Ornette Coleman

Ornette Coleman (March 9, 1930 — June 11, 2015) was an American jazz saxophonist, violinist, trumpeter, and composer. He was a chief proponent of avant-garde free jazz, as heralded on his popular 1959 Atlantic release The Shape of Jazz to Come. On this and the 1960/61 albums Change of the Century and This Is Our […]

Cannonball Adderley

Cannonball Adderley (Sept. 15, 1928 — Aug. 8, 1975) was an American jazz saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and producer. He was the older brother of cornetist/trumpeter Nat Adderley and the uncle of keyboardist Nat Adderley Jr. He was born Julian Edwin Adderley on September 15, 1928, in Tampla, Fla. Discography: Julian Cannonball Adderley (1955 • Julian […]

Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk (Oct. 10, 1917 – Feb. 17. 1982) was an American jazz pianist and composer. He was born Thelonious Sphere Monk on October 17, 1917, in Rocky Mount, NC. Discography: Thelonious (1953 • Thelonious Monk Trio) Thelonious Monk Quintet (1954 • Thelonious Monk Quintet) Thelonious Monk Quintet Blows for LP (1954 • Thelonious Monk […]

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

Art Blakey (Oct. 11, 1919 — Oct. 16, 1990) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader from Pittsburgh. For 35 years, he led the Jazz Messengers, a revolving door band with some of the leading names in post-bop. In assorted iterations, the Messengers recorded for Blue Note during the 1950s and assorted other labels (RCA, […]

Sonny Rollins

Sonny Rollins (born Sept. 7, 1930) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist. Background He was born Theodore Walter Rollins on September 7, 1930, in New York City, the youngest of three children borne to migrants from the US Virgin Islands. He grew up in Harlem and Sugar Hill and first played saxophone at age seven. […]

Lee Morgan

Lee Morgan (July 10, 1938 — Feb. 19, 1972) was an American jazz trumpeter. He was born Edward Lee Morgan on July 10, 1938, in Philadelphia, the youngest of four children. As a child, he first took up vibraphone, then trumpet and alto saxophone. For his thirteenth birthday, his sister gave him a trumpet. His […]

Horace Silver

Horace Silver (Sept. 2, 1928 — June 18, 2014) was an American jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader. He was born Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silver on September 2, 1928, in Norwalk, Conn. Horace Silver Quintet discography: New Faces – New Sounds (1953 • Horace Silver Trio) Horace Silver Trio, Vol. 2 / Art Blakey With […]

Eric Dolphy

Eric Dolphy (June 20, 1928 – June 29, 1964) was an American jazz saxophonist, flautist, and clarinetist from Los Angeles. – Discography: Outward Bound (1960 • Eric Dolphy Quintet) At the Five Spot, Vol. 1 (1961) Newport Rebels (1961 • Charles Mingus / Max Roach / Eric Dolphy / Roy Eldridge / Jo Jones) Out […]

Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus (April 22, 1922 – Jan. 5, 1979) was an American jazz double-bassist, composer, and bandleader from Nogales, Ariz. – Discography: Strings and Keys (1953 • Charles Mingus & Spaulding Givens) The Moods of Mingus (1954) Jazz Collaborations Vol. 1 (1955 • Charles Mingus & Thad Jones) Jazzical Moods, Vol. 1 (1955 • Charles […]

Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Rahsaan Roland Kirk — aka Ronald Theodore Kirk (Aug. 7, 1935 — Dec. 5, 1977) — was an American woodwind player from Columbus, Ohio. Discography: Triple Threat (1957 • Roland Kirk) Introducing Roland Kirk (1960 • Roland Kirk) Kirk’s Work (1961 • Roland Kirk With Jack McDuff) We Free Kings (1962 • Roland Kirk) Domino […]

Kenny Barron

Kenny Barron (born June 9, 1943) is an American jazz pianist from Philadelphia. Discography: You Had Better Listen (1968 • The Jimmy Owens – Kenny Barron Quintet) Sunset to Dawn (1973) Peruvian Blue (1974) Lucifer (1975) Innocence (1978) Europa Jazz (1981 • Sal Nistico, Kenny Barron, Anthony Jackson & Buddy Rich) At The Piano (1982) […]

Joe Henderson

Joe Henderson (April 24, 1937 — June 30, 2001) was an American tenor saxophonist from Lima, Ohio. Discography: Page One (1963) Our Thing (1964) In ‘n Out (1965) Inner Urge (1966) Mode for Joe (1966) The Kicker (1968 • Joe Henderson Sextet) Tetragon (1969) Power to the People (1970) In Pursuit of Blackness (1971) Black […]

Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is an American jazz keyboardist who has been musically active since the late 1950s. Hancock was born in Chicago on April 12, 1940, the middle child of government meat inspector Wayman Edward Hancock and secretary Winnie Belle. Herbie was named after singer and actor Herb Jeffries. At age seven, […]

Freddie Hubbard

Freddie Hubbard (April 7, 1938 — Dec. 27, 2008) was an American jazz trumpeter from Indianapolis. Freddie was born Frederick Dwayne Hubbard on April 7, 1938, in Indianapolis. He first performed mellophone and trumpet in his high school band and later attended the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music, where he studied under trumpeter Max Woodbury […]

Donald Byrd

Donald Byrd (Dec. 9, 1932 — Feb. 4, 2013) was an American trumpeter who emerged as an early member of The Jazz Messengers during the mid-1950s. He was born Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II on December 9, 1932, in Detroit. Byrd first performed behind jazz percussionist and bandleader Lionel Hampton while still a student at […]

Chick Corea

Chick Corea (June 12, 1941 – Feb. 9, 2021) was an American jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader with a six-decade career that spanned the early 1960s to the late 2010s. He emerged as a backing player for Mongo Santamaria, Sonny Stitt, Blue Mitchell, Herbie Mann, Hubert Laws, and Cal Tjader. As a solo artist, Corea […]

George Benson

George Benson (March 22, 1943) is an American jazz-funk guitarist and singer from Pittsburgh. Discography: The New Boss Guitar of George Benson With The Brother Jack McDuff Quartet (1964) It’s Uptown (1966 • The George Benson Quartet) The George Benson Cookbook (1967 • The George Benson Quartet) Giblet Gravy (1968) Shape of Things to Come […]

Hubert Laws

Hubert Laws (born Nov. 10, 1939) is an American flutist from Houston. He is the eldest of kin in the musical Laws family, which also includes saxophonist Ronnie Laws and vocalists Eloise and Debra Laws. Discography: The Laws of Jazz (1965) Flute By-Laws (1966) Laws’ Cause (1969) Afro-Classic (1970) Crying Song (1970) The Rite of […]

Woody Shaw

Woody Shaw (Dec. 24, 1944 — May 10, 1989) was an American trumpeter and composer from Laurinburg, N.C. Discography: Jazz Patterns (1970 • Joe Henderson and Woody Shaw) Blackstone Legacy (1971) Song of Songs (1972) The Moontrane (1975) Love Dance (1976) Concert Ensemble at the Berliner Jazztage (1977) Stepping Stones: Live at the Village Vanguard […]

Sam Rivers

Sam Rivers (Sept. 25, 1923 — Dec. 26, 2011) was an American avant-jazz multi-reedist and pianist from El Reno, Okla., who released three albums as a bandleader on Blue Note between 1964 and 1967, followed by titles on Impulse!, Red Record, and other labels during the 1970s. Discography: Fuchsia Swing Song (1965) Contours (1967) A […]

Hal Galper

Hal Galper (born April 18, 1938) is an American post-bop pianist from Salem, Mass., who released three albums on Mainstream Records in 1972/73, followed by albums on SteepleChase and enja during the second half of the decade. His playing is heard on ’60s/’70s-era albums by Chet Baker, Sam Rivers, Randy Brecker, Pete Yellin, Nat Adderley, […]

John Coltrane

John Coltrane (Sept. 23, 1926 — July 17, 1967) was an American post-bop/jazz saxophonist and composer from Hamlet, NC, who rose to prominence in the Miles Davis Quintet during the mid-1950s. As a headliner, Coltrane released more than 50 studio and live albums in solo and collaborative form on Prestige, Atlantic, and Impluse! between 1957 […]

Don Pullen

Don Pullen (Dec. 25, 1941 — April 22, 1995) was an American avant-garde jazz pianist and organist from Roanoke, Va., who co-featured with drummer Milford Graves on a pair of live releases on SRP Records in 1966/67. After backing Charles Williams, Charles Mingus, and George Adams on a slew of recordings, Pullen issued a string […]

The V.S.O.P. Quintet

The V.S.O.P. Quintet were an American post-pop/jazz supergroup featuring the seasoned talents of keyboardist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams. The band released two live double-LPs in 1977 and a third in 1979, followed by a studio album, all on CBS/Sony. Members: Herbie Hancock (keyboards), Freddie […]

Joe Chambers

Joe Chambers (born June 25, 1942) is an American jazz-funk drummer, pianist, vibraphonist, and composer from Stoneacre, Va. Discography: The Almoravid (1974) New World (1976) Double Exposure (1978) Live at Sweet Basil (1989 • Uli Lenz, Cecil McBee, Joe Chambers) Phantom of the City (1992) Mirrors (1998) Urban Grooves (2003) The Outlaw (2006) Horace to […]

Houston Person

Houston Person (born Nov. 10, 1934) is an American post-bop/jazz-funk tenor saxophonist and record producer from Florence, SC. Discography: Underground Soul (1966) Chocomotive (1967) Blue Odyssey (1968) Trust in Me (1968) Goodness! (1969) Soul Dance! (1969) Person to Person! (1970) Truth! (1970) Houston Express (1971) Broken Windows, Empty Hallways (1972) Sweet Buns & Barbeque (1973) […]

Ted Curson

Ted Curson — aka Theodore Curson (June 3, 1935 — Nov. 4, 2012) — was an American post-bop/jazz-funk trumpeter from Philadelphia. Discography: Plenty of Horn (1961) Plays Fire Down Below (1963) Tears for Dolphy (1964 • Ted Curson Quartet) The New Thing and the Blue Thing (1965) Urge (1966) Ode to Booker Ervin (1970) Pop […]

Leroy Vinnegar

Leroy Vinnegar (July 13, 1928 — Aug. 3, 1999) was an American post-bop/jazz standup bassist from Indianapolis. Discography: Modern Jazz Performances of Songs From Li’l Abner (1957 • Shelly Manne & His Friends (André Previn, and Leroy Vinnegar) Leroy Walks! (1958 • The Leroy Vinnegar Sextet) Leroy Walks Again (1962 • Leroy Vinnegar Quintet) Jazz’s […]

Oliver Nelson

Oliver Nelson (June 4, 1932 — Oct. 28, 1975) was an American post-bop/jazz-funk saxophonist, clarinetist, arranger, composer, and bandleader from St. Louis. Discography: Meet Oliver Nelson (1959) Taking Care of Business (1960) Screamin’ the Blues (1961 • Oliver Nelson Sextet) Straight Ahead (1961 • Oliver Nelson with Eric Dolphy) Nocturne (1961) The Blues and the […]

Stanley Turrentine

Stanley Turrentine (April 5, 1934 — Sept. 12, 2000) was an American post-bop/jazz-funk tenor saxophonist from Pittsburgh. Discography: Look Out! (1960) Blue Hour (1961 • Stanley Turrentine With The 3 Sounds) Stan “The Man” Turrentine (1962) Dearly Beloved (1962) That’s Where It’s At (1962) Never Let Me Go (1963) Soul Shoutin’ (1964 • Shirley Scott […]