Booker Little

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Booker Little, Jr. (* 2. April 1938 in Memphis (Tennessee) , † 5. October 1961 in New York City ) was an American jazz - trumpet player and composer of hard bop . At the beginning of the 1960s Little was “one of the most promising innovators of his instrument” and combined “the perfect fluency and the clear, warm tone of Clifford Brown with a more fiery approach and more modern harmonic and melodic ideas”, which pointed towards free jazz via hard bop .

Live and act

Little comes from a musical family; his parents played the trombone and the organ. Influenced in this way, he deepened his classical training in high school in addition to playing in a marching band , before studying with Andy Goodrich at the Conservatory in Chicago . In 1957 he began on the recommendation of Sonny Rollins in the band of Max Roach ; performed with this band in 1958 at the Newport Jazz Festival and was involved in Roach's Freedom Now Suite . In 1959 he went to New York , worked in clubs and with John Coltrane ( Afrika Brass Session, 1961), Slide Hampton , Teddy Charles and Sonny Stitt .

As early as 1960, his recordings with Tommy Flanagan and Wynton Kelly , Scott LaFaro and Roy Haynes ( The Legendary Quartet Album ) showed that he had a “full, mature and at the same time cracking sound” ( Jazz Journal ). 1961 followed legendary live recordings with Eric Dolphy , with whom he played in a quintet in the Five Spot (with Mal Waldron , Richard Davis , Ed Blackwell ). After a long illness, Booker Little died of uremia at the age of only 23 .

The trumpeter Booker Little belongs to such musicians as Fats Navarro , Eric Dolphy or Clifford Brown , who died at the beginning of a great musical career. His compositional and trumpet style, initially based on Miles Davis and Clifford Brown, is strongly influenced by the musical ideas of Charles Mingus , Duke Ellington and John Coltrane . He was one of the first trumpeters to consciously use dissonances and microtonal effects in jazz . Similar to Dolphy, he tried to "blow up the harmony from within". Trumpeters like Dave Douglas have made conscious use of these achievements.


as a leader

as a sideman

  • 1958 Max Roach: Deeds, Not Words (OJC)
  • 1959 Slide Hampton : Slide! (Fresh Sound)
  • 1960 Abbey Lincoln : Straight Ahead (Candid)
  • 1960 Eric Dolphy: Far Cry (OJC)
  • 1961 Max Roach: Percussion Bitter Suite (OJC)
  • 1961 Eric Dolphy: At The Five Spot Vol. 1 & 2 (OJC)
  • 1961 Eric Dolphy Memorial Album (OJC)
  • 1961 John Coltrane: Africa / Brass ( Impulse! Records )


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Martin Kunzler Jazz Lexicon . Volume 1. Reinbek 2002.
  2. ^ At the Goodwill Concert for the widow, Sonny Rollins made his comeback ( Jazz Gallery , Greenwich Village, November 1961).
  3. Republished as Lookin 'Ahead with additional recordings from 1961.