Billy Higgins

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Billy Higgins (1978)

Billy Higgins (born October 11, 1936 in Los Angeles , California - † May 3, 2001 in Inglewood , California) was an American jazz drummer.

Live and act

Higgins started out as a rhythm and blues musician under Bo Diddley , Amos Milburn and Jimmy Witherspoon . In 1953 he joined his friend Don Cherry's Jazz Messiahs . Around 1956 he recorded with Lucky Thompson and Red Mitchell , during which time he also got to know the still unknown Ornette Coleman , on whose debut LP Something Else !!!! He participated in The Music of Ornette Coleman in 1958. In 1959 he went with Coleman to New York City , where he worked with him until 1961 and u. a. performed on Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation .

After that he was mostly active as a studio musician and worked as a sideman of Thelonious Monk ( At the Blackhawk , 1960), Dexter Gordon , Jackie McLean , Lee Morgan ( Search for the New Land 1964) and Archie Shepp . He was a frequent partner of the pianist Cedar Walton and ran the Brass Company with Bill Lee and Bill Hardman in the early 1970s .

In 1978 he returned to Los Angeles, where he released his first LP as a band leader the following year. He also performed with Joe Henderson and Slide Hampton . In 1986 he starred alongside Dexter Gordon in Bertrand Tavernier's film Round Midnight . In 1987 he went on a tour with Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry and Charlie Haden , during which the studio album In All Languages was created.

A year later he founded the World Stage with the poet Kamau Daaood , a cultural center in which he organized concerts and workshops for young jazz musicians , supported by musicians such as Ron Carter , Kenny Barron , Barry Harris and Geri Allen . Higgins also taught jazz at the University of California .

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