Jim Galloway was born James Braidie Galloway in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland on July 28, 1936. Since emigrating from Scotland in the mid-1960s he had based his career in Canada.
Galloway recorded several albums as a leader and in the late 1970s formed an ensemble, the Wee Big Band. One of his many albums, Walking On Air, was nominated for Best Jazz Album at the 1980 Juno Awards.
He was the artistic director of the Toronto Jazz Festival from 1987 to 2009. In 2002 Jim was honored when made a Chevalier of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. His musical performances continue to be listed on the Toronto Jazz Festival website.
Bandleader, songwriter, clarinet and saxophone player Jim Galloway died in palliative care in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on December 30, 2014.
Jean Toussaint, born July 27, 1960 in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and grew up in St. Thomas and New York City. He learned to play calypso as a child and attended Berklee College of Music in the late 1970s, studying under saxophonist Billy Pierce.
In 1979 Jean formed a group with Wallace Roney and from 1982 to 1986 was a member of Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers alongside Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, Mulgrew Miller and Lonnie Plaxico. With Blakey he recorded three studio albums, including New York Scene, which won a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance.
Toussaint moved to London in 1987, following an invitation from Professor of Jazz, Lionel Grigson, to be artist-in-residence at the Guildhall School of Music. Since then he has maintained a consistent profile as a band leader in the UK and Europe, playing with British musicians who include, among others, Steve Williamson, Courtney Pine, Julian Joseph, Jason Rebello and Cleveland Watkins.
He has also performed in the groups led by McCoy Tyner, Gil Evans, Kirk Lightsey, Cedar Walton, Max Roach, Horace Silver, Jeff “Tain” Watts, and has collaborated with Lionel Loueke. Soprano and tenor saxophonist Jean Toussaint has compiled a catalogue of ten albums as a leader with his latest release being Tate Song for Lyte Records. He continues to perform and record.
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Charles Lacy Tyler was born on July 20, 1941 in Cadiz, Kentucky and spent his childhood years in Indianapolis, Indiana. He played piano as a child and clarinet at 7, before switching to alto in his early teens, and finally settled with the baritone saxophone. During the summers, he visited Chicago, New York City and Cleveland, Ohio that he met the young tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler at age 14.
After a stint in the army from 1957–1959, Tyler relocated to Cleveland in 1960 and began playing with Ayler, commuting between New York and Cleveland. During that period he got to jam with Ornette Coleman and Sunny Murray. In 1965 he recorded with Ayler’s group Bells and Spirits Rejoice.
Charles recorded his first album as leader in 1966 for ESP-Disk, returned to Indianapolis to study with David Baker at Indiana University between 1967 and 1968, then recorded a second album for ESP titled Eastern Man Alone. In 1968 he transferred to the University of California, Berkeley to study and teach. In Los Angeles, he worked with Arthur Blythe, Buddy Bradford and David Murray before heading back to New York in 1974, to lead his own freebop groups with Blythe, trumpeter Earl Cross, drummer Steve Reid and others.
During this period he recorded on his Akba label the album Voyage from Jericho. By 1975, Tyler enrolled at Columbia University and made an extensive tour of Scandinavia releasing his second Akba album Live in Europe. The next year he performed the piece Saga of the Outlaws at Sam Rivers’ Studio Rivbea that was released two years later. He would go on to perform sideman or co-leader duties with Steve Reid, Cecil Taylor, Hal Russell, Wilbur Morris and Billy Bang.
In 1982, during a European tour with the Sun Ra Orchestra, he relocated to Denmark and three years later moved to France, recording with other expatriates like Khan Jamal in Copenhagen and Steve Lacy in Paris. Free jazz alto and baritone saxophonist CharlesTyler died in Toulon, France of heart failure on June 27, 1992.
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William C. “Buster” Bailey was born July 19, 1902 in Memphis, Tennessee and was educated on the instrument by classical teacher Franz Schoepp, the man who taught Benny Goodman. He got his start with the W.C. Handy Orchestra in 1917 when he was just fifteen years old. After two years of touring with Handy, he quit while the band was in Chicago and in 1919 Bailey joined Erskine Tate’s Vendome Orchestra.
1923 saw Buster joining up with Joe “King” Oliver as part of his King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band. It was here that he met and became friends with fellow band mate Louis Armstrong. In 1924, when Armstrong left King Oliver’s Jazz Band to join the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra in New York. It was less than a month that Armstrong extended an invitation for Bailey to join the band and accepting, he moved to New York City.
During the late 1920s Bailey became a highly respected sideman with Perry Bradford, Clarence Williams and others, Recording both clarinet and soprano saxophone. He toured Europe with Noble Sissle’s orchestra in 1927, returned and performed with Edgar Hayes and Dave Nelson, rejoined Sissle in 1931. By 1934 he was back with Henderson and then settled in with the John Kirby Band. Off and on he would perform with the mills Blue Rhythm Band, Midge Williams and Her Jazz Jesters and record as a leader as Buster Bailey and His Rhythm Busters.
In 1947 he joined Wilbur de Paris and performed with him until 1949. During the early 1950s Bailey was with Big Chief Russell Moore but for most of the decade he played with Henry “Red” Allen. From 1961 to 1963 he performed with Wild Bill Davison, the Saints And Sinners, and rejoined his old friend Armstrong and became a member of Louis Armstrong and His All-Stars.
Buster appeared on film three times during his career in That’s The Spirit in 1933, Sepia Cinderella in 1947 as part of John Kirby’s band and in When The Boys Meet The Girls in 1965 with Louis Armstrong. He also appeared in 1958 in the DuMont TV series Jazz Party and in 1961 on the TV program The Dupont Show of the Week in an episode titled “America’s Music – Chicago and All That Jazz”.
Clarinetist Buster Bailey, who was also well versed on saxophone and one of the most respected session players of his era, passed away in Brooklyn, New York on April 12, 1967 of a heart attack.
Albert Ayler was born on July 13, 1936 in Cleveland Heights, Ohio and was first taught alto saxophone by his father Edward, who was a semiprofessional saxophonist and violinist. They played alto saxophone duets in church and often listened to jazz records together, including swing era jazz and then-new bop albums. He attended John Adams High School adding oboe to his instruments, followed after graduation with studies at the Academy of Music with jazz saxophonist Benny Miller. It was during his teenage years that he picked up the nickname “Little Bird” because of his understanding of bebop style and mastery of standard repertoire.
In 1952, at the age of 16, Ayler began playing bar-walking, honking, R&B style tenor with blues singer and harmonica player Little Walter, spending two summer vacations with the band. By 1958 he was in the Army, switched from alto to tenor sax, playing in the regiment band and jamming with other enlisted musicians, including tenor Stanley Turrentine. Stationed in France a year later, he was further exposed to the martial music that would be a core influence on his later work. After his discharge from the army, Ayler tried to find work in Los Angeles and Cleveland, but his increasingly iconoclastic playing, which had moved away from traditional harmony, was not welcomed by traditionalists.
In 1962 Albert relocated to Sweden, where his recording career began, leading Swedish and Danish groups on radio sessions, and jamming as an unpaid member of Cecil Taylor’s band. It was here in Copenhagen that he recorded My Name Is Albert Ayler with Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen and Ronnie Gardiner. 1963 saw his return to settle in New York City, develop his personal style, record his debut as a leader titled Witches and Devils and begin a relationship with ESP-Disk Records in 1964, recording his breakthrough album Spiritual Unity with Gary Peacock and Sunny Murray, which was also the label’s first jazz album. His trio would go on to record with Don Cherry, John Tchicai and Roswell Rudd on the soundtrack to New York Eye and Ear Control, which was followed by a tour with his trio plus Cherry producing the albums The Copenhagen Tapes, Vibrations, and The Hilversum Session.
In 1966 Ayler signed with Impulse Records at the urging of Coltrane but his radically different music never found a sizable audience. However his first set titled Albert Ayler in Greenwich Village with his brother Donald, Michael Samson, Beaver Harris, Henry Grimes and Bill Folwell too Ayler back to the alto on his tribute tune “For John Coltrane”. He first sang on a recording in a version of “Ghosts” performed in Paris in 1966. He would go on to record three albums of lyrics and vocals of his girlfriend Mary Maria Parks and introduce regular chord changes, funky beats and electronic instruments.
Avant-garde jazz saxophonist, singer and composer Albert Ayler disappeared on November 5, 1970, and he was found dead in New York City’s East River on November 25,1970, a presumed suicide. In tribute, Swedish filmmaker Kasper Collin was so inspired by hiss music and life that he produced a documentary by the name of My Name is Albert Ayler, which includes interviews with ESP-Disk founder Bernard Stollman, along with interviews with his family and band mates.
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