
Dick Griffin is one of the leading trombone players around today. He has played with numerous big names in jazz and soul music, appeared in symphony orchestras and big bands, and developed his own playing style which he calls "circularphonics." Griffin's sound sometimes invokes the spirit of the experimental jazz musicians of the 60s (John Coltrane, Sun Ra) by way of his multiphonic use of the trombone - not one of the most versatile instruments in jazz.
Other times his use of flute and percussion deserves comparison to recordings by Pharoah Sanders in the early '70s. This is his story...
James Richard Griffin was born and grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. His first musical influence was a neighbor known as Mr. Jesse. In the evening all the young children in the neighborhood would stop by to hear Mr. Jesse's impromptu blues guitar compositions describing the events of the day, and they would always rhyme to boot! Griffin began studying the piano at age 11 and two years later, entered the high school marching band where he first learned to play trombone. In junior college he developed the art of arranging and won several awards for his arrangements. But his professional career began as a teenager, playing piano and trombone in clubs with classmate Freddie Waits on drums, while at the same time singing in 3 doo-wop group.
1963 saw Griffin graduate from Jackson State University and go on to teach in high school for two years in Colombia, Mississippi. Later in the 60s, he also found time to study for a masters degree in Trombone at Indiana University. However, it was in Chicago, where Griffin met avant garde jazz musician Sun Ra that his professional career would take off. He spent several summers in the '60s playing with Sun Ra's Arkestra. It was also during this time that Griffin first met Rahsaan Roland Kirk who would become a close friend. Moving to New York City in 1967, Griffin made his recording debut with Rahsaan Roland Kirk on the album, The Inflated Tear. This album marked the birth of what has been dubbed The Vibration Society. Griffin went on to record nine albums with Kirk. Further collaborations ensued in the early 70s when Griffin played in a big band fronted by Charles Mingus, with whom he worked for a year.
Griffin also spent three years in the house band at Harlem's Apollo Theatre where he got the chance to play for nearly all of the R&B greats.
In 1974, Griffin released his debut album The Eighth Wonder for Strata East Records, one of the most successful independent jazz labels of that period. Later he released a follow up, Now Is The Time: The Multiphonic Tribe for Trident Records. Griffin is only one of a few musicians to master the multiphonic technique of playing the trombone, and he defines this style as being able to produce chords containing as many as five or six notes instead of the one note the instrument was designed to produce. This technique was inspired by, even encouraged by, Rahsaan because of his ability to play three horns simultaneously. The name 'circularphonics" comes from Griffin's method of combining a multiphonic sound with the circular breathing technique breathing air in through the nose while still playing one's instrument.
As a composer, he completed a work for a symphony orchestra entitled "World Vibration Suite" which was premiered by the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1986, Griffin's latest album, A Dream For Rahsaan, was released by Ruby Records to critical acclaim. This inspired him to adapt the album for symphony orchestra and three saxophones, as with the World Vibration Suite. Griffin have been touring Europe frequently and performing at many of the top European festivals including The Hamburg Open Air Jazz Festival, and the Heinken Jazz Festival in Rotterdam. In 1994, Griffin headlined Ottawa's International Jazz Festival. The same year, the German label Konnex Records rereleased Griffin's first and third albums with extra tracks.
Dick Griffin is versatile and an extremely inventive player whose lifetime achievements include performing with Duke Ellington, Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Ella Fitzgerald, to name a few. He has recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, George Benson, Frank Foster, Charles Earland, Billy Harper, Sam Jones and Abdullah Ibrahim. He has played in big bands with Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Tito Puente, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, Frank Foster, Charlie Persip and Clark Terry, and he has also played with symphony orchestras such as The Harlem Philharmonic, The New York City Housing Authority Orchestra and The Symphony Of The New World.
He has performed in several Broadway shows as well as in the production of Black and Blue in Paris, France. He has made many TV appearances in the US on shows such as New York Undercover, Like It Is and The Today Show. He also has appeared on the BBC in the UK and on TV programs in Germany, France and ltaly.
Dick appeared in the movie "Cotton Club" and contributed to the soundtrack of "Gordon's War" and TV commercials.
Sun Ra Discography: items 76-127
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